All posts by Crownhill

Celebrating the First Day of Spring with Recent Packaging Trends

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Spring is here, and many people are enjoying the simple things, vibrant colors emerging, nature coming back stronger than ever, it seems like a world painted in pastel. These themes are more than just applicable to spring; rather they seem to imitate the packaging trends of 2019.

Spring is about the simple things, picking fresh herbs, smelling the scent of growth in the air, feeling the sun on your skin. Minimalism (the art of keeping what has value, and removing what is distracting) has become a niche in living space and consumption but is expanding to the mainstream when it comes to packaging. This doesn’t mean plain packaging by any means, instead consumers are looking for fresh, uncluttered designs, that communicate everything they need to know efficiently. Brands can keep minimal text while utilizing color and gradients to express everything else. Gradients help products attract attention, allowing a brand to communicate multiple brand values while maintaining minimal text. Just like how spring is the perfect temperature where you’re not overheating or freezing, gradients can create a warm sensation for consumers.

After the cold harshness of winter, we are experiencing a grand relief. Spring brings a time of hope, where we reminisce on the enjoyment we experienced last spring. Now is the time to sit out on the dock with loved ones and talk about the good times of the past while creating new ones.  Nostalgia is also affecting packaging with vintage characters and pop culture references that create a real connection with target markets.

With spring we don’t just remember better days, we’re also seeing them become more pleasant. As the rains wash away the snow and slush, everything looks cleaner and more blissful. This look extends to packaging with pastel-based color schemes. Pastels adds a rich elegance to products of all shapes & sizes and can make a striking imprint on the minds of consumers.

Great example of the simple elegance thats trending this year

These consumers are no longer opting for the artificial fireplaces or staying cozy indoors. Spring is a time to be in nature with real campfires and walking freely outside. Nature is full of natural resources, and many of these can be refined into packaging materials including algae, hemp, and many other plants & organisms. As many people seek to live more harmoniously, using the abundance of packaging materials that are biodegradable means your brand can capture their lifestyle in its bags. 

We keep this harmony with nature going day and night. When the sun goes down, spring is a time we can still stay outside admiring the contrast of bright stars across a dark night. Just like this simple contrast, black and white designs are emerging as a trend for more serious brands. We see remarkable works of art in black and grey themes in gothic art and modern tattooing, and these influences are spreading to mainstream packaging. While gradients allow colors to blend, black and white are contrasting, creating emphasis and space where it’s needed.

Spring is a time for cleanup and renewal, and Crownhill Packaging can utilize these trends to help revitalize your packaging design. Our packaging designers, consultants, and sales team are excited to support your brand’s winter emergence. Welcome to spring! 

Crownhill Awarded PAC Worldwide Pinnacle Award

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The PAC Worldwide Pinnacle award is given out to only one organization annually, and Crownhill Packaging received the distinction on March 11th, 2019. This award is given to a PAC partner that understands the extent of PAC’s product line and uses them to help their customers, as well as a partner that has their values aligned with PAC’s vision for the future of packaging. 

PAC Worldwide is a global supplier of innovative poly bubble mailer technology that works with Crownhill’s operations throughout North America. They have been a key part of our operations for the past 15 years, and in that time the relationship has become very tight, due to a constant effort by both sides to strengthen their supplier and customer connections.

“We’re honored to receive this award. We’ve been working with PAC for many years, and are constantly communicating back and forth with them. Crownhill is in the business of being a vital part of many companies supply chain, and we are continually telling customers how important their supply chain is. I feel this award provides that validity that we are practicing what we preach and shows our commitment to our logistics network.”
– Ken Wong, Vice President of Crownhill Packaging.

Crownhill provides PAC mailers to almost every industry that ships through e-commerce. The fact that they’re recyclable, cost-efficient, and user-friendly makes them the perfect option to protect an assortment of offerings in a company’s product line.

The Crownhill Packaging team receiving the PAC Worldwide Pinnacle award on March 11th.

PAC mailers have gone beyond the e-commerce world, and Crownhill has provided them as an option both for retailers who frequently transfer product between retail locations at special request and for delivery companies that need mailing solutions for consumers sending products to each other.

Our relationship with PAC has thrived due to being like-minded innovators, who commit to providing the best packaging solutions for our customers. We’re honored to receive this Pinnacle Award from PAC Worldwide, and we’re looking forward to many years of growth together.

