New grass paper packaging for smartphones

Gigaset has moved the production of its new GS 195 smartphone model to Germany. This sustainability concept is also supposed to reflect in the packaging, true to the motto ‘Made in Bocholt’. A collaboration with Gissler & Pass led to a grass paper-based packaging solution that’s more than up to the task.



New haptics and look

As a business with headquarters in Germany, Gigaset has faced strict rules and environmental requirements right from the beginning. The subject of sustainability manifests in many different facets, from logistic issues through tech innovations to the recycling of production materials.

When it comes to packaging, Gigaset opts for corrugated board solutions to provide for maximum sustainability on the one hand and to ensure automatic packaging capabilities on the other hand. At present, more than 90% of the packaging material is recycled. On top of that, the box sizes, too, have become successively smaller over the past years in an effort to cut material usage down to a minimum.

Having moved smartphone production to Germany, Gigaset is in a position to source bulk goods from China, which helps save a lot of space compared with pre-packaged smartphones. This has had a positive effect on the CO2 footprint. It also enabled Gigaset to team up with packaging expert Gissler & Pass in a move to conceive a new, sustainable and regionally sourced packaging concept for Gigaset smartphones, which was rolled out in July 2019.

The requirement for the new grass-paper box was to amalgamate shape, functionality, and sustainability at the best possible price (design to cost), thus realising multiple goals simultaneously: reduction of CO2 emissions, promotion of local collaborations, and the standardisation of packaging materials and packaging designs.

On the marketing side, this raised fundamental questions over how far buyers would embrace the new design, i.e. the new surface feel of the box due to the use of grass paper, with its rough surface and natural, environmentally conscious looking colours. To address this, the properties of the packaging was optimised through multiple product cycles, primed by market research. The upshot has been a packaging solution which, according to the market research, is espoused by the young target audience. In other words, it actively helps secure Gigaset a younger prospective buyer structure while at the same time offering outstanding properties in terms of sustainability, stability, and mechanics.


Material usage

Due to their low weight, smartphones do not require more than F-flute corrugated board. This fine material melds the mechanical advantages of corrugated board with the aspect of solid board while reducing material usage in comparison with E-flute corrugated board.

It is worthy of mention that all components of the smartphone box are made from offset-printed grass paper: interior wall and corrugation 140 g grass paper, exterior wall 170 g grass paper. Grass paper is a rapidly renewing raw material obtained from regional sources. This entails a manufacturing process with favourable environmental performance regarding the consumption of water, energy and chemicals. 30% of the cardboard, of which 90%+ is already recycling material, will now be substituted for grass paper. The remaining 70% are made up of 100% recycling material.


Some fundamentals


The grass-paper packaging solution is made up of two components: the main box including the divider, and the inlay. Both pieces are die-cut and delivered on pallets as flat blanks. The main box is set up and glued together on the automated production lines, while the divider is incorporated as a folding tray, doubling as the display unit for the smartphone which rests on top of it. This provides for an unboxing experience, because the new smartphone is the first thing to meet the eye of the end customer once the box is opened, with the accessory parts lying clearly arranged in a separate compartment.
Moreover, the tray solution, by way of two special perforations (right and left hand side), provides a means to adjust the size of the recess. This guarantees the flexibility to accommodate future smartphone generations with different shapes, without the need to change the dies.

Anti-dust flaps round out the fold above the tray and provide additional protection against accidental falling out. The space under the tray can hold the arrangement of accessory components. An energy efficient MRK robot inserts the inlay–which can also be done manually–together with the remaining accessory parts during the box loading stage. Tuck-in flaps are provided that allow for the box to be reclosed while aligning and tensioning the inlay. A glue dot is placed together with a circular perforation in-between the tuck-in flaps, and does the job of sealing the box. A broken perforation indicates that the box has been opened.

During the production of the box, either packaging component is reused several times at the same ratio on a single sheet. This approach allows for a combination of different print patterns to be realised on one sheet (mixed sheet printing), thus helping to optimise print sheet utilisation and minimise waste, which makes it cost-efficient in terms of variant diversity.

