crash lock for Hattingley Valley

Crash Lock Boxes

Sparklingly Sublime: Hattingley Valley’s Packaging Rebrand

The epitome of quality, family-owned Hattingley Valley produces a range of English sparkling wines with grapes sourced from their own vineyard and a wide range of England’s regions.

Having won over 100 medals, 13 trophies and 3 ‘Best in Class’ awards for their sparkling wine, Hattingley Valley stands for premium value and luxury. Even so, they’re playful, believing that making excellent wine should be just as fun as drinking it.

This marriage of fun and quality had to find its way into their packaging, showing off the quality that the brand is known for. They have been working with Smurfit Kappa Gosport since 2013 to produce their packaging, but recently, the teams started working together on something a little different.

The challenge: premium, proud, and ‘Unapologetically British’

Hattingley Valley is ‘Unapologetically British’, making a name for English sparkling wine around the world. This brand of cheeky patriotism doesn’t end in the vineyard, however: Hattingley Valley created the official Team GB sparkling wine just in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

This limited-edition bottle celebrates the athletes with a beautiful blue and gold logo – and delicious wine within, of course. They also took to the skies and partnered with British Airways in 2019 to celebrate the airline’s centenary year. The promise of these partnerships meant that this packaging venture with Smurfit Kappa Gosport was even more special than usual.

They were after packaging that really told the story of the brand to entice new customers and increase brand awareness. They wanted to demonstrate to customers the quality of the wines inside the packaging whilst showing off their local origins.

A complete rebrand was in order - and Smurfit Kappa Gosport had a few suggestions of their own that took the new boxes to a whole new level.

Cardboard quality: a mysterious sample

Gareth Maxwell, Commercial Director for Hattingley Valley, approached Smurfit Kappa Gosport in 2019. With him, he had a wine box brought back with him from a trip to Spain. It had high-quality composition and print, and he wondered if Smurfit Kappa could emulate the style and update Hattingley Valley’s own packaging offering.

Without any details, the first challenge for Smurfit Kappa Gosport was to identify the grade of the sample Gareth had returned with. Luckily, Smurfit Kappa always rise to challenges, and the box was sent to their Quality & Continuous Improvement Manager to properly identify the composition of the papers.

That done, they used Smurfit Kappa’s unique ‘Paper to Box’ software, which determines the optimal board grade to match box compression strength.

Design details: a crash-lock box

Sample identified; Smurfit Kappa Gosport wanted to offer an enhanced box to Hattingley Valley. They proposed a crash lock box with integral dividers in the optimum cardboard grade. 

This design can be shipped to clients flat-packed, which saves on shipping space and cost and subsequently benefits the environment as well.

Further, it’s easy to assemble, reducing labour costs. This was a key concern for Hattingley Valley, so the crash-lock design works well for their needs.

It also reduces the need for tape or other secondary packaging. This makes it much more likely that consumers will make the effort to recycle the packaging, making the brand eco-friendlier.

Of course, this crash-lock design is also stable and sturdy: one of the challenges of premium drinks packaging is ensuring that the delicate products inside arrive in one piece.

Using a CAD table to show off the benefits of this design over a conventional outer box, Smurfit Kappa Gosport had Gareth convinced, and the project moved forward.

crash lock for Hattingley Valley 


Portraying the brand: a premium print

When those features were finalised, it was time to talk about the finer details. The Hattingley team were keen to display the brand’s values, and so their design team worked closely with Smurfit Kappa to determine what was possible.

Smurfit Kappa Gosport suggested using a High-Quality Post Print (HQPP) in up to six colours, complete with varnish, on a Kemi-Lite board type.

Kemi-Lite board is already coated, so it’s possible to achieve a high-quality sheen finish without additional cost.

This meant that the brand were able to create six designs that represent them perfectly: a montage of all things ‘Unapologetically British’, whilst being elegant and a little bit playful as well. 

The vibrant designs mean the boxes stand out on shelves, some boasting striking coats of arms and Union Jacks, others enveloped in refined, sophisticated black and gold.

All the designs are richly coloured thanks to the HQPP and give off a premium air to entice customers to buy.

The verdict: sparklingly sublime

Hattingley Valley were so delighted with the end product that they suggested the packaging be put forward for any packaging awards available!

Smurfit Kappa Gosport now produce all Hattingley Valley’s core designs, having worked with them over 16 briefs to date. They look forward to working together on future designs and seeing the brand evolve and grow.

“In the years we have dealt with Smurfit Kappa we have been extremely pleased with their service of which our Account Manager Neil Macfarlane has been very attentive in overseeing the rebranding of our packaging solving any problems that arose of which we were pleased with the end result” said Gareth.

Want to know how Smurfit Kappa can help to produce the premium drinks packaging of your dreams? Get in touch via the form below.


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