Crownhill Wishes You a Happy St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve been lucky this year, with St. Patricks day falling on Sunday, which means a full weekend of celebrations. On St. Patrick’s Day every year, people around the world come together to celebrate Irish culture, wear tons of green, and of course, throw a massive party.  In preparation for this grand celebration, gallons of beer is brewed, packaged and shipped to bars, retailers, and even directly to consumers.

Our society has radically changed since the first North American St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 1737; however, the importance of getting beer from brewer to consumer safely has timeless significance. Barrels have changed to metal kegs, horse-drawn carriages have been replaced by 18-wheel trucks, and an exclusively bottled product during the first celebration has evolved to being increasingly purchased in cans. As cans become a more popular option (offering the advantage of durability, price, and safer handling) beverage suppliers need to find new and exciting ways to communicate with consumers.

Shrink wrapping and shrink bundling is used to hold beer for good reason, as it offers strong holding power, is recyclable, and is easy to remove both from a retailer and consumer standpoint. Everything seems to turn green on this great Sunday, especially promotions and packaging. What noticeably isn’t, for the most part, is the shrink wrap that most beer offered in North America is packaged in. The clear shrink option provides consumers a chance to see your product, but for most consumers buying full cases, they are very familiar with your products aesthetics. For those being introduced to your brand, they tend to buy in smaller quantities where the shrink is already removed.

Branded packaging offers the chance to add additional content that won’t fit on the can, due to the inherent limitations of its cylindrical shape. Also, branded packaging provides an opportunity to inform customers of time-sensitive news without cluttering your product.  

For those seeking a more economical option, colored shrink wrap is readily available and can be used to help your product ride the hype that comes with holidays, such as Independence Day (red, white & blue), Christmas (green, red or white), and Halloween (black or orange).

The durability of canned beer in shrink-wrapped cases is only as good as how its transported. Custom packaging solutions ensure that your skid can bear the weight of your load and that the products on the pallet are safely supported. We create a system where your skid, stretch wrap, and product packaging all work in harmony.

 Crownhill ensures products can remain perfect through their journey, by conducting ISTA lab testing that simulates the many conditions a product will face. By utilizing Crownhill’s custom packaging solutions, you can be assured your product arrives safely and appeals to consumers either on display or when they receive it at home.

We’re looking forward to enjoying our St. Patrick’s Day Sunday and hope you do too. Please enjoy your delicious brews safely and responsibly, remembering the care that went into getting them to you.

Crownhill Celebrates Employee Appreciation Day

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The globalized business world is a machine with lots of moving parts. Typically, we think of these moving parts as gears and cogs, represented by multinational corporations and the strategic decisions of their management. While these do have major effects, it is not what truly powers the modern business world.  What powers this mighty machine hasn’t changed since the beginning of time: it’s the efforts of every single worker around the globe. An employee’s contributions to fueling the machine are often forgotten, but not here at Crownhill.

We know that our operations are as strong as the gifted individuals who make up our team, and we have been able to capture top talent across our offices in Waukegan, Brampton and Collingwood. These individuals make the most of their time and the resources provided to them, to deliver stellar results, and utilize their charisma to make our workplace a great place to come to.

Many tasks require a great amount of collaboration between many individuals to work smoothly, and we have many members of our staff working hard to ensure they happen daily. To fulfill our daily just-in-time inventory deliveries, each purchaser orders the right inventory, logistics coordinators make sure the transportation is available, our warehouse personnel commit to the laborious task of loading specific inventory onto this transportation, our drivers ensuring goods are delivered safely and on time, and many other staff members work behind the scenes enable this scenario to play out.

Not only do we have this teamwork in a single office, we have team members in the United States and Canada working together every day, sharing knowledge and utilizing their unique expertise to solve issues that span the continent. These people use their unique cultural perspectives to tackle problems from multiple sides and use diversity as a strength.

We also want to thank the employees of our many suppliers and purchasers whose efforts allow the packaging industry to thrive. We owe our gratitude to the employees of these suppliers that enable the manufacturing and creation of goods, that fuel our operations, and enable us to offer so many different solutions. We are also very grateful to the employees of our valued purchasers, who have supported us in our 32 years of business, we continuously look forward to collaborating with the dedicated members of your management teams conquering your packaging challenges together.  It’s these phenomenal employees that help protect the products that have enabled global increases in quality of life.

We not only want to thank employees for the valuable work they do every day, but also the professional advancement and personal growth that goes above and beyond. We are constantly seeing employees finding more efficient ways of working, eager to learn skills to be better in their role, and seeking out new opportunities for Crownhill to be more successful. Crownhill knows that personal growth and employee morale has huge ramifications for organizations, and we pride ourselves on creating a positive work environment that encourages this. The personal development of our employees increases cohesion, fosters creativity, and allows for a greater productivity to occur. The actions of our employees to grow professionally and personally, creates big changes, and we want to recognize them for this.

The world is changing in a big way for employees across many organizations. As automation is embraced, many employees are seeing doors close and feeling fear towards the future, but this future is to embraced rather than resisted. So many new opportunities are opening in this new age of intelligent robotics, these tools are merely enabling greater productivity for individual workers, new avenues for business success, and employees to reach a potential that was never available to them before.

Once again, we want to recognize the incredible value each employee a part of our supply chain brings. We look forward to seeing the barriers these employees will break, and new heights they will reach in the near future.

Lessons from the Liquidation of Payless Shoe Store

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Payless Shoe Company has filed for bankruptcy and plans to liquidate its North American operations. While it’s easy to blame the failure of Payless on the emergence of e-commerce, and its effect on traditional retailer, that factor is only part of the equation. Many historic brands like recent Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Winner, Best Buy Canada, have proven that the internet is a land of opportunity rather than threats. A driving factor behind the downfall of Payless, is its refusal to adapt its business model when its point of difference, being the primary retailer for low cost shoes, was voided by this becoming common place in large retailers like Walmart, Winners, and Costco.

Another major factor that is easy to overlook was the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of debt Payless took on to keep itself running and continue serving over 2000 stores around North America. This led to a massive increase in expenses due to the servicing of this debt (the principal + interest costs). The best way to avoid the added cost of servicing debt it to avoid taking on debt in the first place. While the temptation to gain a great deal of immediate capital is tempting, this capital needs to be invested wisely and cannot be used to merely keep a brand afloat or continuing with the same business plans of the past. This failure of Payless, shows the importance of streamlining operations and finding innovative ways of reducing capital costs before getting into financial trouble.

Crownhill Packaging understands this importance of preventing debt in the first place. There will always be a cost of protecting your products while ensuring they keep their appeal shown, but by working with a company who works with you as partner, and makes cost savings a high priority, you can ensure that your packaging needs are working efficiently. Crownhill achieves these cost savings by providing design solutions, reducing goods lost to damage, lowering material costs, improving inventory control, and streamlining processes.

There are many costs associated with transporting products that are of concern to retailers, the largest being dimensional (DIM) weight charges. These are minimum shipping costs that are calculated both by a package’s weight and the dimensions of the package itself. Crownhill helps reduce these DIM weight charges by finding the perfect balance of keeping a product protected and keeping the shipping package to a minimal size. By using lightweight materials and utilizing alternate packaging solutions such as bubble mailers, Crownhill ensures your packaging and shipping costs stay as low as possible.

As retailing continues to grow, ensure that your brand learns lessons from the failure of previous brands, and trusts the right suppliers for its supply chain needs.  

Crownhill Partners with Packaging Distributors of America to Participate in Digital Marketing Seminar

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As the digital age progresses to bring more of the world online and becomes more entrenched to those currently connected digitally, it’s becoming essential for marketers within the packaging industry to understand how to communicate effectively through the internet. Marketing has been evolving in the last decade, with companies who found little need for a marketer now finding it a key part of their lead and customer acquisition strategy.

Crownhill Packaging is a proud member the Packaging Distributors of America (PDA) and is very involved with the organization, as exemplified by Crownhill Vice President Ken Wong serving as PDA Chairman of the Board. This year, Crownhill continued its involvement, assisting the organization with its annual marketing seminar. Over the past two days, E-Commerce Business Manager Olivia Pietersen shared personal insights on how digital developments, marketing strategy, and software tools can assist companies in the packaging industry convey the value they provide.

Packaging is everywhere and is the unsung hero of the world where product convenience is key and home delivery through digital ordering is commonplace. To elevate it from this unsung status, marketers need to create a discussion about the effectiveness not only of product protection, but also customized labelling, distribution services, and many other products & services that Crownhill and other packaging distributors a part of the PDA network offer.

 The seminar also included providing participants with the resources they need to create long term marketing success. A marketing dictionary, digital checklists, a guide to online sources, and many more resources allows participants to explore the world of marketing themselves and tailor solutions to unique issues facing their enterprise.

Crownhill thanks Olivia Pietersen and Stephanie Roland of Twenty-Five Apart for their devotion to strengthening the PDA network and we are looking forward to participating in many more great seminars.

