The London Fancy Box Company is a leading European luxury goods packaging company. Philip Yorke talked to Sales Director Drew Dixon about how the company is meeting the challenges of ‘seasonality’ and its innovative concepts for adding value and shelf appeal.
Adding innovation to shelf appeal
The London Fancy Box Company (LFB) was established in London more than 100 years ago and is still currently owned and run by the fourth generation of its founder. The company has won many international awards for packaging design and innovation and is well known for its creative abilities and technical expertise. Today LFB is one of the top packaging companies in the European Luxury Goods and Multi-Media market and its range of products and services continue to be extended to meet growing demand.
LFB specialises in designing and producing products for the beauty care, multimedia, premium drinks & publishing markets; however, a growing part of its business is now also dedicated to contract packaging, which it carries out for a variety of luxury goods manufacturers.
A growing luxury goods market
The luxury goods market as a whole has proved very resilient to the recession that has hit other industries hard and the market continues to grow at around 3-5 per cent per annum according to Dixon, “We are looking for growth in line with the luxury goods market as a whole. We are busy extending our contract packaging services particularly in this area to overcome the seasonality issue which has always been a problem at the top end of the market. Demand for our speciality packaging products kicks off in June, mainly for the Christmas market with the beauty care sector, and the entertainment sectors are extremely active at that time in the build-up to Christmas. This is the season when box-sets for DVDs and luxury beauty care packaging are at their zenith, but we have the capacity to meet this spike in demand.
“Security is also a big issue, especially at this time of year when new products are being launched by the big luxury goods companies. We have the strictest controls and protocols when it comes to matters concerning the protection of our clients’ intellectual property. However, developing and designing the packaging in-house helps to ensure that there are no breaches of confidentiality whatsoever in the run-up to the big launch.”
Dixon added, “Today we are moving into new market segments and one of the most successful markets we are now serving is the premium whisky market, where limited edition, single malt whiskies are in greater demand than ever before. Men’s toiletries is another fast growing market that we are now serving and we have already achieved some notable successes here. Other non-traditional luxury goods markets such as those for quality jigsaw puzzles are also an interesting market for us. We can cope with highly complex, innovative rigid boxes and our one-stop shop approach means that we are very competitive throughout every stage of packaging development and production.”
Adding value to innovation
Cost is still a major consideration when it comes to presentation and even the big brands look to save money in this highly competitive market. Today LFB plays a major role in lifting the on-shelf appeal of a product, without adding to the cost of the packaging itself. For higher value products the company’s focus is on more innovative and cost-effective packaging solutions and formats for its outer presentations.
Dixon said, “Where we can make a difference is by offering our experience in adding value through special lamination and embossing techniques. We are well known for our creativity when it comes to innovation in design and we have market-specific design teams that cover sectors such as beverages, beauty care, cosmetics and entertainment. Each client has their own dedicated product manager that is steeped in the product culture and works in close collaboration with the marketing team to produce the optimum results, both in terms of presentation and cost-effectiveness. We work with many of the world’s biggest brands in the luxury goods sector and also work with customers such as Cadbury’s, whom for many years we have supplied with packaging for their premium brands.
“Our turnover is now approaching £20 million, which makes us one of the largest in our field in Europe and we have possibly the biggest capacity in Europe for producing high-quality rigid boxes. We recently invested in a large format hot-foil wrapping machine, which means that we can now cope with much larger pack formats when it comes to hot-foil stamping and finishing.”
The secret of LFB’s success lies not only in its dedicated customer support but also in its ability to provide innovative design services and unique embellishments to its rigid box packaging. The company believes that the project management it can provide also sets it apart from its competitors and is a major USP. Developing prototypes at LFB is a highly efficient process as it employs advanced CAD 3D imaging software that can impose key artwork of new designs and finishes directly onto its rigid boxes. As a packaging solutions provider, it would appear that London Fancy Box has all the angles covered.