A MESSAGE FROM
THE CROXSON FAMILY
2020 has been some year - it’s brought an ever changing new normal.
NEW ONLINE SHOP
LAUNCHED FOR CLOSURES
Purchasing our closures is now a much easier process from our e-commerce site.
A MESSAGE FROM THE
2020 has been some year, bringing a whole world of uncertainty and an ever changing new normal.
It has presented new opportunities, but we are deeply aware that for others, there has been no light at the end of the tunnel for now. And for those still battling, we will support you however we can.
Many customers have adapted, and like them we’ve had to embrace not just a new normal, but also the ever-changing needs and requirements of our customers.
Raising orders and delivering your glass has continued, experiencing the challenges of working from home, but now with a balance of office-based work. As staff wellbeing is paramount, we have introduced flexible shift patterns, social distancing and increased health and safety.
The pandemic did afford us the opportunity to change many of our systems. We launched a new web portal, allowing our brewing customers to order crown corks online, and it will shortly enable our food customers to buy twist-off caps. Lockdown also acted as a catalyst for change in our hectic lifestyles, with a desire to improve physical and mental health leading to increased sales in low alcohol, alcoholfree and soft drink brands.
Despite the challenges, we have extended our product portfolio into Home & Beauty.
While other exciting projects included designing a beautiful glass jar for M&S Percy Pig sweets and creating an eco-friendly glass bottle for Eden Mill Gin.
It’s certainly a year we’ll never forget, but thank you for including us on your journey, and we look forward to a better 2021.
Throughout 2020, virtual meetings have replaced face-to-face ones, while most us have discovered the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
Amidst these changes, we’re delighted to welcome Amanda Pritchard, who heads up our brand-new Home & Beauty division.
With many years of experience in cosmetics and home fragrance, Amanda has a wealth of knowledge that our customers can tap into.
Bolstering our dedicated procurement team in Asia is Elliot Chong, who firstly worked closely with our Australasia team, but is now supporting all our offices in this key market.
Meanwhile, two existing staff members have progressed into new Business Development Manager roles.
Tracey Kendall is taking on our exports remit and diverse customer portfolio, while Nikki Hamill now has a more senior role helping to develop an over-arching strategy for our spirits team.
ADDING HOME & BEAUTY
TO OUR PORTFOLIO
This year has seen the exciting launch of our new Home & Beauty division.
From home fragrance to cosmetics and hand sanitisers, the diverse nature of glass enables products to be totally transformed with colourful and contemporary packaging, creating a desirable aesthetic that cannot be ignored.
With such a busy and competitive marketplace, it’s all about ensuring high visibility.
From extending your product’s shelf-life to simply attracting attention, our bespoke designs not only provide a clean finish, but also add a touch of luxury and can greatly influence the purchasing decision of consumers.
NEW ONLINE SHOP
LAUNCHED FOR CLOSURES
Purchasing our closures is now a much easier process from our e-commerce site, designed to work around our customers working times, rather than our office hours.
Tim Croxson, COO, commented: “The launch of the e-commerce site gives our customers the added flexibility of being able to order closures to suit their own timeframe, as and when their schedule demands.”
We have started with crowns earlier this year, and we are shortly adding twist-off closures, so our many food customers can also join in.
This will also mean a reduction in our minimum order, which from initial research, will allow more customers to benefit from our wide UK held stock.
PUTTING OUR STAMP ON
THE SIBA ASSURED INDEPENDENT INITIATIVE
Having supported SIBA and our brewing customers for many years, the partnership has deepened through the launch of a unique ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ printed crown, available exclusively to SIBA members on our new e-commerce site.
Given the pandemic and continued interest in ‘artisan’ brands by multinational drinks companies, it was felt that the ‘Assured Independent’ initiative would provide a degree of unity across the craft beer sector, acting as a badge of premium quality.
Provided at a price normally applied to large bespoke printed runs, we wanted to give back to the industry by bringing a greater economy of scale to every brewer, regardless of size.
M&S TICKLED PINK
BY OUR PERCY PIG SWEETIE JAR
With much of the UK in need of some good news, M&S has recently launched a bespoke 1kg Percy Pig styled sweetie jar, designed and produced by Croxsons.
