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In depth, with BoxMart Managing Director Jo Offord

BoxMart Managing Director Jo Offord recently spoke with Packaging News about the corrugated packaging market, and how BoxMart is continually adapting and developing to meet customer requirements. While some of Jo’s contributions can be read in the February 2019 issue of Packaging News, we thought you might be interested to read all of what Jo had to say.

Describe your business in 3 words

Inspirational, collaborative and design-focused.  

How was trading in 2018?

We continued to experience healthy growth during 2018 through working with a wide variety of fantastic new and existing clients, as well as introducing new stock lines. It was also a very successful year in terms of industry recognition, including winning a Solutions Award and a WorldStar Award.  

What’s your strategy for 2019?

We’ll be building on the significant growth achieved over the last few years, ensuring our systems are efficient and our products and designs remain at the very forefront of consumer trends. Steps such as the recent appointment of Phil Mansell as Procurement Director demonstrate our commitment to continued development.  

Thoughts on Brexit?

As a streamlined, nimble business we are confident we can continue to deliver our clients with the highest level of service as well as identifying and responding quickly to any market changes resulting from the uncertainty around Brexit.  

Amidst the plastic debate, are paper and corrugate capitalising?

Though plastics will always have a place, we’re finding an increasing number of customers are requesting packaging solutions that are solely corrugate, carton and paper based. It’s forcing the industry to innovate, and we’re responding to that. Our in-house design team has enabled us to respond to this demand quickly and effectively, for example our Gin & Tonkin e-commerce presentation box is able to hold numerous gin bottles of different shapes and sizes with zero plastic.

  Do you expect retail ready packaging to be more in demand, given sustainability debate?

Retail ready packaging solutions are undeniably growing in popularity. Removing the need to decant products from a larger box, and potentially additional plastic packaging, it presents clear sustainability benefits in terms of overall packaging reduction and use of recyclable and/or recycled materials.  

Are brands incorporating retail ready as part of their overall marketing message?

The best businesses realise that great packaging is part of their brand identity. Retail ready packaging presents clear opportunities to reinforce a product’s message at the point of sale, adding invaluable on-shelf presence. Given heightened in-store competition across all sectors, brands must use every opportunity to relay their story, and retail ready packaging gives another chance to do just that.  

How popular is corrugated in the POS sector?

Very! Especially in light of the debate over plastics. Choosing corrugate for temporary POS units allows brands to frequently change designs and create striking POS displays.  

What are your customers currently demanding? Any particular trends?

In the social media age, it’s important to create a memorable, shareable experience. Distinctive packaging is the perfect way for brands to stand out and engage consumers. With this in mind we’re seeing a rise in demand for vivid colours, unusual shapes and striking minimalism.  

Was there a project you’ve been particularly proud of in the last 12 months?

So many! Our launch of e-commerce boxes in particular has been hugely successful. It’s a huge growth area, and something BoxMart spotted and responded to with great success.   

Any new technology that’s caught your eye?

The continuing progression of digital print technologies for packaging is really exciting, as well as specialist paper-based products designed as alternatives to single use plastics, such as Swanline Paper & Board’s weather resistant Cygnus Eco Board.  

Do you have one message for industry peers?

We must pull together with one industry voice. Packaging presents so many benefits and we must all play a role in communicating that clearly and succinctly to the market and the population as a whole.
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