Monthly Archives: June 2015

Why Orangey Brown is the New Black

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you will have undoubtedly seen, or at least heard of, Netflix’s gritty prison drama Orange is the New Black.

While Charlotte Packaging doesn’t really have anything to do with prison or TV shows or, well, anything to do with the programme itself – we do have to agree with the title… sort of.

Orangey Brown is the New Black

Ok, so it isn’t strictly the title of the series but its close enough to suit our purposes.

In the same way that people want to see raw, unfiltered TV like OITNB they are also crying out for their packaging materials to be more natural and unrefined.

This is where brown paper bags come into their own.

brown paper bags

More and more people are turning away from highly processed, intricately designed and elaborately printed packaging in favour of something simpler and plainer – kraft. At Charlotte Packaging we’ve seen a rise in demand for this type of packaging solution in the last couple of years, and here’s what we believe the reasons behind it are:

Environmentally Friendly

There’s been a worldwide push towards being more eco-friendly, and the increase in brown paper bags reflect this. Unlike plastic carrier bags they are biodegradable, made from natural materials and can be recycled very easily. Combine this with the reduced processing required to manufacture this material and you have a product that you can use to highlight your company’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly.

Chic Look

Vintage chic is huge in the fashion world right now and kraft paper fits into this niche perfectly. The plain, relatively unrefined paper gives a very natural, organic, retro look which combines perfectly with relatively simple prints and imagery. It creates the perfect solution for vintage shops of any description – from greengrocers all the way through to designer shoes – the versatility of this product is impressive.

peaches

Robert S. Donovan under CC 2.0

Versatility

We mentioned it above, but it really does deserve its own space. Brown paper bags come in a wide range of sizes and can even be made out of different papers in order to best suit the purpose. A clear example of this is if you sell food stuffs then you may want to use greaseproof paper or even specific grill bags. These are designed to be extra strong, containing grease and not contaminating hot products, perfect for your food packaging supplies. If you want these bags for packaging clothes however, you could use a simple kraft paper construction – the possibilities are nearly endless!

 block bottom paper bags

Craftapalooza under CC 2.0

Cost Effective

One thing that surprises many of our clients is just how cost effective brown paper bags can be. In some cases they are significantly cheaper than their previous packaging materials, helping to keep your running costs down and leave you with more money to improve your business operations.

If you want to find out just how much cheaper these food packaging solutions can be then give our friendly team a call today on 01495 741 589. With over 40 years in the industry, we’re positive that we can provide you with the best packaging for your needs.

8 Excellent Ways to Expand Your Small Food Business

In this day and age it can take a lot to stand out in the crowd, especially if you’re a small business. There are so many things that you need to factor in that it can quickly become overwhelming.

Don’t panic.

Let The Leading Food Packaging Suppliers Help You Expand Your Business

Here is a quick ten step guide to help you successfully expand your small food business:

#1 Find another location

small food business

Sounds simple doesn’t it? You want to expand, so the best way do to this is find another location for your business. Every chain restaurant has to start somewhere and your humble business could be the next big thing if you plan this right. Make sure you do your research to find out whether or not the location you have in mind is right for your business.

#2 Keep Branding Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to expanding. You need people to associate each location with the same business and the easiest way of doing this is through consistent branding. Make sure that everything from your menus to your food packaging supplies are the same. This will help to build authority and allow your customers to engage and relate to your business.

#3 Get the Right Staff

food business

Expanding typically means that you, as the owner, will have to delegate more. You can’t be everywhere at once and, really, you shouldn’t have to be. Hire the best management staff you can find, people who aren’t afraid of mucking in and hard work, and you’ll find the whole process much smoother.

#4 Expand Within Your Expertise

Expansion doesn’t just mean opening up new locations, you can expand your current business model by adding on extra services. For example, if you’re an eat-in/ takeaway deli then you could gain a lot more business by providing a delivery service. With the simple addition of a delivery vehicle and driver, packaging designed for transport and an ordering service you could see your business rapidly expand overnight.

#5 Work ‘On’ the Business Not ‘In’ it

smallfoodbusiness3

This could mean breaking the habit of a lifetime for many hands-on owners, but rolling up your sleeves and working in the restaurant can blind you to possible expansions. Instead, take a look at your business model, your products, your purchasing, your sales and your standard procedures. What can be improved, changed, developed about your existing business? Once you’ve worked this out you can take the exact same business model to another location and start it up with a proven plan.

#6 Go At Your Own Pace

One of the biggest dilemmas for small businesses is that they grow too quickly, putting a lot of financial strain on the business. When this happens it only takes one location to fail to bring the whole business down to its knees. There can be a lot of pressure to expand as quickly as possible, but in reality you need to take it at your own pace.

#7 Get Reliable Food Packaging Suppliers

Your suppliers really can be the making or breaking of you. Prices that fluctuate greatly can drastically affect your profit margins. You need to be able to get the products you need in the quantity and timeframe you need them in, the larger the business is the more important this fact becomes. Take extra care and effort to find suppliers who are efficient and reliable and you’ll find that expansion is much simpler.

