Supplying the brewing, food and beverage industry.

‘Bubbly & Bold: Dalston’s Soda Company Think Unboxing’

Dalstons Soda

Bubbly & Bold: Dalston’s Soda Company Think Unboxing

Named for one of London’s hippest areas, Dalston’s Soda Company is keen to make a big impact in everything they do.

A newer client for Smurfit Kappa, they got in touch with the Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple team in January 2021 after a referral from an existing customer Smurfit Kappa customer.

Though they were already furnished with an extensive range of eCommerce packaging, Dalston’s Soda Company were after packaging that would improve their customers’ experience – but weren’t sure how to do it.

Their main goals were to use the brand’s punchy branding to continue to make a visual impact, whilst at the same time improving the unboxing experience and give the product more protection.

Read on to discover how the Smurfit Kappa team were able to create bespoke eCommerce packaging that ticked every ‘box’.

Vibrant visual language

Dalston’s punchy, vibrant street life is evoked in the Dalston’s Soda Company branding, which is bright and eye-catching.

They wanted this branding to play a key part in the boxes’ final forms. Combining the vast eCommerce knowledge from the Smurfit Kappa Experience Centre Team with the fantastic in-house designers, a bespoke eCommerce box was created that showcased the turntable design, harking back to Dalston’s famous music scene.

It was decided that the boxes would feature three colours: black for impact, white for detailing, and a bold, flashy pink for the background. The print, of course, had to be accurate and full-coverage: the bold colours don’t allow for anything less.

This allowed the boxes to play a crucial role in the eCommerce journey: they would be eye-catching when left on doorsteps and in kitchens, prompting people to find out more about the company.

The opening experience

One of the main requests from Dalston’s was that Smurfit Kappa investigate how to make their boxes function without the use of secondary packaging materials.

This was especially important given the cohesiveness of the turntable design: packaging tape would ruin the visual impact entirely.

Plus, Smurfit Kappa’s research into customer behaviour and preference shows that people much prefer packaging that they can open without any help from tools.

Consequently, the Smurfit Kappa Experience Centre team came up with an opening design that combines double-sided tape with a perforated tear-off strip. They performed some tests to ensure that the strip was strong enough to stay together whilst tearing through double wall cardboard.

Overall, this attention to detail from the team enhanced the unboxing experience, making it a frustration-free element of the customer journey.

On top of that, it allowed the print to show off the design without tape getting in the way.

Combined with the rest of Dalston’s excellent customer experience, the box plays a huge part in communicating the quality and care that goes into their products.

Assembly & transit protection

A requirement for Dalston’s was that the finished packaging should be easy to assemble, which would allow them to save time and labour hours. Luckily, Smurfit Kappa are experts in bespoke packaging solutions, and were able to create a box that fit those needs.

One of the key factors when considering eCommerce drinks packaging is the protection it offers the product when in transit. Smurfit Kappa were keen to ensure that the sparkling sodas had optimum protection alongside the frustration-free design.

The Smurfit Kappa Experience Centre team really took this on board. They took into consideration how the product would be handled in the supply chain, as well as the product weight and material themselves.

On top of that, it had to offer a great substrate, as the print is such a key element of the final design – and not something that Dalston’s Soda Company could compromise on.

Eventually, Smurfit Kappa established the best board grade for this design. Tough enough to protect the cans inside, while smooth enough that it would retain the accuracy and vividness of the print.


The final factor to consider was how eco-friendly the boxes were. As Smurfit Kappa worked with an integrated model and had a full chain of custody over the box production, they were able to guarantee FSC certified materials were used.

This means that not only are the boxes themselves made from eco-friendly material, they’re also fully recyclable – something made even more prominent by the lack of additional tape. People are much more inclined to complete a task if there are fewer hurdles in the way – which means that they are less likely to recycle if they have to go through the effort of removing plastic tape, and vice versa.

The final product is edgy, bold, and not going anywhere – just like the brand themselves. Subsequently, Smurfit Kappa have continued to provide support for Dalstons on their retail side of their business – and are delighted to be able to continue supporting them in the future with their packaging requirements.

“We wanted to increase the visual impact of our variety packs as well as provide effective protection for the drinks. Luckily, after being referred by an existing Smurfit Kappa customer who we know, we made contact with Smurfit Kappa in Barnstaple. The team there were a pleasure to work with, and they helped us achieve everything we were after from these boxes. Since we’ve had this latest packaging made, we have seen less damaged goods and received great customer feedback. We look forward to continuing to use Smurfit Kappa for our various packaging needs” Duncan O’Brien, Founder of Dalston’s Soda

Want to find out how Smurfit Kappa could be the answer to your packaging problems? Visit



Picture of Makisha Schultz

Makisha Schultz

Leave a Reply

Create An Account

Create a subscriber account today.
*subject to terms and conditions.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Weekly Tutorial