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Case Study: Speciality Farm Foods Range Launch

A Starpack Award winning range of packaging designed and manufactured by Meridian Speciality Packaging for the launch of the Speciality Farm Foods brand.

The Challenge

For the launch of the Speciality Farm Foods brand the challenge of providing packaging worthy of housing some of the most specialist ingredients and products available to the UK food market had to be met.

The following key issues were identified at the beginning of the project:

  1. Text clarity was essential due to the wealth of product information that was integral to the overall experience
  2. This needed to be balanced with a rustic appearance
  3. A manufacturing technique designed to emphasise the filigree of the central logo was required

The Process

We worked closely with the customer's visual design agency Kameleon Brand Design and followed a standard iterative process (see Meridian's Design and Build Process for more information).

Once designs had been proposed, tested and refined, a series of prototypes were developed at each stage for further testing both by the customer and by the agency partners.

As an uncoated board was selected, the higher absorbency meant that the intended spot gloss UV detail did not pass production trials due to a natural dulling. The solution was embossing, which changed the light reflection to create the desired (and now literal) depth designed to invite the consumer into the world of "SFF".

Packaging a brand so strongly based on multi-local origination and an ethical standpoint also meant trying to balance the aesthetics with environmentally friendly materials. Without compromising the desired look and feel the team was able to select a 75% recyclable, acid free, ECF carton board produced from FSC accredited sources, also using printing inks comprising a vegetable and mineral mix designed for reduced environmental impact, thus fulfilling a key part of the brief.

The Results

The solution to the balance of rustic colour blocks with text clarity was a fine grade uncoated board offering high absorbency to produce a textured look in the areas of rich, solid colour which identify each variety, but also the stark whiteness required for excellent character definition.

The structural design of the most common tuck-in-top carton was classic, an envelope base offering reduced production costs against the initial crash-locked design. The integration of a strong v-shaped relief located at the lid-tuck area at the top of the carton also combined functional efficiency with a strong arrow-like invitation into the product itself.

Across the range were 3 sizes of the tuck-in-top cartons; an innovative vanilla pods display carton designed to have the same footprint at fixture as a more conventional carton used for the vanilla essence bottle; a large olive oil carton; and a promotional display box used during the soft-launch of the range. Various inserts were produced to house the different product combinations.

The cartons were subsequently awarded a coveted 
Starpack Award in the Best Food Design Category - a highly competitive sector in which we were very proud to prevail.


Origination: Computer to plate Fuji LP-NV negative plates Screening: 150 line 2400DPI
Inks: 4 colour process with 2 spot colours for each variant (1 common grey plus variant colours across the range) - ‘Parallel Perfecting’ 4-colour Set and Offset Pantone Conventional Litho Mix
Printing: Komori Lithrone 28-5 colour press Coating: Machine Matt seal PV110
Embossing: 6.5mm Etched Magnesium Die on Heidelberg SB Foil/Emboss Cylinder
Cutting and Creasing: Heidelberg SB Die-cutting Cylinder
Gluing: Jagenburg Diana 350
Material: 350gsm Accent Smooth Glacier White (Supplied by GF Smith)

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