The popular range of soft gums sweets has been an integral part of M&S for more than 25 years. Usually sold in individual packets, the launch of a collectable glass jar of Percy Pig sweets has been a real treat for adults and children alike.
Having a long-standing relationship with M&S, both directly and through their supply chain, Croxsons were asked to supply the glass packaging for the launch, together with an on-brand closure.
Taking a product from their standard range, we improved the design to create a bespoke jar, which included a rounded flat front with a moulded outline of Percy Pig himself.
The screw top closure was custom made for the jar, finished in the Percy Pig pink brand style.
In producing the jars, Croxsons had to balance careful supply & demand projections. As the jar could only be produced from a single ‘gob’ of molten glass due to its weight and shape, it required multiple productions, so careful planning was required to ensure other projections were also met.
“Percy is the nation’s favourite pig, so great care goes into creating all Percy Pig products. This collectable, giftable jar was designed to be one of the heroes of our Christmas range, so the product needed to be spot on. Croxsons responded to the brief and delivered a bespoke jar and closure that met our brief perfectly. Having recently visited one of our flagship stores, I can confirm that the jars look amazing on the shelves and our customers just love it!”
Laura Fernandez, Senior Packaging Technologist – Ambient food & food hardware Paul McGrane, Sales Director added: “In supplying glass packaging solutions, we work with many fabulous brands, but there is something special about working with an icon of the UK high-street, but also for Percy Pig sweets in being such a recognisable part of most children’s up-bringing.”
GETTING SMASHED WITH DRYNKS
Working together with The Label Makers, we’ve supplied the primary packaging for the Smashed range of 0% abv ales, beers and ciders from Manchester-based Drynks Unlimited.
As a start-up, Drynks has enjoyed a considerable run of success this year, having received funding from a favourable appearance on Dragon’s Den to its Smashed range, overtaking big established no and low alcohol products, such as Peroni, San Miguel and Budweiser in terms of units sold in Booths supermarket. And with consumers looking to drink less alcohol during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond, a further opportunity has been created for alcohol-free brands to thrive as people focus more on their health and wellbeing.
Croxsons produced a complete range of amber, flint and green glass 330ml bottles, along with a branded crown and the UK’s first 660ml sharing bottle for alcohol-free lager. Both the bottle and label packaging ideally support the premium feel of the brand.
“It’s vital as a start-up to have the right team around you who can support your vision, and both Croxsons and The Labels Makers had the ability to do just that. We needed heavyweight reputable and personable suppliers with experience and they both delivered. The 330ml bottles from Croxsons have been excellently received and we have more recently taken supply of 660ml for the sharing bottle.”
Richard Clark, Drynks Unlimited Founder & Managing Director
SCAPEGRACE MIXED TO PERFECTION
ScapeGrace is the brainchild of two brothers-in-law and a part-time musician. It’s one of New Zealand’s cleanest gins, distilled from the glacial waters of the Southern Alps, which are famed for their purity.
Croxsons was delighted to create single-serve gin & tonic bottles for ScapeGrace, as it taps into the growing demand for Ready-to-Drink products.
Available in blood orange or lime flavour, these pre-mixed drinks are perfect for summer picnics or at-home aperitifs with your favourite canapés.
With an iconic gin bottle already in its portfolio, this new range needed a striking bespoke design to match.
Our innovative production meant that ScapeGrace could enjoy an equally iconic bottle, but without the usual demands of large, unsustainable orders.
SUSTAINABILITY WITH STYLE
EDEN MILL’S ECO-FRIENDLY MOVE FROM CERAMIC TO GLASS
Eden Mill, Scotland’s first single-site distillery and brewery, crafting gin, whisky and beer, opted to change the packaging of its best-selling brand – Love Gin.
The gin collection was bottled in ceramic, but they wanted to move to a glass bottle in response to trade and consumer feedback.
The result is a new lightweight glass bottle, which is more easily recycled than its ceramic counterpart.
And by using 18% less glass than most other spirit bottles, it attracts a lower carbon footprint, helping Eden Mill to emphasise its sustainability commitment.
