From micro vegetables to eatable flowers
In 2002, Koppert Cress, a former gardening company in radishes, was acquired by visionary Rob Baan. He transformed the company into a worldwide specialist in micro vegetables (cresses) and eatable flowers and leafs. Before, in contrary to Asia, these products were unknowns in the Netherlands. Rob Baan knew there was no existing demand from the market due to the unfamiliarity of micro vegetables. By getting the potential users, not the initial buyers, enthusiastic about the products, he created a “pull-effect” on which the demand was created. Through dealers the products of Koppert Cress are now delivered to the star chefs and the higher class restaurants in the world. Koppert Cress focusses with its products on the professional B2B-market and is constantly searching for new species of cresses to introduce in the market.
“I have always been amazed by the amount of flavours there are available worldwide, that we, in Western-Europe, don’t even know” Rob Baan, owner Koppert Cress.
From labels to solutions in folding carton
In the beginning Koppert Cress only bought labels from St-Luc. Later folding carton was added as packaging when St-Luc offered a qualitative solution for an existing moist problem. Quality is an important aspect for Koppert Cress and they are very loyal to partners who offer the right price-quality ratio. St-Luc could meet these demands.
When Koppert Cress wanted to renew its complete packaging line, St-Luc played a crucial role in the realisation. Koppert Cress realized that their packaging needed a new and vibrant look. Also, they had to meet new regulatory demands. A new line of packaging also meant new machines which was a big change at Koppert Cress. St-Luc offered it knowledge and R&D throughout the entire transformation process, and offered labels, linereless labels and folding cartons as complete packaging solution. In cooperation with design bureau Snow Donuts and machine supplier Ulma Pakckaging, the new family of packaging was introduced in spring 2017.
“Koppert Cress has become the go-to-brand in the market, than you need packaging the reflects this quality” Jan Dekkers, account manager St-Luc.
From extra costs to extra turnover
A nice solution of a packaging solution that St-Luc offered is the Button packaging. Koppert Cress was looking for a new type of packaging for its eatable flowers. The existing packaging did not correspond with the quality (and price) of the product. The original idea of Koppert Cress was very costly and labour intensive. St-Luc offered a simpler solution that was much more suitable: a double carton card with an opening at the top and a window. This way the plastic container with the flowers could easily be inserted in the card and was visible for the customer. This type packaging offered more space for product information and the processing of the plastic container went much faster. As a result Koppert Cress saw its turnover of eatable flowers rising. A nice example of how an attractive and functional packaging can have added value to a specific product. A different solution is the linerless label surrounding the transparent containers. By gluing very specific parts, the packaging gained maximal transparency, something a carton sleeve or regular self-adhesive label could not provide.
“Our packaging must reflect out quality standards”
From supplier to partner
St-Luc has proven itself in the last years as a reliable packaging partner. Especially its flexibility and the ability to think alongside Koppert Cress are well appreciated by Koppert Cress. Is it so much more about the supply of packaging materials, it is about the partnership between two companies. The cooperation has come to a point that St-Luc is the standard point of contact for any packaging questions that arises at Koppert Cress. There is shared pride at Koppert Cress and St-Luc about the achievements of the new line of packaging.
“The flexibility, effort and involvement from the entire organisation are very appreciated. It gives us really the feeling that we, as a customer, are valued” Jan van Berkel, manager communication, Koppert Cress.
An innovative business as Koppert Cress is continuously looking at the future. That is part of the DNA of the company. Next to the introduction of new products they want to keep developing its packaging. Koppert Cress strives for a world where their packaging can be reused. The ultimate goal is that the various types of packaging (labels, folding carton etc.) can function as food for the earth. It might look as something for the distant future but Koppert Cress wants to take the initiative in durability and sustainability and ask the market for the options. It is then up to the packaging companies to reply.