Communicating quality through packaging

The DS Smith Fresh Product Packaging Plant in the Netherlands is committed to producing well-designed customer-specific packaging that not only keeps fresh produce at its best, but also communicates the quality of the produce. When a Dutch fruit supplier was looking for unique packaging for a gift of Dutch pears to China, we helped design and build 15 handmade boxes that were perfect for the occasion.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the 16 Dutch and Belgian fruit suppliers who attended the International Horticultural Exhibition in Qingdao, China, in May knew only too well. The event was an excellent opportunity to introduce Dutch pears to the fast-growing Chinese market and subsequently open up this lucrative channel to other fresh produce from the Benelux region.

"Our close partner, Royal Fruitmasters, wanted to do something special," recalls Henk van Raalte, sales manager at the DS Smith Fresh Product Packaging plant in the Netherlands, "to make a gift of pears to its Chinese partners and deliver them in a unique box that breathed Dutch quality."

Packaging design that speaks volumes

Van Raalte and his colleagues worked closely with the marketing department at Royal Fruitmasters to create a packaging design that would speak volumes about the high quality of the fruits inside. Based on the world-famous Delft blue porcelain, their design featured windmills and tulips.

Tray for fresh fruit and vegetables15 of the EB corrugated board boxes were handmade by our plant in Italy. Van Raalte assembled them himself before they were filled with the pears and flown to China.

The boxes were well received. A marketing representative from Royal Fruitmasters commented on the good impression they gave, communicating the quality of Dutch pears through their Delft blue design – a design that was well understood as signifying quality in China.

The event was a great success, securing a firm interest from the Chinese buyers – which was celebrated by christening the pears with champagne!

Opening doors to a new market

The care and commitment we show our partners not only makes sure that packaging communicates the bespoke messages that will drive their sales; it also ensures their products are carefully preserved during transit.

"As Royal Fruitmasters begins to ship its pears to China, we will provide treated solid board boxes that will keep the produce at its best on the eight week journey by sea from packing station to customer," reveals van Raalte.

With the door now wide open, we are looking forward to helping Dutch and Belgian produce suppliers expand this opportunity, helping them introduce other fresh produce – including apples and vegetables – to their new partner across the globe.

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