Working During the Virus Outbreak, 2020

Well here we are then.

Early May 2020 – the sun has been shining and the Country is on lockdown. The only shops operating are those selling essential products. Schools are closed and the roads are empty.

There is a meme circulating on Facebook (I’m sure you’ve all seen it) detailing the conditions we’re all living in, from queues at Supermarkets through home schooling. It aims to remind people in the future of how the UK and Europe is coping (or not!) here in early 2020. Perhaps this blog post can serve the same function.

Government guidelines issued in March specified that anyone who can work at home should work at home, and quite sensibly so. Unfortunately for us at GWD the manufacture of presentation and promotional packaging is NOT something one can do in the front room! This beast below (for example) was built in 1908 – and is not something you could put under your arm and pop in the garage.

Manufacturing industry during lockdown
Manufacturing industry during lockdown

And for us, of course, we work on projects that are often not realised until a long way in the future. For example we are already working on packaging for next Christmas – and although none of us can be certain – we have to be optimistic that the lockdown regulations will be lifted by then!

The uncertainty is obviously a problem, but the wheels of business continue to turn and at some point we will return to some semblance of normality. Orders are coming in, slowly, and indeed, we’ve been fortunate enough to have picked up one or two new clients even during this current period.

So how have we coped?  Well unfortunately we have had to take advantages of various government schemes and ‘furlough’ (strange how that word has entered our vocabulary this year, isn’t it?) a number of members of staff. Obviously this is unfortunate, but at least they’ll remain on 80% of their wages. Staff in our industry have very specific skills, often learnt over years and it’s important not to lose them.

Additionally, we are following strict social distancing regulations in our warehouse and offices and staff have been working at home whenever possible. The safety of our staff is our primary concern and we have had to adapt our production methods to enable social distancing, but we have managed.

Interestingly, a number of our existing clients have moved a larger proportion of their business on-line – adapting to the current conditions. Bettys of Harrogate have always done a good trade with their ‘Birthday Boxes’ (see below), a large round hamper box (one of our specialities), but in the current conditions when people can’t be with each other on their birthdays, a lovely box of treats is the next best thing! They have just placed another order for more, such has been the demand!  Since they have been obliged to close their shops and café’s they have had a new onus on pushing their online sales and we have been producing an increasing number of these boxes. Similarly the Simply Delicious Cake Company are launching a new Birthday Cake presented in one of our beautiful boxes to meet the demand for online gifts.

As always, please take a moment or two to visit our clients’ websites if you have a moment. Your taste buds will thank you even if your waistline doesn’t!

And remember – stay safe!

 – Noel.

Boxes for chocolatiers and patissiers
Boxes for chocolatiers and patissiers

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Christmas Presentation Packaging – Yo Ho Ho!

Annual events are massive for us at GWD Ltd as manufacturers of high-quality presentation and promotional packaging. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter are all huge – but it’s no surprise that Christmas is biggest of all. This year we began manufacturing advent calendars as early as April! As you can imagine our factory is always full of festive boxes and packaging – every day is Christmas Day at GWD

This year we’ve been heavily involved with the wonderful Bettys of Harrogate as they’ve been celebrating their centenary. Over the years we’ve created a lot of their Christmas packaging.

We remain one of the very few firms in the UK who can manufacture these circular or cylindrical boxes in-house, with the help of our very experienced cardboard engineers and bespoke machinery.

The image below shows three Christmas boxes we have made for Bettys this year, two hamper boxes, one square, one round and a flanged chocolate box with a foil blocked window to show the chocolates off to maximum effect:

Chocolate box packaging for Christmas
Chocolate box packaging for Christmas

All three of these have been printed with metallic ink (red and green) and then foil blocked in gold, giving a very luxurious appearance.

This next image shows a selection of chocolate boxes – round, oval and square – made for different independent chocolate shops. We are fortunate enough to work for a substantial number of independent chocolatiers and retailers, from big brands through to small companies. These boxes are finished off with ‘off the shelf’ Christmas giftwrap paper selected by the customer.

confectionary packaging for independent chocolate companies
Confectionary packaging for independent chocolate companies

Many of our client’s retail confectionary directly to the public or wholesale in the hotel or hospitality industry. We are always on the lookout for more, so if you require:

  • New packaging designed from scratch (either a rigid or folding box)
  • A rigid box (from our range of over 60 sizes) using pre-cut, off-the-shelf card that can be assembled and wrapped to your specifications

Please do not hesitate to get in touch for a quote!

Oh, and do try not to over-indulge on chocolates over Christmas!!!

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

GWD Ltd and ‘The Apprentice’

Towards the end of last year we were very happy to be involved with BBC One’s successful television show ‘The Apprentice’. For those of you who have not seen the show (where have you been?!), 16 young entrepreneurs compete in a number of business-related challenges culminating with the winner being given the opportunity to work with Lord Alan Sugar.

