Supplying the brewing, food and beverage industry.

Æcorn Drinks Pillow Boxes Create Quite The Stir

Article by Saxon Packaging

An aperitif, with no alcohol? Designed to recreate that pre-dinner excitement, Æcorn set about to create the perfect non-alcoholic Spritzes.

Wondering why non-alcoholic drinks sound familiar? It’s because Seedlip Drinks – Æcorn’s sister brand – are the originals in the category, and thanks to them the no- and low-alcohol sector has been gaining traction over the last few years.

Like Seedlip, Æcorn’s products are complex, sophisticated – meant for grown-ups, even when they’re not drinking.

Æcorn take pleasure in crafting their drinks: carefully hand-picking grapes from their Sussex vineyard to ensure that the characteristic bitter flavours of aperitifs can be recreated faithfully.

The brief

Seedlip Drinks have been long-time customers of ours (Saxon Packaging), so it made sense to Æcorn to explore building a similar, successful partnership with us.

Getting in touch in March 2021, Mary McAneney, Brand Change Manager for Diageo, explained their dilemma. Having previously worked for Seedlip, she was in a unique position to create packaging that was both cohesive with the sister brand but also stood out on its own.

Æcorn wanted packaging that truly represented the brand – it was to be used in collaboration with a popular recipe subscription box, and had to stick in people’s minds. However, alongside style came form and function: it was imperative that the drinks arrived safely and in good condition.

Saxon Packaging’s internal design team had plenty of packaging ideas and suggested a number of designs, each reviewed carefully by Æcorn. Ultimately, a Pillow Box was decided upon.

Why a Pillow Box?

Sleek, sturdy, and easy to use, a Pillow Box offers advantages both to the retailer and the end consumer. They are of particular interest within eCommerce because they reduce product damages in transit whilst also offering a unique, interesting shape with plenty of surface area for branding opportunities.

Popular with the retail and fashion industry, their name comes from their distinctive pillow-like shape – and their attractiveness can in part be ascribed to the fact that they’re easy and quick to assemble. This means that packing processes can be streamlined – which is especially crucial for businesses that don’t necessarily have huge warehouses in which to keep ready-assembled boxes and those who want to spend the least amount of time during the packing & filling process.

Easy-open packages also mean that customers are more likely to think favourably about the brand – which is an especially important factor for promotional campaigns like this one, and eCommerce as a whole. The customer journey doesn’t end when they click purchase: ideally, that’s when CRM strategies kick in to turn them into loyal, lifetime customers. Part of this is the unboxing experience, which has proven crucial to eCommerce success.

Their curvature and shape means they see a reduction in product damages in transit – perfect for sending across the country. On top of that, they create an interesting shape to make the brand stand out. In Æcorn’s case, this is particularly important: they were sending their drinks as a promotion. Not only did the packaging have to stand out amongst the other products in the popular recipe subscription box, but it was Æcorn’s one opportunity to be memorable and impress these potential customers.

The challenge

This particular Pillow Pack would need to have some unique features. Each pack would have to hold a mini Æcorn aperitif and a Schweppes can of tonic. It was important that neither could move around much in transit to prevent either flat tonic or a broken bottle. The tricky part? The two are different sizes.

Luckily, Saxon Packaging have years of experience in bespoke eCommerce packaging and had just the solution: an internal fitting that secured both drink elements and provided customers with a seamless unboxing experience.

The branding

So, the Pillow Pack had been decided upon as a solution with a bespoke internal fitting providing the utmost protection. But how to translate Æcorn’s bright, bold branding?

A lively orange background – the colour of a perfect, summery, non-alcoholic Spritz – was agreed. The brand name, campaign slogan, and tagline were emblazoned in eye-catching white, making use of every surface of the Pillow Pack.

Due to the quantity of the order and the design requirements, they recommended a digital print solution. It offers a great range of colours, so the tell-tale orange could be just right. It’s also an efficient and cost-effective way to fulfil smaller orders.

The result

“We have worked with Saxon Packaging for a number of years; their support throughout this project was seamless as ever. Saxon provided an innovative solution to a tricky and compact design, delivering within a tight deadline. We are thrilled with both the design and quality of the final pillow packs and have received great feedback from consumers. Thank you Saxon for your continued support!” Mary McAneney, Diageo.

Meanwhile, Dan Peek, Customer Services & Key Account Manager at Saxon Packaging, spoke on behalf of the entire team involved when he said:

“We thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. I’m delighted with how these boxes have turned out and look forward to supporting Æcorn with their packaging requirements as they continue to grow.”

Article by Saxon Packaging

Jessica Brindley

Jessica Brindley

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