Ten Things You Probably Don't Know About Meridian Speciality Packaging
Because custom manufacturing represents around 60% of our business, we're constantly working to different supply chain lead-times and different market seasonality product by product and customer by customer - so we're constantly busy throughout the year. But in stock packaging it all goes a bit mad at Christmas! We send nearly half our orders out during October, November and December and we have to pull staff in from other areas to help pick, pack and send all the orders, as well as processing them, sending copy invoices, etc. It's all worth it when we get great feedback saying how well Christmas sales have gone for our customers or how delighted their customers were with the finished product. So please give us this feedback and send us your pictures so that when we finally tuck into our turkey dinner we've got some sense that it was all worthwhile!
Meridian began life in Malvern and we are proud to remain in the area. Malvern has a history of entrepreneurial spirit centred around strong and loyal local workforces, a fine national and international reputation built on beautiful landscape and beloved natural spring water made popular by Elizabeth I in the 16th century, and a scientific and technical pedigree in government and private defence research. The Morgan Motor Company began as a garage and motor works in Malvern Link and remains in Malvern Link to this day. The combination of internationally renowned excellence and locally rooted success is a compelling vision of the future for Meridian. We are proud to operate in this area, and believe we can continue to grow in our existing location. The challenge is to offer an expanding workforce an exceptional and enjoyable place of work in keeping with the stature of the local environment.
Because short-run expertise means processing thousands of production orders per annum (on top of even more stock orders!) we have to make sure we offer continual flexibility in the production schedule to meet short lead-times on a consistent basis. To do this we haven't got time to sub-contract many of the premium finishing aspects and have therefore developed a highly skilled workforce capable of foiling, embossing and debossing, complex die-cutting, multi-component assembly, intricate machine and hand gluing and window carton production, thermo-forming, working with plastics, card and paper. By continually delivering on our promise of high quality, fair prices, and short lead-times, we create enduring customer loyalty - but we never take this for granted and constantly look at what's on offer in the marketplace to ensure we deliver the very best in premium finishing techniques and high quality services. To read more about our design capabilities, click here. Or why not get in touch to discuss a bespoke (custom) packaging project?
Everything starts somewhere and few great companies moved into elegant surroundings from the outset. In our case we started life operating from a former scout hut and even then had the same point of view about service: what we couldn't make we helped our customers find, we were always available on the phone (and commonly by fax back then!) and we worked tirelessly to deliver what we promised. It's no secret that listening to your customers, treating them with respect and working hard lead to success and with each small success we've reinvested to grow the business, expand our capabilities and machine capacity and gradually move towards the business we are today. But it doesn't stop here - just like those who occupied our first premises, we promise to do our best, to do our duty, to help people at all times...and to obey the scout law!
We offer a rare combination of skills all under the same roof, producing printed folding cartons in carton board but also specialising in transparent packaging. This capability allows us to produce cartons with transparent components, for instance transparent lids for chocolate boxes or angled windows for premium packaging designed to showcase a product. Our in-house automation of four corner glued transparent lids makes us one of the leading two piece transparent box makers in the UK—with the option of adding card inserts, plinths or backing cards. We also offer transparent cartons, pillow packs, fitments and much more. We are also a preferred supplier of transparent bags, both plain and printed, with card bottoms, single and double gussets, from stock or made to order. We can offer standard OPP, de-metallised printed bags and compostable bags. For our transparent box and carton work we use PVC and PET subject to your requirements and the suitability of the material for the job. So if you are looking for any of the following, please get in touch: Transparent lids for card boxes Transparent Easter cartons Printed or foiled designs onto transparent cartons Window cartons Transparent pillow packs Block bottom and ‘hard’ bottom bags
Food and particularly confectionery packaging has always been our specialist subject - but we produce non-food packaging for a large range of customers as well. Because we meet the strict operating standards required to produce direct contact food packaging, we can work with some of Europe's finest confectioners and artisan food manufacturers - which is fantastic and we'd never change that. But the outcome of this is that we're quality focused and this allows us to compete for other gift and retail packaging work, particularly where the requirements are a little complex or outside the norm, i.e. requiring specialist coating, hot foiling, embossing or complicated assembly work (hand-finishing). We apply the same standards to all our production and we are very competitive on short-to-medium runs or difficult jobs.
Printing is still very lightly legislated for when compared with other components of the overall finished pack, but a lack of legislation does not mean a lack of regulation. Back in 2008 Meridian was in attendance at a workshop organised by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and it was apparent that standards varied greatly and inks manufacturers weren't at the time in the mood to accept responsibility for building compliance in from the outset. This led to a reliance on post production testing which was unsustainable and unrealistic. However, as the tide began to turn, certain inks manufacturers were quick to spot an opportunity and began to develop what we at Meridian have always referred to as a "safe building blocks" approach to developing compliant (and more importantly safe) packaging components. From this workshop forward we've worked with the printers to source migration harmless inks specifically designed for use with primary food packaging, and we've broadened the definition of primary packaging to include even packaging where a barrier layer is used but this barrier can be assumed to be a weak or ineffective barrier to migration of potentially harmful substances from conventional inks. We therefore use migration harmless inks on all our stock packaging and have done so for many years, continually promoting this to our customers in order to ask them to demand it of their other suppliers. As the industry has developed, this is now much more commonplace - but we're proud to have taken a route which has cost us time, effort and finances but leaves us with a strong ethical stance in relation to packaging safety which is embedded throughout our entire business and our wider supply chain.
More than 100 years have passed since the invention of the ballotin box by the wife of a notable Belgian chocolatier, but still the popularity of the packaging remains timeless. The only UK manufacturer of the European style of ballotin, with a solid base and four sides folded up and glued at each corner, we offer a unique value proposition and extensive experience in producing this distinctive style of carton. The design prevents cocoa powder or crumbs from escaping the box, gives a stronger base for packing heavier weights of chocolate, fudge or confectionery, and allows the sides to angle out in a more recognisably Belgian shape. These beautiful ballotins are designed to be secured with a ribbon, tied and dressed in front of the customer who chooses from a selection of delicious confectionery.
Certain things about what we do are all about straight edged precision - packaging legality and safety, on-time delivery, short lead-times, high and consistent quality. But there's very little in nature formed entirely of straight edges and our pursuit of a customer-focused, human feeling approach to creating beautiful packaging demands greater subtlety and a much softer focus. This is why we've come to embody the meridian line of our name: yes we're hard edged about the need to be dependable, reliable packaging partners; but we're also easy to deal with, accepting of the need to be flexible and capable of delivering a well rounded and positive experience whether you're buying stock packaging or working with us on a design and manufacturing project.
You may already know we offer a wide selection of fine gift and generic retail packaging. You may also know we manufacture both personalised versions of our stock products or completely custom designs for retail packaging - mostly printed folding cartons but also a wider range of other packaging types. However, did you know we also source packaging? We do this as a wholesaler selling plain packaging and also as a packaging designer working with you to create a vision for packaging which we can't produce but can specify and buy on your behalf from one of our trusted partners. So whether you want bags, gift wrap, tissue paper, corrugated packaging, shelf displays, even rigid packaging - whatever your ideas we can help you bring them to life. Why not get in touch to discuss what you need?