Towards the end (episode 10 of 14) of the last series the contestants, now whittled down to six, were given the following task (and this is from the official BBC ‘teaser’: “…teams must produce and brand a new chocolate range to pitch to buyers. They are to concoct three unique chocolate flavours, come up with a brand name and design the packaging for their range.”

A chocolate company with whom we have worked for many years (creating all of their packaging) was chosen by the shows’ directors. Given the extremely quick turn around required – in this case 24 hours – the task could only be fulfilled with the help of GWD Ltd, due to proximity, knowledge of the chocolate company involved and our experience in manufacturing quality packaging for the confectionery industry.

The teams of contestants concocted their chocolate flavours, created the final products, came up with their branding and design and chose their box from the five or six options available (drawings of which we had provided the design agency in advance). The boxes were created that evening and packed by the chocolate company to be presented the following morning. As mentioned, the whole process took less than 24 hours. 25 boxes were created for each team.

chocolate boxes for the apprentice
Chocolate boxes for the apprentice

As you can see one of the boxes is acceptable…..

confectionery packaging essex and UK
Confectionery packaging essex and UK

Whilst the other is, er, perhaps less so, and was roundly castigated by Lord Sugar in the boardroom at the completion of the task….

packaging solutions or chocolates
Packaging solutions or chocolates

….and you can probably see why. The teams pitched their chocolates to retailers with the losing team receiving a fair amount of disdain and zero uptakes. The former however, had some successes including an order of 7000 units from the Co-op.

The whole experience was highly enjoyable and was a good indicator of how quickly we can work here at GWD and how well our systems work under extremely tight deadlines.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Flowers, Chocolates and Quality Presentation Packaging

For good or ill the national obsession with chocolates and flowers continues – particularly at this time of the year.

According to recent figures – In the UK, 10% of all chocolate is consumed in the form of Eggs over Easter, with the country being the fourth largest consumer of chocolate (per head of capita) in the World, behind Switzerland, Germany and Austria. On average, each person in Britain eats approx. 9.5 kg of chocolate each year.  When it comes to flowers, according to aboutflowers.com a staggering 26% of ALL flowers are purchased from florists on Mother’s Day, surpassed only by Valentines Day.

Naturally as the UK’s premier manufacturer of presentation packaging this period is extremely important to us here at GWD Ltd .  Indeed we have a substantial number of florists and chocolatiers amongst our clients. Here are a few examples of products we have made over the past year.

Heart-shaped boxes made in the UK
Heart-shaped boxes made in the UK

This heart-shaped box with a window was manufactured here in Essex for flowers, specifically preserved flowers and rose heads. These have a life of 3 years or more and are used as table decorations, centrepieces and other ornamental uses. The packaging therefore, has to be robust as well as stylish.

Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts

The two photos above show round hatboxes that were produced for different flower growers/importers: Exprezzion and MM Flowers .  They were used in the sale of their flowers at two leading supermarket chains and for their online sales. Hat boxes, with or without lids, are widely recognised as a very up-market way of presenting flowers for that special gift or loved one, and GWD Ltd make them in a range of sizes, from 150mm diameter to 150mm high (and smaller if required) up to 300mm diameter x 300mm high (and bigger if required).

Packaging for chocolates and Easter eggs
Packaging for chocolates and Easter eggs

The Easter egg boxes in the picture above show two high-end, bespoke, rigid Easter egg boxes (with separate box and lid) that were made for The Secret Truffletier who create handmade champagne truffles, Swiss Chocolates and luxurious dark chocolate truffle gifts. At the other end of the scale the image also shows a small fold-up carton for a much smaller egg. This was personalised for Claridges , the luxury hotel in Mayfair. It is an equally high-end product.

Whatever product your have, you can be assured that GWD can help you with the perfect presentation packaging to help it sell, online or in the shops. We’ve been creating packaging for florists and chocolatiers for over 30 years. Please get in touch.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Chocolatiers, Christmas and GWD Limited

So Christmas is here once again and at GWD Towers we’re busier than a whole Grotto of Santa’s Elves! Some of the Christmas packaging we make for our clients is designed and manufactured by the end of Summer, but because we deal with so many different kinds of businesses we are also at full tilt, right up to the last moment.

Christmas packaging, Christmas hampers

Christmas packaging, Christmas hampers

Not that this is a ‘Bah Humbug’ type of post, far from it Christmas is, naturally, a hectic time for the packaging industry and we’ve been very busy indeed this year creating hamper boxes, advent calendars and special presentation/gift boxes for products, as well as more generic boxes such as those in the image above. These are more generic products that shops or outlets pack themselves, perhaps adding a ribbon or similar embellishment.

Hamper boxes

Hamper boxes

We have mentioned elsewhere in this blog that we are one of the very few companies in the UK that can produce round ‘hat’ boxes, and these are very popular with chocolatiers and hamper companies, particularly for this season. The boxes above are produced for Betty’s of Harrogate, one of the premier chocolatiers and gift food companies in the country. Most years, Betty’s will contact us with new ideas or designs and the packaging will be updated.