With the packaging solution made sustainable and streamlined across the board, it has been possible to completely eliminate the use of plastic from the process through multiple optimisation loops. The adhesive foil which protects the display is part of the smartphone and has no alternative for the time being. The packaging is finished with an abrasion-resistant varnish instead of the commonly used lamination foil. The box label is also made of grass paper, the user manual consists of 100% recycling paper. The packaging is FSC® certified and can be recycled.

Exotic Eye Catcher at the Point of Sale

Corrugated board displays are the first choice when it comes to POS promotion. According to a study conducted by the EHI Retail Institute, almost all German retailers use this type of display to boost sales.

Real Thai

Retailers and consumer goods manufacturers alike value this readily available material, as it can come in a variety of shapes and can be quality printed, which makes it the ideal choice for branding promotion and increasing sales.


A convincing sales support experience


This is also how Feinkost Dittmann sees it. Germany’s foremost vendor of olives, antipasti and garlic/anchovy specialities challenged the Lower Rhine-based corrugated board manufacturer Gissler & Pass to design a promotional display to bring the “Real Thai” brand on the road to success, which until then had been rather unknown in Germany. Marketing communications director for Dittmann, Martin C. Schmidlin regards the results as being highly satisfactory. “The product range of our Real Thai brand has posted a 70 per cent increase in sales ever since the secondary placement solution was introduced. Turnover is up no less than 74 per cent. Beside our sales campaigns, we largely attribute this to the Real Thai experience displays.”

The 1/4 Chep mounting floor display is fairly popular with retailers. “The feedback coming from our trade partners is very favourable throughout, especially with regard to easy set-up and attractive appearance The same is true for the consumer response,” continues Schmidlin. “That’s quite a success, considering that we’re up against some very stiff competition in the food retail sector.”


Set-up in the blink of an eye

This is facilitated in no small part by the easy handling characteristics of the corrugated board construction. “Alongside its marketing and sales pushing effect, the Push & Ready display provides for easy and swift handling, just as called for by retailers,” explains marketing director for Gissler & Pass, Katja Gausmann. “It can be set up within seconds and with a flick of the wrist. Just push the central bar at the top, and the display will unfold all by itself. Next, fix the two retaining flaps in front and rear to the Chep pallet, and you’re done!”


Effective brand presentation

Real_Thai_03“Thanks to its rugged design, the display can hold heavy gourmet products such as bottles, cans and entire box bottles, cans and entire box units without difficulty”, says Schmidlin. Another forte of the display is the effective presentation of goods at the POS: products are in plain sight and can be reached from two sides. Using an additional pallet jacket, the displays meld into a single visual unit ‑ the icing on the cake in every powerful brand staging experience.

“Boosting sales was our main concern,” explains Schmidlin. “In addition, with the Real Thai world of experience we attached great importance to giving consumers a genuine Thai atmosphere. All of these requirements are thoroughly met by the groundbreaking Real Thai Push & Ready design.

In June 2013 the display won Gissler & Pass the gold award at the POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International POS Awards) in the “Food ‑ Temporary” category.


Robust and luxurious

Fissler, the old-established manufacturer of cooking utensils, has, together with its partner from the corrugated board industry, developed a combined transport and sales packaging that is adapted to the special requirements of the Asian market.




“The requirements for the packaging of pressure cookers are different on the Asian market from those of the European market”, says Frauke Heyer, Product Manager for pressure cookers at Fissler. “For example, in Asia the product packaging is used for high-quality presentation of the product in retail stores as well as gift packaging. In addition to this, the packaging must protect the pressure cookers during transportation against the special strains of a sea journey lasting several weeks. We have therefore developed special packaging that prevents damage, supports sales and also substantially reduces costs.“

Protects and sells

The pressure cooker packaging of Fissler cuts a good figure in ship containers and in the shops of Hong Kong, Singapore and others.

