Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.