#8 Get Online

technology

In this day and age, being online can be the difference between the success and failure of a business. Even if you don’t sell products online – like most small food businesses – a website is a great way to tell more people about your product, share directions to your location, extend brand awareness and talk about your company. If you’re not on social media then this is something that needs to be quickly rectified. People love connecting with brands over social media and if used correctly you can catapult your business into the limelight with creative campaigns.

While it is always easier said than done, if you’re looking to grow your small food business then these 8 steps could be all you need to expand. Read more about how you can streamline your business here.

We’re a family run business with over 40 years’ experience in providing a wide range of industries will all their packaging needs. If you’re looking for reliable and friendly food packaging suppliers then get in touch today.

15 Favourite Childhood Sweets You’ve Probably Forgotten

Have you ever noticed how sweets aren’t quite the same as they were when you were young? Back then new chocolates and candies were being brought out all the time, some were brilliant while others were just plain wrong. Nevertheless, the latest innovation was available from every shop but now they’ve come off the shelves and are no longer on general sale.

Here are 15 of our childhood favourites that have sadly slipped into obscurity:

#1 Cadbury Dream

childhood-favourites

Everybody loves Cadbury’s chocolate, so naturally a white chocolate version would be a good idea? Hence the Dream was born, and it should have been a storming success but something happened.

Something very bad. Apparently the demand for Cadbury white chocolate wasn’t quite as big as they anticipated and the product ceased to be manufactured just a year after it was released.

#2 Penny Sweets

penny-sweets

While Penny Sweets may still be around, they don’t cost anywhere near a penny anymore and they don’t quite taste the same either. That’s probably a result of removing the ridiculously high sugar count and abiding to EU regulations surrounding food fit for human consumption. Even still, there are plenty of companies out there doing their best to recreate these retro sweets to their former glory.

#3 Candy Necklaces

candy-necklaces

Evan-Amos under CC 2.0

You can still go out and buy candy necklaces, but they definitely seem to have an age limit on them – it looks a bit strange seeing a 40 odd year old man munching on sweets that he’s wearing. Sure, they never tasted the best, but the wearable food was definitely part of the charm so when that goes out the window this sugary sweet is no longer desirable.

#4 Black Jacks

black-jacks

If marmite made sweets then they’d have been Black Jacks, these well-known sweets were aniseed flavoured and made your tongue go black! You can still get Black Jacks but their awesome Pirate logo is now replaced by a boring swirl design. Unless you had a real passion for these sweets, chances are you haven’t had one in a very long time.

#5 Brown Jazzies

Remember those delicious chocolate buttons that were covered in brightly coloured sprinkles? They were awesome! They always looked best packaged in block bottom cellophane bags, making it almost impossible not to buy them.

#6 Frozen Jubbly

jubbly

While technically a drink rather than a sweet, a Frozen Jubbly was one hell of a treat that everyone enjoyed! The beauty of the Jubbly however was the pyramid shaped packaging, where you cut off one corner to slurp the ice lolly away.

#7 Candy Whistles

Who doesn’t want a sweet that whistles? Boring people, that’s who! They really missed a trick not calling these “Toot Sweets” in a nod to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but regardless they’re still as fun and tasty as ever.

#8 Flying Saucers

flying-saucer

Flying saucer under CC BY 2.0

Easily the best thing that has ever been made; sherbert in the middle of a melt-in-your-mouth outer shell. It’s hard to find flying saucers on the shelves anymore, but there are plenty of places that these can be found online.

#9 Cadbury’s Curly Wurly

curly wurly

#10 Dip Dab

Was there anything much better than sticking a tasty strawberry lolly into a fizzy lemon sherbert powder? Possibly, but we can’t think what it could be right now.

#11 Fried Eggs

fried-egg-sweets

Remember when you could get JUST fried eggs if you wanted them, rather than having to buy an entire pack of Haribo? Gone are those glory days, but you can still get fried eggs in the pick and mix selection.

#12 Sherbert Fountains

sherbert fountain

Mrpbps under CC 2.0

Almost as good as the Dip Dab but with a liquorice dipping stick that wasn’t quite to the taste of everyone. They changed the packaging over the last couple of years so it’s now a plastic tube, which doesn’t quite have the same effect.

#13 Shrimps and Bananas

A truly winning combination and thankfully something that can still be easily bought. These two fantastic sweets matched together in see-through cellophane food bags were the reason mothers would avoid certain shops when they had kids in tow.

shrimps-and-banannas

#14 Sweet Peanuts

If you can still get your hands on Sweet Peanuts then you’re extremely lucky! This cracknel centred delight is harder to find in shops than a unicorn in the wild… or a unicorn full stop really. Anybody still making these please get in touch ASAP!

#15 Cola Bottles

cola-bottles

You can’t have a list of fantastic childhood sweets without mentioning Cola Bottles. Sure, you can get them pretty much everywhere but they aren’t quite the same as they were when we were kids. It’s hard to pin down why, but something has definitely changed.

If you’re looking to bring retro sweets back to the mainstream and want beautiful and creative packaging options then come and talk to Charlotte Packaging today. As one of the UK’s leading food packaging suppliers, we have everything you need to make your business stand out from the crowd.

Get in touch today and see how we can help you, message us here or give us a call on 01495 741 589, we’d love to chat!