Sending coals to Newcastle – a unique packaging job

In the Western world we’re well into our New Year, and 2013 has brought us cold weather and…well, more cold weather.  However, on Sunday, over in the Far East, Chinese New Year celebrations began.  Also referred to as the ‘Spring Festival’ in China, Chinese New Year is the most important annual Chinese holiday and this year celebrates the year of the snake.  GWD has had a couple of orders related to the celebration of Chinese New Year and given that they are quite off the wall I thought we’d share them with you.

Exporting Chinese New Year to China

Set of three boxes sent to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year

In a job that brings to mind the old adage ‘sending coals to Newcastle’, we received an order for a number of confectionery boxes commissioned in order to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  ‘That’s not particularly noteworthy’, I hear you exclaim.  And you’re right; it wouldn’t be noteworthy if it weren’t for the fact that after being produced these boxes were exported to…Hong Kong, a special administrative region in China.

A swivel box for Hong Kong to celebrate Chinese New Year

If it isn’t strange enough that we’re exporting Chinese themed goods to China, then never fear, it doesn’t end there.  China just so happens to be the country that produces the most boxes and packaging in the entire world.  Clearly there’s something about what GWD provides that has ticked all the right boxes and made it a superior option for companies seeking high quality presentation packaging.  The confectionery boxes needed to be produced and shipped fast and it was our capability of guaranteeing a fast turnaround that got us the job.

Hamper Boxes to sunny southern France

For those of you who aren’t aware of what Hamper Boxes are: a Hamper Box is a large gift box designed to contain a number of large items.  Hamper Boxes quite often contain food and drink and they are often great as promotional gifts for corporate events or circumstances.  They are designed to be eye-catching and also to showcase whatever it is that our clients want their customers to receive.

We received an order for 150 Hamper Boxes – nothing unusual in itself.  However, amusingly the Hamper Boxes were also intended for Chinese New Year, and not only that: they were for an international company of architects with an office in St Tropez.  So, having never done any business to do with Chinese New Year before; all of a sudden we had two jobs – one a back to front job for China, the other a celebration of Chinese New Year but for customers in the French Riviera.  Sadly, despite our best attempts, we weren’t able to make the Hamper Boxes big enough to fit ourselves in – we could do with a few days of sun in this bleak midwinter.

Hamper Boxes for an Architecture company in St Tropez
Hamper Boxes for an Architecture company in St Tropez

What I find most interesting about these jobs is that it highlights the fact that packaging is important the world over.  The Hamper Boxes are designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as having the functionality required to present multiple items.  Whether you’re in China, in St Tropez, in the UK or anywhere else in the world you’re going to need things packed, and if you’re a commercial company, you’ll need your products packed in something that can make a statement to your target audience.

About the Author


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: