10 TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

10 TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

There are pros and cons to many materials, is glass better because it’s recyclable or worse because it’s heavy? What about types of plastics, are some recycled more than others? What about mixed materials? What about biodegradable materials or natural packaging? It’s confusing, right? A lot depends on what you are packaging. But here are some tips to help you, ultimately you have to make decisions based on the latest information, as it often changes! 1 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In that order. The less we use that also protects the product the better. Packaging has to perform a task, which is to both sell the product and protect it. Wasting both packaging and product is the greatest waste of all. Don’t let that happen. If you post your packs, do travel tests (post if to yourself to make sure it gets to you safely). 2 Get advice from places like Wrap. They are a great source of information, but use common sense as sometimes it’s not applicable to you (see point 9). 3 Label your packaging clearly for recycling instructions. You can get more advice on the Wrap website here. This is what the symbols mean (click here for the full list). Consistent communication means more people understand, the more they understand the more they act in the right way. 4 Avoid black plastic where possible. Why? Because of carbon black pigments which do not enable the pack to be sorted by the optical sorting systems are still being used widely in plastics recycling. Even if the plastic is recyclable, it may end up going into landfill, which is...
ADVICE ON GETTING LISTED FROM A WAITROSE BUYER. PART 1

ADVICE ON GETTING LISTED FROM A WAITROSE BUYER. PART 1

Last Monday we were at Excel at the Natural and Organics Products Europe show. Waitrose Buyer Joanna Lynch gave a talk giving advice to brands wanting to stock their products in Waitrose, she’s a buyer for Medical, Healthcare and Wellbeing in the Family, Household and Personal Care team. We have split this into two posts, this one is general advice, the second is specifically about trade shows. We hope you will find them useful. There are the main points from her talk: WHAT FRUSTRATES BUYERS: Long e-mails. Be mindful of buyers’ time, they get hundreds of emails a day. Communicate effectively, be friendly in tone, keep it simple. Long presentations. Just as with e-mails, long presentations should be avoided. Make sure to cover what’s your point of difference, how you stand out, show understanding and knowledge of your products, the category and the market while keeping presentations relatively short and to the point. Chasing emails or phone calls. If they like your product they will contact you. Don’t keep chasing them. Remember, you need to be someone they want to work with. A well-prepared e-mail and presentation is more likely to earn you a response from buyers, chasing them is likely to do the opposite. Not knowing your figures Buyers will definitely know theirs. If you try to make something out, exaggerate or simply don’t know key figures, buyers will spot it. They need to be able to build a relationship with you. If you fail here it won’t be a good start. Know your markets, growth, dynamics, competitor etc. Don’t send samples unless they ask for them. They get loads of samples,...
TALKING WITH THE FOUNDER OF GREEN & BLACK’S

TALKING WITH THE FOUNDER OF GREEN & BLACK’S

On Monday we went to the Natural & Organic Products Europe event at Excel. One of the speakers was Craig Sams, the founder (with his wife) of Green & Black’s. He needs no introduction, but if you need one, here’s a bit about him: He came to the UK in 1966 to open a macrobiotic restaurant. He opened SEED in 1968 with his brother, Greg. They followed this with Ceres Grain in 1969 and published a journal for 6 years also called ‘Seed, the Journal for Organic Living’. In 1970 they set up Harmony Foods which became ‘Whole Earth‘, which is now a very successful brand. He founded Green & Black’s with is wife Jo Fairley in 1991. This was the first chocolate to carry the Fairtrade Mark. Initially, it was 70% cocoa, but later they progressed into milk chocolate and added a health warning about the sugar content on the back of pack (talk about believing in what you do). He also serves as a director of Duchy Originals and Gusto Organic. After the talk, we really wanted to talk to him. After setting up so many successful businesses, what insight could we gather? He is full of amazing stories, like tripping on acid with Pete Townsend while walking across Vauxhall Bridge and restaurants with Yoko Ono as patron. We asked him why he had never started a business under his own name. His reply made a lot of sense. He didn’t think that his name was particularly strong for a brand, but also he wanted the name to belong to the business. He told us the story of a jewelry designer...
SHOULD YOU PUT ™ OR ® NEXT TO YOUR BRANDING?

SHOULD YOU PUT ™ OR ® NEXT TO YOUR BRANDING?

We are sometimes asked about trademarks or asked to put ™ or ® next to a brand identity. But what are these two symbols and what do they really mean? A trademark is a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design or image, or a combination of these elements that make up your identity. Putting ™ next to your identity just means that you consider it a trademark and claim ownership of it. Many brands don’t bother to do this. It doesn’t offer you any protection, but it can make you feel more official. You are automatically covered by copyright as soon as you make an original piece of work. The issue is proving it in a court of law if your brand is infringed. ® is the registered mark. You can ONLY use this if your identity is registered. You can do this yourself or through a company that will handle it for you. It offers you more protection than just copyright and lasts 10 years (in the UK). Brands such as Mercedes, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Oxfam, Tesla, and Google don’t put ™ or ® next to their brand identities. Coca-Cola, (RED), The Body Shop and Fairtrade put the ® mark next to their brand identity. Starbucks puts ® and ™ on pretty much everything including their name in text. Their wordmark has the ® mark, the symbol with the mermaid symbol has ™. This sends out a message that they are very corporate and protect their brand vigorously. So it’s really up to you. Common sense prevails. The stronger your identity, the less important registration is. If your identity is simple type with...