For this, Heyer has called upon in-house experts and the corrugated board specialist Gissler & Pass. The packaging developer designed a robust single-piece folding bottom packaging made of B-flute that can be used in modules. The whole interior consists of sturdy E/E-flute with a high proportion of Kraftliner. “The core part is a mechanically glued-in insert with a circular indentation, with which the goods are kept in place”, explains Dominik Schröteler, Packing Developer at Gissler & Pass. “This fixing is designed so that it can secure up to 19 different pressure cookers and sets against sliding. They can, after all, weigh up to 10 kg.” For additional protection during transport, a corrugated board strip over the pressure cooker provides equalisation of height. Finally, a support for the packaging lid, in the form of a corner curving inwards, ensures that the lid does not cave in.


Straightening with a flick of the wrist

“An important advantage of the packaging is the simple handling”, says Schröteler. “The folding bottom, the centring insert and the support automatically move into the right position when the packaging is set upright – the whole setting-up is done with a flick of the wrist.” With the old packaging solution, each pressure cooker first had to be provided with protective padding before it was placed in the packaging. This caused costs: placing in the packaging lasted considerably longer because a large number of work steps had to be carried out one after another. In addition it was necessary to buy lots of padding components, which had to be stored and kept ready at the workplace. “The improvement of the packaging brought us a substantial cost advantage”, confirms Dr Andreas Hillenmeier, Development Manager at Fissler.

The packaging is exclusively used for the Asian market. So before it advertises the pressure cookers for sale in the shops of Shanghai or Seoul, it has to be equal to the special requirements of transportation by ship: climatic influences and rocking of the ship. “As an effective measure against the destabilising influences of warm and damp air, we use particularly resistant semi-chemical pulp as corrugated board”, explains Schröteler. Due to the rocking movements of the ship there is the risk that the high-quality design will be spoilt by cracks, scratches and dents. “In order to prevent such damage, we have developed a new paint-varnish combination that is especially tough”, says Schröteler “It is an additional protective shell for safeguarding the attractiveness of the packaging.”

Premium Brand Appearance

The high-quality premium look is decisive, because as well as safety during transportation, the packaging should also ensure an impressive brand appearance. The high-quality looks of the packaging design appeal especially to the Asian audience. Heyer: “The Fissler brand has achieved the status of a luxury brand in Asia; its valuable design thus makes the sales packaging an important marketing instrument.” The Asian subsidiary companies of Fissler have been intensively involved in all questions of design, in order to cater to the requirements of this market. “This attractive packaging has a strong sales-promoting function in Asia”, adds Heyer.

Gissler & Pass won the German Packaging Award in 2012 for this packaging. Fissler is certain that the close cooperation with the corrugated board experts has had a positive effect on the results achieved: “The result is something to be proud of. For Fissler, this attractive and functional packaging sets new Standards.“

(Source: SEA Public Relations, Frankfurt with the permission of Fissler GmbH)

The Power of Packaging – Seduction Desired

In retailing it is now more important than ever to establish direct communication with the consumer and anyone who wants to penetrate into the awareness of the customer has to stand out and appeal to the senses. The POS is thus playing an increasingly important role in brand strategy.










Convincing Sales Support

This has also been recognised by the electronic appliance manufacturer Severin, based in Sundern. Two years ago, Severin decided to pep up the image of the brand and of the long-established company. In addition to a new corporate design and new brand claim, the company is also presenting itself with a new packaging concept. Together with the packaging specialist Gissler & Pass, Jülich, the new image was implemented in modern, high-quality-finish packaging for the “Home Selection” line for specialist retailers.

“Because this is a premium line from our company, which rounds off the range at the top end, the packaging was meant, above all, to stand for premium quality as well as providing transport protection for international shipping”, says Simone Scharfschütze, Marketing Manager at Severin, summarising the task.

Thanks to more than 30 years of cooperation, Severin and Gissler & Pass are a closely knit team, in which there is clarity regarding the requirements of the brand item manufacturer and the technical printing and finishing options of the corrugated board company. Without bottlenecks, a packaging design was put together in a few months, from the idea to the introduction on the market that contributes to reinforcing the brand’s emotional charge and achieves a recognition effect with customers.

