Let me begin... a few of our regular customers had started to point out a recurring theme. As much as they loved their brewery fresh beers, they couldn’t help but notice their cans were getting dented at best and splitting open at worst. As many beer lovers will sympathise, there’s nothing quite like the thought of wasted beer to keep us up at night.
Now, we know when we move boxes of beer in our warehouse that it usually takes a significant impact to damage a box. Striking the edge of a pallet with the forklift kinda impact! How on earth were so many boxes breaking in transit, we wondered? We started our investigations by talking to our nationwide courier, as local Bristol deliveries via independent couriers never seemed to have any damages. Go figure.
The thing is, we need the big courier companies to get our beers beyond Bristol. What we found is that the sorting process at their depot was intense. For us that’s DPD, but by and large it’s the same for all large courier services; they use a series of conveyor belts to sort the parcels by their end destinations before being loaded onto a fleet of vans. (Side note, that is why sometimes your boxes may arrive separately if you order more than one case). It is during this process that most damages occur, as the conveyor system isn’t as gentle as a pair of hands, but it’s fast, usually getting beers to customers by the next working day – even when going from Bristol to Edinburgh.
Back to the boxes. We ordered in a bunch of different types of boxes and got physical with these samples. Can they withstand being dropped over a fence, we asked? Can they land awkwardly in the back of a van and stay intact? The results lead us to a brand-new design of box for online orders, with double thickness walls and a cardboard divider to steady the 12 pack inside.
We didn’t choose this option lightly. Always economically and environmentally conscious, we loved how our old boxes were completely recyclable and yet took minimum space up in your recycling boxes. We don’t want to pass the cost of extravagant packaging onto customers. The new boxes needed to be economic and recyclable, or reusable, and the extra cardboard needed must outweigh the amount of damages we’ve replaced. Because now we’re thinking about those wasted beers again…
And that is how we landed on the new BBF shipping box design for online orders. Designed by a local packaging provider, these brilliant new boxes will be rolled out over the coming weeks, starting with mixed cases. Tag us in your pictures of a happily filled fridge of fresh cans at @bristolbeerfactory or email us your thoughts at email@example.com – we’d love to see your beers in situ when you receive your first new-style box!