British Pepper and Spice

British pepper and spice

Sustainable cap design becomes a manufacturing reality

British Pepper and Spice Ltd (BPS) has a 300-year heritage in the processing, packaging and marketing of herbs, spices and seasonings.

From their factory in Northampton, they supply the majority of the UK’s leading retail and wholesale distribution foodservice companies as well as many of Europe’s major food manufacturers. They pride themselves on having created a ‘sustainable centre of excellence in herbs and spices’ and on their exacting standards in ensuring ingredients reach customers in a safe and unadulterated state.

As a key supplier to leading supermarkets, BPS’ packaging is expected to continually push the boundaries on innovation. The stand-out appeal of one of its retailers’ square caps certainly achieved this; but, like any packaging solution, there’s always the desire to further enhance the consumer experience.

Offering technical and design expertise to help our customers meet changing market demands is a cornerstone of our work at Robinson. It’s perhaps one of the reasons why our partnership with BPS has spanned over 20 years.

A superior performing sustainable cap with enhanced features for the consumer

This particular collaboration involved updating the square cap to achieve even better functionality for the consumer. The introduction of a “live” hinge allowed for more easy opening and an audible click indicates to the consumer that the lid has been closed properly. Features and benefits have been further enhanced by a more secure fit to the glass bottle and dispensing made more accurate by changing the size of the sprinkle holes.

The product upgrade also improved the sustainability profile, removing the carbon black pigment – which can go undetected by automated waste-sorting machines and therefore not recycled. This helped to achieve our collective recyclability goals.

The project also involved moving from a glue liner to an IHS (induction heat seal) liner, with key benefits being the offer of tamper evidence and spillage prevention.

The project proved technically challenging since there was a need for top pressure on the IHS liners to affect a high-performing seal. BPS installed a special new sealing kit as part of this process.

Owing to a significant growth in demand from their retail customer, BPS not only invested in their Northampton site to increase capacity but also commissioned two sets of 16 cavity tools at Robinson’s factory Kirkby-in-Ashfield factory in Nottinghamshire. Their commitment was matched by Robinson’s investment in two new injection moulding machines.

“In a fast-moving environment of heightened consumer preference, we’re constantly working with our Retail partners to improve the performance of the product, and it’s vital that we’re incredibly agile in shaping our response. As on countless other occasions, we arrived at a solution to the sealing challenge together. Our relationship with Robinson is long established and there’s an implicit trust in their capability to deliver solutions according to our exact requirements. Not only do we value their sound technical expertise on all things packaging, but we also know that their pragmatic approach will always find the most commercially appealing solution.”

Geraldine Carolan, Senior Buyer, British Pepper and Spice Ltd