The packaging for e.g. coffee machines, which has the basic colour black, already looks trendy and refined in itself. The 5-colour offset printing is additionally enhanced by the drip-off varnishing. The drip-off varnishing process is a two-stage inline improving printing process with which one can produce effective matt-gloss contrasts in the offset printing machine. Due to the variation in the type of surface and the contrast between matt and gloss areas, a variety of visual effects can be achieved, such as a velvety appearance or reflective prints. In the Severin packaging, this finishing technique ensures that the glossy picture of the product stands out from the matt black background and immediately catches the eye of the consumer. “Retail, as our direct contact, has reacted very positively to the packaging solution and explicitly praised the high quality”, confirms Simone Scharfschütze.

“The concept shows once again that premium packaging is no longer a privilege of luxury brands but instead that segments such as consumer electronics can also leave the outdated and well-worn paths in order to awaken the customers’ interest and to boost sales with a striking outfit for their products”, says Thomas Gissler-Weber, Managing Director of Gissler & Pass.

(Source: press release with the permission of Severin Elektrogeräte GmbH, published in Verpackungs-Rundschau, Special: Packaging as a Marketing Factor)

Eye Catcher made of corrugated board: Turning the Listerine bottle into a display

When introducing new products, displays made of corrugated board have their big appearance at retail sales outlets. This was also the case with the German market launch of “Listerine Total Care” and “Listerine Total Care Sensitive” from Johnson & Johnson GmbH.







Convincing Sales Support

The shop displays with the brand image are intended to draw attention and encourage shoppers to buy the new mouth care solutions. This was the development order from the consumer goods manufacturer to the packaging experts of Gissler & Pass. “The aim was to create something special”, is how the requirements were summed up by Lutz Werner, Packaging Developer at the corrugated board manufacturers in Jülich. The fact that he succeeded is not only proven by the successful market introduction. Prizes from national and international packaging awards are also testimony to this success.

Bottle Shape as Design Task

“In the designing of the display, we were meant to use the shape of the Listerine bottle as a guide”, says Werner, describing the task. Accordingly, in the first design step, he developed a 3D model that adopts the brand-typical outline of the product packaging. Three corrugated bottoms placed one above the other carry the mouthwash bottles, framed by strips of the same material. The roof of the display consists of corrugated board elements arranged in a cross, in the lilac of the bottle body and the black of the twist-cap. The result: a sales area in the shape of a Listerine bottle. “This design idea for a display was completely new”, explains the developer.

In order to allow as much free access to the products as possible, side walls were dispensed with. This resulted in special requirements for the stability, because when it is fully loaded, the 1.70-metre-high design has to carry 72 half-litre bottles, each weighing 600 grams, giving a total of 43 kilos. A particularly sturdy corrugated board made of 3mm-thick B-flute and a back wall connected to the product-bearing corrugated board bottoms provide the necessary stability. “The product is free-standing and bears itself due to its weight”, elaborates Werner.

Successful Use – Award-Winning Solution

The offset-printed display has been in use in food retailers and drugstores since 2010. With success: within the last year Johnson & Johnson GmbH significantly increased its market share in the mouth care segment with Listerine products. The manufacturer attributes a large share of this development to the innovative shop display which now stands on the sales front for several Listerine products in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Based on the same design principle, there is now also a version for 36 bottles instead of 72.

Apart from the users in the trade, the new development also impressed the jury of the German Packaging Award. It awarded a prize to the sales-promoting design in 2010 in the category “Promotional and Display Packaging”. “The offset laminated corrugated card promotional display impresses with a design very close to that of the product”, judged the experts and particularly praised the combination of high brand recognition value and very good product access. As a prize-winner of the German Packaging Award, the display was also entered in the WorldStar competition of the World Packaging Organization. Out of the roughly 250 entries from 30 countries only nine innovations received an award and the oversized mouthwash bottle was among them.

(Source: SEA Public Relations, Frankfurt with the permission of Johnson & Johnson GmbH, published in Verpackungs-Rundschau and ausgepackt/VDW)

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