From concept to launch – Little Fingers
Newborns, courgettes and little fingers… the inspiration for new products comes from all sorts of places, but even for us this was an eye-opener. When Joanne and Marcus approached us with their idea we were more than excited.
A food developer and chef by trade, the couple were set to launch Little Fingers, a start-up specialising in healthy baby finger foods. They had a great back-story too – ever heard of baby-led weaning? It’s the practice of allowing babies to feed themselves once they graduate to solid food and Marcus and Jo are firm advocates. Not only does it cut out the need for mushy baby food, it also breeds better eating habits in later life. As such, the benefits of natural, healthy, home-made products were central to our brief.
So we hit the drawing board. We embarked on market research, looked at styles and trends and then invited a few choice guests into the studio. Along with some other new mums, the clients also came in with their own young childrenin tow. We took them through our research and our styles of illustration and refined what direction to take in terms of design.
Not long after this stage I had a sudden realisation. We were already working to a tight budget and the current concept just wasn’t going to be cost-effective with the volumes we were looking to produce. The idea of using a printed pack might look great conceptually, but would cause problems further down the road.
Right away I knew our Pack Science specialists were the people to turn to.
This is where the delightful Gill (packaging technology director Gillian Garside-Wight) came in. She confirmed my concerns and agreed that we needed a different approach. Her alternative was sensible and pragmatic: instead of a printed pack with a window, we went back to the client and suggested a more economical alternative – a see-through pack with a label. This minor alteration saved on production costs but also meant the pack was still aligned with what the client envisioned.
We would have hit a brick wall here without Pack Science. The team have the know-how to come up with practical solutions. Many agencies claim to be able to deliver from concept to completion but in reality they don’t have the integration to make it happen. Creative and Pack Science complement each other and that’s why we work together so closely. In this industry you have to strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality. When we collaborate with Pack Science, it always shows just how interlinked these two elements are.
I really enjoyed working on Little Fingers and it’s great to see them doing so well now. Nothing beats the feeling of going to the supermarket and seeing a client’s product on-shelf. The whole experience reinforced a philosophy my career in packaging has regularly taught me: one size doesn’t fit all, and often the vision can come to life differently to what you expected.