Hacks make life easier for small businesses, especially at Christmas when time is precious and often fraught.

It can be difficult to find time to overhaul packaging and provide a festive twist- but with our hacks you can get ahead and make your packaging fully festive in time for Christmas!

Stock up on your essentials: be sure to order your essential packaging items before the Christmas rush. Charlotte Express Packaging provides a range of stock items for all types of food businesses, including paper bags, bags for coffee/tea and paper sheets.

Festive labels: a label can add a quick, Christmas twist to your packaging without the need for a complete rebrand. Look to see how your logo can be charged with festive cheer, or how the names of your product lines can be given a Christmas spin.

Ribbon: If your packaging is basic and minimalistic, get into the Christmas spirit with holiday appropriate ribbon. Red, green and gold works particularly well against both white and brown kraft paper packaging.

Mailing boxes with a twist: upgrade your mailing boxes with some Christmas themed shredded tissue or paper sheets as liners to cushion and protect the treats that are inside.

Christmas trimmings: wrapping sweet treats in cello bags is a great way to package and visually display what is inside. Add inexpensive Christmas trimmings such as foliage, faux berries, ribbon or tinsel for some additional festive cheer.

Personalisation options: offering a personalization service is a particularly good to way to attract customers to making a Christmas purchase. Provide customers with the chance to select different colour options and accessories for gift wrapping that can be purchased at a minimal cost.

Charlotte Express Packaging provides many packaging options such as paper bags, sheets and bags for coffee/tea in stock and available as a next day delivery item. For information on bespoke items such as labels call 01495 750311.

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Christmas is an expensive and busy time of year for small businesses, but the festive season provides a lucrative opportunity to attract new customers and reward regulars.

Small, inexpensive ideas can excite customers and help to generate business. From rewarding social media followers to running contests, here’s how can small businesses can embrace Christmas and pass on the festive cheer to their customers.

Holiday theme updates: small businesses should position themselves as useful outlets of information for their customers’ Christmas needs. Sharing interesting and helpful updates such as how to decorate a tree, create Christmas treats or last posting dates can help to build a presence on social media and position themselves as leaders in the community.

Reward social media followers: for customers who follow on social media and are loyal all year round, businesses should look to introduce a reward system. From providing discount codes, online coupons or a free gift, this technique can help to maintain customer loyalty and shows new customers what they could be receiving.

Short videos: small businesses should look at recording short festive videos as part of their Christmas marketing. From a gift wrapping challenge to how they create a festive themed product, these videos can be simply recorded on a smartphone and shared direct to social media channels. This can be particularly effective for coffee houses, delis and restaurants.

Christmas e-marketing campaigns: small businesses who already use e-marketing to communicate with customers should look to embrace ‘days of deals’ to entice customers as part of the holiday season. From free shipping to discount codes, Black Friday deals and free gifts, this can be an effective technique in boosting sales and rewarding customer loyalty.

Gift guides: gift guides are a great way to display favourite products, particularly for delis, coffee shops or boutiques that work with a range of suppliers. Whether sharing links and images on social media, or creating a downloadable guide, this is an effective way of generating excitement and working with brands to create sales.

Contests: all customers like a freebie, and running a Christmas contest in exchange for brand loyalty is a great technique to boost your social media presence and footfall. Consider offering an in-store experience or a voucher for online shopping as the reward.

Charlotte Express Packaging provides small businesses with a range of stock packaging. Visit our store to look at our range or call us on 01495 750311 to discuss bespoke packaging options.

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Halloween is almost upon us and for food fans; the spooktacular season is the perfect time to experiment with packaging some fiendishly scary treats.

Brits spent £310 million on Halloween in 2016, with more than 50% of millennials spending money on the spooky celebration. The value of the Halloween market is set to rise, with retailers continuing to dedicate more space in store to their seasonal ranges. Capturing the attention of young consumers will be key to driving the growth of Halloween, helping to increase spending on food and drink and entertaining.

Get into the Halloween spirit with our top tips for packaging spooky themed food below!

Tap into Halloween culture: pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and fancy dress up are all part of the festival feeling of Halloween. Brands tap into these cultural institutions, with packaging regularly referencing the customs we associate with this spooky holiday.

Pun on brand names: Halloween is all about having fun and for Smarties, changing their name to Scaries was a great way to tap into the spooky spirit. Try adding a scary spin on your brand’s name, or even including some Halloween iconography as part of your logo.

Product design visibility: consumers want to see what they’re buying, especially if it is different from what they are used to. Consider incorporating product visibility into the design of your packaging, using windows for eyes of a monster, or flaps to reveal Halloween characters.

Limited edition: nothing attracts a customer more than a limited edition product. Include this messaging within the packaging and advertising, making it clear to customers that they won’t be able to purchase it for long!

Appealing to children: Halloween is a particularly exciting time for children, and appealing to them through fun packaging is a great way to make the festivities memorable. Try out glow in the dark designs or cartoon characters to appeal to younger Halloween fans- and those who love a bit of spooky nostalgia!

Charlotte Express Packaging can provide packaging for food and drink outlets in small quantities. Contact us on 01495 750311 for further information and to speak to our team.

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International Coffee Day is just around the corner and at Charlotte Express Packaging; we’re marking the event by celebrating the work of our favourite independent coffee businesses.

Our location of South Wales is home to a large range of independent coffee houses and roasters. Introducing us to the joy of artisan coffee, the journey from bean to cup is a particular passion of these artisan coffee houses and the talented baristas who love coffee as much as we do.

Cardiff is a particularly busy hub of coffee activity, with many independent coffee shops and roasters trading in the area.

We love to visit the following for a brew and to soak up the local culture!

Little Man Coffee Company: sourcing and serving specialty coffee from over 25 roasters, Little Man Coffee Company lets you try your chosen beans with a different brew method.

Kin + Ilk: the café bar serves specialty coffee, loose tea, craft beer and delicious baked goods. One of our absolute favourites!

200 Degrees: located on Cardiff’s Queen Street, 200 Degrees are artisan coffee roasters and proud to be coffee geeks!

Second Cup: from humble beginnings, Second Cup can trace its origins to Canada! It’s one of our favourite finds in Cardiff.

Coaltown: based in West Wales, Coaltown Coffee Roasters are a specialty coffee roastery who focus on sustainable and transparent trade with small farms. They roast delicious coffee that’s full of personality and supply many of Cardiff’s coffee spots.

And if you operate a coffee shop or roastery, our bags for coffee are also available unprinted and in the following options:

 

We also supply a range of bespoke disposable coffee cups- contact us on 01495 750311 for further information.

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The most important day in the culinary calendar is back! Thursday 24th August is dedicated to one of our favourite dishes- the humble burger. Wedged between a bun and filled with prime meat and other delicious toppings, it’s no wonder why the burger is one of Britain’s most requested meals.

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