Congratulations to the impressive Winners of the 2018 Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards

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Photo of Director of Strategy and Operations, Marc Hyman, presenting the award for Best Omni-Channel Retailer- Large to Best Buy Canada

Canada Post created another masterpiece Gala this year at the Fairmont Royal York. The world of commerce operating in the digital sphere has continued to grow in 2018 and Crownhill Packaging is happy to be part of the Canada Post E-commerce Awards. This award shows appreciation to the movers and shakers in their respective industry, who are making the strategic decisions that matter. Canada Post has gathered experts from the Public, Social Networking, Technological, Accounting, and Academic sectors to judge the winners this year. These winners are awarded up to $150,000 worth of credits that can be used through Canada Post’s marketing services, to improve their already stellar E-commerce strategies.

Crownhill Packaging is pleased to present the Best Omni-Channel Retailer Award – Large’ to ‘Best Buy Canada’. Best Buy entered Canada during the era before the E-commerce explosion, but has quickly adapted to the digital world of commerce, creating an extensive online catalogue and focusing its marketing efforts on supporting digital promotions especially on Cyber Monday. By keeping its eyes peeled for online trends and utilizing the data available from its massive social media following the company has been able to gain great brand resonance among businesses and consumers alike.

The sponsorship of this award is dear to Crownhill Packaging, as we have had the pleasure of assisting many omni-channel retailers varying from startups to multinational corporations in providing full service packaging solutions. From corrugate shipping containers to custom foam and bubble cushioning, Crownhill has been able to protect products of all shapes and sizes, from the manufacturing centers to living rooms across Canada and United States.

Best Omni-Channel Retailer Award – Large (Sponsored by Crownhill Packaging)
Best Buy Canada

Best Omni-Channel Retailer Award – Small

Most Disruptive Start-Up Award

Best Marketing & Brand Engagement Award
Big Al’s

Pure Play of the Year Award – Large

Pure Play of the Year Award – Small

Social Impact Award
London Drugs

Canada Post E-commerce Innovator’s Award

Photo of this year’s winners. Courtesy of Canada Post.

Thank you to Canada Post for hosting a great Gala and for putting in the great time and effort it takes recognize these exceptional organizations. Congratulations to all winners, all of us at Crownhill can’t wait to see how these companies innovate in the coming year.

Crownhill Packaging Sponsors 2018 Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards

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The Canada Post E-commerce Awards have become a staple of Crownhill Packaging’s sponsorship efforts and we are proud to once again be a part of them in 2018.

Our sponsorship of the awards show enables a celebration of a year of organizations large and small, pioneering big ideas in the realm of e-commerce. From startups creating shockwaves throughout entire industries, to established players adapting to new realities and facing the challenges that come with them head on. These ideas come with great risks, and affect not only the companies that commit to them, but provide a valuable learning experience for many others that can apply what’s being done to their own strategic plans.
This year Crownhill Packaging is honored to be the sponsor of the ‘Best Omni-Channel Retailer Award- Large’ that recognizes corporate leaders who are committing to innovation in the e-commerce realm, utilizing their digital presence to support their brick-and-mortar stores and vice versa. Over the last year many large, historic retailers have suffered due to their resistance to the changing nature of retail itself, but these retailers have embraced change and used it to strengthen their brand position. This ability to adapt, and cohesion between the business of clicks and bricks, is a value Crownhill Packaging holds dear to its corporate identity. Crownhill has a continuing commitment to improving its digital presence, and utilizing technology in new and exciting ways.

These are the Categories and their respective Finalists for 2018.

Best Omni-Channel Retailer Award – Large (Sponsored by Crownhill Packaging)

  • Best Buy Canada
  • FGL Sports Ltd.
  • Indigo Books & Music
  • Mark’s
  • Staples Canada

Best Omni-Channel Retailer Award – Small

  • Big Al’s
  • Dunbar Cycles
  • Livestock
  • Ricardo Media

Pure Play of the Year Award – Large

  •  Jewlr
  • Manitobah Mukluks
  • Marché Goodfood
  • TSC – Today’s Shopping Choice•

Pure Play of the Year Award – Small

  • Canadian Down & Feather
  • Momzelle
  • MUR Lifestyle
  • Parts Avatar
  • Kanevas

Best Marketing and Brand Experience Award

  • Big Al’s
  • Carnivore Club
  • Oatbox
  • TSC – Today’s Shopping Choice

Most Disruptive Start-Up Award

  • Desk Nibbles
  • Fun-In-The-Box
  • Kanevas
  • Loch
  • Mme L’Ovary

Social Impact Award

  • Aux P’tits Cadeaux Inc.
  •  Kotn
  •  London Drugs
  •  Manitobah Mukluks
  •  Running Room Canada

This year has a phenomenal amount of strategic talent from across over a dozen industries, being judged by professionals who are leaders in their respective field, from across the country.We’re looking forward to the Canada Post Awards Gala on September 20th where the winners will be announced at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Best of luck to all nominees, and thank you for your efforts to make Canada a great place to do business.

