Smurfit Kappa equips UK brewery with Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging solution
25 Jul 2022 --- Smurfit Kappa Gosport in the UK is teaming up with Cotswold Brew to produce Amazon-certified beer packaging for the Hawkstone brand’s e-commerce channels. The beer packaging solution passes strict testing requirements and can be used for shipping products via Amazon without any additional costs.
The packaging is Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) compliant, which means it is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials, providing customers a better unboxing experience and leaving them more likely to reorder.
Suitable packaging can be one of the biggest issues that manufacturers face when selling products online. Cotswold Brew approached Smurfit Kappa for a beer packaging e-commerce solution and one of its key requirements was finding a supplier that could withstand the demands of a rapidly growing brand without compromising on quality or service.
More specifically, Cotswold Brew needed delivery boxes which could withstand the rigors of the national courier network and protect the Hawkstone lager during its journey to the customer.
“One of the main ways we overcame the challenges of Amazon was through our UK ISTA lab in Smurfit Kappa Northampton (UK), which is fully equipped to test any ISTA procedure standard. One of two APASS certified labs within the business globally, the other is located in Hoogeveen, Netherlands,” a spokesperson at Smurfit Kappa tells PackagingInsights.
Amazon FFP compliant
Hawkstone is a brand developed by Cotswold Brew, who have been customers of Smurfit Kappa since November 2021.
The company initially supplied beer packaging for Hawkstone which was “fit for purpose and fit the brief they’d provided.” Cotswold Brew was selling through various channels, including local breweries, direct to consumers through its own website, and Amazon.
Smurfit Kappa explains that selling through Amazon is where the problems began, as the e-commerce giant has strict requirements for the packaging of products sold through its site. Hawkstone’s original packaging was an outer box with assembled dividers, not suitable for Amazon sales.
The packaging supplier redesigned the beer packaging to meet the strict requirements of Amazon and tested it at its ISTA lab, ensuring it was fit for purpose and meets the challenges of the e-commerce supply chain.
The new solution was made up of two inserts, which suspended the beer bottles away from each other and the outer packaging while in transit.
Reduced environmental impact
In 2018, Amazon’s FFP incentive program was extended beyond the US and Canada to include France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
The e-commerce giant incentivized vendors from these countries to send specific products to Amazon fulfillment centers in packaging that require no additional packaging or further preparation by offering one-time early adopter credit for every item that adheres to the new requirements before October 1, 2019.
Previously, many boxes were being damaged in transit, which meant that customers weren't receiving their orders on time and replacement orders and repeat courier fees were costing the brewery in excess of £20,000 (US$24,000) a month.
After testing at its ISTA lab, Smurfit Kappa created packs that were Amazon ISTA 6 Compliant. The company says it not only helps customers to reduce costs, but to reduce their environmental impact by choosing to use less packaging material, meaning less raw materials and waste.
As specialists in e-commerce packaging, Smurfit Kappa says it has access to a range of tools which help customers find the right solutions for e-commerce packaging.
The company concludes by saying it was able to deliver packaging which reduced costs, improved the supply chain and supported growing demand for Hawkstone.
By Natalie Schwertheim
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.