Presentation packaging for chocolatiers and chocolate boxes

Presentation packaging for chocolatiers and chocolate boxes

In the image above are some more boxes made for Betty’s further illustrating what we can do for chocolate companies. The rectangular box (top left) has a gold foil blocked clear window, allowing the chocolates to be viewed in their full glory. This is achieved with the use of a ‘cavity wall tray’, the gold frame, which sits inside the box, which is invisible until it’s opened. The smaller box in the photo is a generic, shouldered box made for Betty’s, that is turned into a Christmas box with the use of a sleeve. This is a great idea for companies who wish to brand their products for particular seasons or events – the box itself remains the same but the sleeve can be redesigned on demand.

Gift packaging suppliers UK

Gift packaging suppliers UK

We also supply smaller independent shops and outlets with our high-quality rigid boxes. These circular boxes (above), although quite complex to manufacture, can be produced in relatively small runs and are ideal for chocolates! If you would like us to help you present your chocolates (or indeed any other product) in it’s best possible light – please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

And Merry Christmas!!

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging. You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Egg-cellent packaging for Easter!

Egg-cellent packaging for Easter!

For many, Easter means time off school, overdue family time, beautiful daffodils starting to head in the gardens and not to mention… eating copious amounts of delicious chocolate! We have all been there; sitting on the sofa with the ‘Christmas dinner feeling’ after successfully demolishing your final chocolate egg.

Easter is the number one chocolate-selling period of the year and quite astoundingly, the first Easter egg went on sale in Sainsbury’s in JANUARY this year! According to The Telegraph, us Brits eat 11kg of chocolate each year, so it’s no wonder why Easter is celebrated by the masses.

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

Easter boxes by GWD for Rococo Chocolates

For us, Easter is a fantastic marketing platform for gift & confectionery companies to show off! The pastel colours, the cute bunnies, the gold ribbon… it WORKS. Both B2B & B2C business can benefit from this holiday. Think about wowing your valued customers and suppliers with beautifully packaged edibles to show them how much you appreciate their support.

Be sure to consider your corporate clan in the Easter excitement as our cardboard engineers can create marvellous, bespoke and branded confectionery and gift packaging to meet your requirements.

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

Grown Up Easter egg boxes by GWD

In this day in age, a healthy conscience is being embedded into our brains by the TV, media, industry leaders and even our own family! Instead of gifting a traditional chocolate egg, more and more people are opting for Easter gifts (which last A LOT longer than chocolate!).

Even though the Easter gifts that are sent to us, to create beautifully packaging for, are not always egg-shaped, they are always guaranteed to hatch a smile!

 

We have been honoured to work with some of the UKs best names in chocolate including Rococo, Bettys and The Grown Up Chocolate Company.

Bettys ‘Trio of Eggs’ box by GWD

Bettys ‘Trio of Eggs’ box by GWD

Have a fantastic Easter!

 

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotionalpackaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

 

COMPANY FOCUS: Harry Specters

COMPANY FOCUS: Harry Specters

Award-winning flavours and positive social change – that’s Harry Specters. Mona, Shaz and their son Ash, who has autism, are behind this social enterprise. While visiting a chocolate shop on a holiday in Scotland in 2011, Mona discovered a perfect way of combining her passion for creating positive change for people with autism with her love for chocolate. Ash came up with the name and a year later, Harry Specters was born – dedicated to crafting the most delicious chocolates that create employment for young people with autism. 

Harry Specters, based in Ely>

We received a call back in 2015 when Harry Specters were ready to take their business to the next level. After their graphic designer had established their branding, colour scheme and logo, the next step was perfecting the packaging. They had an idea of what they wanted their packaging to look like, and it was our job to turn that vision into reality.

They wanted their packaging to exude quality and excellence whilst still being attractive to people of all ages and backgrounds. From our previous experience with food brands, we had a very good idea on what would work and what wouldn’t work in terms of size, shape and thickness. Our team of ‘cardboard engineers’ were able to create a whole range of options for Harry Specters to choose from.

The Desire Chocolate Box

The Desire Chocolate Box

The Allure Chocolate Box

The Allure Chocolate Box

As mentioned previously, Harry Specters was established for creating paid employment opportunities for young people and creating a product which everyone can enjoy! This cause is unique and is supported by us at GWD.

Harry Specters staff & work experience students

Harry Specters staff & work experience students

As well as the traditional selection boxes, Harry Specters wanted to be able to sell their chocolates in different quantities so they can fulfil different requirements. We created boxes which were made to hold their ‘Tasty Two’, ‘Finest Four’ and ‘Fine Nine’.

 

Finest Four

Finest Four

If you are looking for an award-winning sweet treat then Harry Specters have an online shop which you can visit here. Both Harry Specters and the GWD team are very pleased with our packaging creations thus far and we very much look forward to working with them again this year!


GWD Ltd are designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.
You can reach them on (01279) 416 093 or at the company’s website:
www.gwd.ltd.uk