Brace For Christmas With The BCMPA

Stuart Pritchard July 18, 2018

RODNEY STEEL of the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association discusses why you could already be too late for Christmas, plus what’s happening on the exhibition front…

Basking in the glorious sunshine of one of the warmest Junes this century, I am more focused on whether there will be enough CO2 to brew my favourite beer, than giving thought to receiving a surprise gift pack of Port & Stilton for Christmas. But then I’m not a retailer. Nor am I a brand owner or manufacturer of all those eagerly anticipated presents – luxury, querky or otherwise – that squat temptingly at the foot of the tree on 24th December. But if I was one of the aforementioned, I would need to be thinking about selecting my gift packing contract manufacturer and co-packer now, before it’s too late. Yes, Christmas all cracks off from June/July onwards in the gift packing industry and with the festive season being such an important period for retailers, they simply can’t afford to get it wrong.

Like it or not, Christmas is coming

Another ingredient comes into the mix this year with (sorry to mention it) Brexit and the challenges of attracting seasonal labour. Whilst contract packing firms are famed for investing in machinery and embracing robotics, when it comes to the intricacies of lovingly putting together Christmas gift packs, there is nothing like a pair of hands. In fact, lots of them. So, in planning your campaigns, there are many reasons why you need to start early.

Take advantage of expertise

The other important point is to sit down with your contract packer and explore the very best pack design and graphic/label options. Resist the temptation to do it all yourself. All too often the brand owner will present the co-packer with all the packaging materials as a fait-accompli and then wonder why it leads to problems. Taking 30 seconds extra to put a gift pack together may not sound long, but if you have 500,000 items to produce, you are talking about 4000 hours extra labour. Not good for profit margins! Contract packers are experts at designing packs for their customers that look great and can be assembled efficiently.

Between now and the time retailers want their Christmas presents displayed on the shelves or at online distribution hubs, the challenge is where to store them and how to despatch them. Once again, talk to your contract packer. You will find that many also provide storage, fulfilment and logistics services. A one-stop-shop could relieve you of a lot of the pre-Christmas headaches.

Vitafoods & Innovations

Success on the BCMPA stand at VitaFoods Geneva

With the global Nutraceutical market set to reach US $241.1 billion by 2019, the recent Vitafoods Europe exhibition saw over 20,000 visitors attend across the three-day show, proving how important the exhibition is for the Nutraceutical and Food Supplement sector.

Nutraceuticals is a sector specifically featured on the BCMPA website and our stand provided a great opportunity for us to meet for one-to-one consultations with brand owners, retailers and manufacturers looking to outsource their contract manufacturing and packing projects.

Looking ahead to September, the BCMPA will, as always, be promoting the services of our members at Easyfairs Packaging Innovations London which is co-located with Luxury Packaging and Aerosol & Dispensing Forum. ADF is a new addition to the event and will doubtless attract fresh visitors including those from the Beauty and Personal Care sectors.

UK Chemical Show

Join the BCMPA at Packaging Innovations London

Since the demise of Eurochem in 2010, there has been a distinct lack of chemical shows in the UK. But that’s all about to change with the launch of a brand-new event CHEMUK 2019. It will be held next May in Harrogate which is strategically positioned to attract the chemical clusters in the North East, North West and beyond. The BCMPA has joined the steering group for the event and with contract filling having always been a strong element of the industry, we look forward to promoting the services of our members in the household chemical, DIY and horticulture sectors. See


It’s all too easy to find excuses not to, but there are times where one just needs to get out of the office. There is no substitute for going out and meeting potential suppliers face to face. Don’t forget that the BCMPA’s website has an excellent Exhibitions page, so it’s worth remembering to check it out from time to time to see what’s on.