Vice President Ken Wong Elevated to Chairman of the Board of the Packaging Distributors of America.

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It is with great honor to announce that Ken Wong has recently added to his list of accomplishments by becoming Chairman of the Board for the Packaging Distributors of America! Ken has been a key figure within the Packaging Distributors of America (PDA) for several years and continues to show a strong commitment to the success of the organization.

Ken possess a Bachelor of Science Degree in Packaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and has gained wealth of invaluable knowledge over his 30-year career in packaging. He has a great number of prior industry accomplishments, most notably receiving the Packaging Distributors of America Presidents Award in 2017.

The PDA has been an integral part of Crownhill’s business and we are proud to be part of their distribution network. It has allowed us to form strong bonds with other like-minded organizations, inspired new business ideas, and enabled us to serve our customers better.  

We talked with Ken about receiving this appointment.

Q. How do you feel about being named Chairman of the Board?

“It’s a tremendous privilege to be able to serve in this capacity. Packaging is an industry that affects all sectors of the economy and I’ve been passionate about the difference it makes for many, many years now.  We’re now at the most exciting time for packaging! With the rise of marketing and e-commerce, packaging is going way beyond getting a product from point A-B, it’s now about how your product is packaged when it arrives and the effect of this on consumers. I’m very grateful that I can influence the industry during this exciting time.”

Q. What are some of the current issues surrounding the PDA?

“Communicating the value that the PDA provides is still a major issue and is something I want to tackle in my tenure. The digital sphere is an area we’ve made great strides in, but we know there’s still a lot of potential we’re yet to tap into. I hope to make the most of the resources and talent available, to help both our customers and packaging distributors around North America see our value.

Q. Where do you see your tenure as chairman taking the PDA?

 “I want to continue to expand the knowledge base of the PDA network. We’ve built something amazing over the past 12 years, creating a solid network of companies throughout North America, that each bring something unique to the table. I want to continue expanding the knowledge base of the PDA. We’ve built something amazing over the past 12 years, creating a solid network of companies throughout North America that each brings something unique to the table. With so many opportunities for growth, I want to focus on improving member collaboration and knowledge sharing.”

Ken balances his responsibilities to the PDA with being a strong leader and visionary for Crownhill Packaging and we are grateful to have him as Vice President.  We are looking forward to the future contributions Ken will provide to the Packaging Distributors of America and the guidance he will provide to member organizations across North America.

Crownhill Awarded Knoll ‘Supplier Recognition for Operational Excellence’

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Knoll is a global supplier of home and office furnishings, combining forward thinking with consumer understanding to create elegant furniture that look good, while keeping people comfortable.  The company has established itself as a thought leader in the industry, providing research into ergonomics, and working with a variety of designs and styles. This innovating thinking has enabled it to ride economic waves and thrive for over 75 years.

The company knows that its suppliers provide a key contribution to its global success. This year Knoll has shown its appreciation to Crownhill by granting the ‘Supplier Recognition for Operational Excellence’ award at its Supplier Awards show located in the historic Logan Hotel in the heart of Downtown Philadelphia. Crownhill provides exceptional service to Knoll by making frequent deliveries, providing innovative solutions, and providing the company with ways to reduce their costs. This exceptional service has been due to the hard work and efforts of many people around Crownhill, including Director of Sales Mike Cancilla, as well as the Crownhill Customer Service and Shipping Departments.

Vice President Rodney Taylor was on hand in Philadelphia to receive the award.

Knoll has been working with Crownhill Packaging for almost 20 years moving from strictly supplying stretch foam, to now providing the sheet foam and corrugate needs of the company as well. Crownhill is one the North America’s largest full-service packaging suppliers which has enabled the company to keep up with Knoll’s heavy demand for packaging products across Canada and the United States. These global operations have also enabled close relationships between the two parties Head Offices in both Southern Ontario, Canada and the North-Eastern United States.

Crownhill wants to send its sincere thanks to Knoll for granting us this award, and we are looking forward to many years of supplier excellence to come.