Tony Kelly, co-owner of Eden Mill, said: “Having listened to feedback from both trade and consumers, the new glass Love Gin design represents an important statement for Eden Mill. By being 100% carbon efficient, we aim to be the first carbon neutral distillery by 2022, so from a sustainability perspective, moving to glass is the right strategy for the business. It also enables us to create some important production and supply chain efficiencies as a result.”
CONCEPTION TO COMPLETION
Eden Mill were taken on the full end-to-end customer journey with Croxsons. Our in-house team wanted to create something that stood apart from the competition yet remained distinctly Eden Mill.
Inspired by Eden Mill’s whisky bottle, the 500ml & 700ml clear bottle features a dimpled geometric design on the front, smoothing out to leave space for the label, with the brand name subtly embossed on the back.
Our specialist team used a precise screen print to ensure a premium finish, with the decoration panels positioned flush with the exterior of the dimples.
From an aesthetic perspective, the crystal cut dimple effect ties into the heritage of St Andrews and replicates the Eden Mill distillery bottle from the 1800s. An additional trade benefit is a much better pouring capability for mixing and serving, as well as stock taking.
Tony Kelly added: “Once again, Croxsons have provided an on-brand solution that not only complements our existing range, but also helps reinforce our heritage in a striking and stylish way.”
We needed to ensure that the closure would complement the design as a whole, finally settling on a bespoke wooden debossed GPI.
This was understated so as not to detract from the gin’s bold colour, but with enough style to make a statement and fit the product’s summertime theme.
Our design team was pretty chuffed to win a Gold in the Harpers Design Awards for the re-design of the core Love Gin brand, having also picked up multiple accolades for the Gin Liqueurs range.
NEW GLASS PACKAGING
HELPS DOUBLE ONLINE SALES
With glass replacing ceramic as the preferred packaging medium, the new 70cl bottle for trade, along with the existing 50cl size for retail, has seen online sales of Love Gin double since launch.
The distiller has retained the traditional Eden Mill Love Gin ceramic bottle as an option to buy via its website, and a glass miniature Love Gin version has also been launched.
Croxsons COO, Tim Croxson, commented: “Eden Mill’s ceramic look is well established, but the switch to glass has been important, not least in delivering increased sustainability.”
TURNING A CRISIS INTO AN OPPORTUNITY
Throughout the year, we’ve seen business after business suffer the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve also seen our health service do an almost impossible task to protect and save lives, with no likelihood of how or when it will end.
However, the spirit and resolve of UK companies always shine through, with many in the alcoholic drinks sector rising to the challenge by manufacturing hand sanitising products.
And as we’re a producer of containers, we felt that we had a moral duty to contribute towards such a worthy and essential cause.
It was this conscious decision that also inspired us to diversify the Croxsons portfolio further, by creating containers and closures for home fragrances and beauty products.
We’ve always had a ‘glass half full’ philosophy and sometimes, a positive reaction can lead to a successful outcome.
LOCKDOWN AND HEALTHCONSCIOUS DRINKING
From the way we worked, to how we bought our essentials, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that nobody’s life looks the same as it did at the beginning of this year. But have these changes in our routines affected our behaviours?
When the lockdown was first announced, social media pages were flooded with promises of a new, healthier start. Almost like a second New Year, this drastic adjustment acted as a catalyst for change in our lifestyles.
It’s not uncommon for those looking to get healthy to decrease their alcohol intake.
Research by Alcohol Change UK found that 1 in 3 of survey respondents had either stopped or reduced the amount of alcohol consumption; compared to 1 in 5 who found themselves drinking more frequently.
Citing a desire for improvements to both physical and mental health, this has seen an increase in sales for lower alcohol and alcohol-free brands.
For producers of soft, low-alcohol and alcohol-free alternative drinks – just like New Years, Dry January and Sober October – lockdown provided an opportunity to expand their audience by connecting with these new curious drinkers.
With a second lockdown having the same commercial consequences just before Christmas, utilising digital platforms and promoting your products to a relevant audience will ensure that your loyal customer base continues to grow long into 2021.