Hampers for the Growing Online Sales Industry

We have discussed elsewhere in our blog how the unprecedented events of the last year have affected the retail market in the UK and abroad. Who would have thought that we are almost a year into the outbreak and still under lockdown, and that businesses, both great and small, remain under tremendous pressure?

A number of companies have gone under, or course, but many more have been extremely creative and innovative during the pandemic. The growth of on-line platforms has been almost exponential – Boohoo and Asos are prime examples with the former recently buying out Debenhams(!!). Firms with a predominantly store-based, retail sales method of getting their goods to market have turned progressively towards internet sales to compete and/or survive.

Statistics from the ONS have shown that the proportion of total sales that took pace online had grown by over 10% when comparing the period of the March to August 2020, against the same period for the previous year, a trend that has continued to grow substantially.

online sales, Lismore Foods and the packaging industry
hamper boxes for Lismore foods

As the UK’s premier designers and manufacturers of high quality presentation packaging, we have had to adapt (and adapt swiftly) to these changes in the sales chain. We spoke of our adaptions in the summer of last year. It was crucial for us to move with our clients’ demands. A good example would our on-going work with the marvellous Lismore Food Company of Waterford, Ireland.

Lismore Foods have a long family history in fine food and drink, which stretches back some 200 years as grocers, bakers and wine/spirit merchants. In their own words they are ‘proud to continue this fine tradition of delivering excellence within our taste and packaging.’ In turn we are delighted to be providing a key part of that packaging for them 😊.

With non-essential retail closed, packaging of high end products for on-line sales has taken on a very high importance for Lismore – especially with Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter fast approaching. In this case GWD provide these orange ‘hat’ boxes which are used as ‘hampers’ for Lismore’s luxury foodstuffs. The company ordered two sizes of these round hat boxes from us last year for the first time for their Christmas sales and these have (happily) gone so well that they have already re-ordered and added a third, smaller size. A fourth size is in planning and the sampling process will begin shortly. 

Our designers work closely with all our clients in the sampling process to guarantee the end product is correct. Fortunately we have the wherewithal to turn around orders quickly – Lismore’s were actually very low on stock a week or so ago, due to unexpected demand, and although their next order wasn’t scheduled until the end of the month, we were able to make a supply over the weekend for delivery the following week. I think you’ll agree that the final product looks great!

packaging for on-line sales
confectionary and food packaging manufactured in the UK
This ability to make such a quick ‘turn around’ is one of the benefits of working with a UK based manufacturer who has control of their production process – as much as Covid allows, of course. We continue to work hard to keep our staff safe at work, with sanitising stations, medical grade masks and PPE, screens in place wherever possible and social distancing regulations. We also have maximum ventilation in our factory with as many doors and windows open as possible – even in this weather (we all wrap up warm!!)

Rococo Chocolate BoxAnother of our clients who use our hamper boxes are Rococo Chocolates.

With their shops currently closed, Rococo are actively boosting their online sales and have required extra deliveries from us at the last minute before the Christmas period. Once again, we were able to fulfil their requirements at short notice. Keep an eye out for their offerings for Valentine’s Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter featuring our presentation packaging!

If your company is struggling with demand for packaging please do not hesitate to 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