A collaborative project: Steens, David Trubridge, Think Packaging & Wrapology.
Manuka flowers only open for a few short weeks of the year, and if conditions are just right, bees are able to harvest the nectar to make honey. 27+ UMF is one of the highest grades of Manuka honey, and limited amounts are available annually. Steens’ have developed their unique WholeComb extraction method to ensure more of the health benefits of the honey remain, which are generally lost through commercial honey pasteurizing and filtration techniques. With such a special release, the product needed an equally special and bespoke piece of packaging.
David Trubridge’s (DT) team designed the look & feel of the package (including the early flower workings & motion) and pulled the inspiration of the hive design from beehives themselves; to attract the attention of premium shoppers by contrasting bright and fun floral colours against all the black and gold packaging in the emerging and ultra-competitive Manuka Honey category, just as honeybees become irresistibly drawn to the bright colours of flowers. Steens also wanted to share the passion and joy they have for their product and the process of opening a hive when collecting honey. The overarching goal was to challenge the status quo and create an emotional connection with consumers by making it a unique and memorable unboxing experience.
From DT's direction, it was a challenging & lengthy process to execute the design. Working closely with Mat Bogust from Think Packaging, the team meticulously hand-crafted and engineered everything, ensuring the outer box and the flower perfectly and seamlessly opened, revealing the jar inside. Upon twisting a tab on the base of the flower, the interlocked, crosshatched petals unfurl, causing dramatic movement & wonder when revealing the jar. The jar is secured by two straps. The first strap is the ‘seatbelt’ that securely holds the jar inside the box during transit and general movement. It is threaded through and around the base of the box and finished with a tamper evident tear tab. Upon releasing the first strap, there is another that cradles the honey jar, pulling this, it allows the consumer to lift the jar out and discover the precious cargo inside. Upon further investigation of the box, you’ll find a perfect, friction fit booklet holder on the underside of the lid – boasting the honey’s benefits and origin.
Wrapology was responsible for the manufacture of the product; Our knowledge and expertise in hand assembly as well as the finishing of the components was vital as it was no small feat to produce at the standard desired.
Only the finest paper stocks were selected – these were imported from GF Smith & Arjowiggins into our factory in China. Using quality dyed paper vs. printing the colours, ensures vivid colours are retained along the cut edges. And it was paramount the integrity of the paper stocks could hold up, especially under the mechanical conditions of the opening and closing flower.
We used a 1200gsm low moisture black dyed board to ensure that no grey edges were visible when the board was around the thumbcuts. The board was then lined with the European paper. All of the paper folds and joints are hidden through clever engineering and design giving a seamless appearance.
Project management: Nikki Withington, Square One