Flexpak™ Hemp is a self-supporting 18pt folding board consisting of 100% PCW (Post-Consumer Waste) with 10% hemp fibers. Its unique blend provides a sustainable product which maintains exceptional print and design capabilities. It is curbside recyclable, compostable, and boasts a number of ecological advantages which you can learn more about by clicking here.
Flexpak™ Hemp and Giants’ Gin – A Packaging Home Run
Here Comes Hemp
From the start, we knew that our new Flexpak™ Hemp would be a home run. What we didn’t know was quite how on the ball our expectations were. This latest project perfectly encapsulates the potential for our new folding carton material in the luxury packaging market.
The San Francisco Giants looked at the 2020 season with overwhelming optimism. Front office staff and fans alike were buzzing at the chance to enjoy another season in one of the most scenic and sustainable ballparks in all of professional baseball.
With high hopes and grand expectations, the Giants planned on pulling out all the stops for their loyal fans, and worked with a local distillery to develop a gin concocted with blades of grass taken straight from the Oracle Park field itself. The small batch gin was to be distributed between the luxury suites in a season opening welcome package.
“They wanted one or two bottles in every suite for the season opener as a showcase piece,” said Mickey Waite, packaging consultant and key contributor to the development of this project, “they were really looking for something nice you would see in a gift box. Something really special.”
Oracle Park is regarded as one of the most environmentally sustainable sports venues in the world. Among other accolades, they consistently maintain the highest recycling rate in all of Major League Baseball, so sustainability would have to play a key role in the material chosen to create their showcase piece. That requirement paired with the progressive, Cannabis-friendly atmosphere surrounding the city of San Francisco led Waite’s mind straight to hemp.
“The Giants wanted something that was unique… a material that would be interesting to tell a story about,“ he said, “I knew that you guys had the hemp paper come out recently. It seemed like a very good fit to be able to offer that specific type of solution to that location. When we told them, they were stoked about it. They were very interested and supportive of the idea.”
Flexpak™ Fits the Bill
Among a number of other options that were offered for the project, Ecological Fibers’ Flexpak™ Hemp was ultimately chosen as the folding carton packaging solution. “You were the first people we looked at,” said Waite “you guys are always great to work with, there are no problems, everything is always so smooth. You always have a great product and you stand by it.”
The Structural Design
The structural and graphic design of the package was left largely up to the discretion of the designers. “They actually had very few requirements, they just wanted it to be great,” said Waite.
After initially playing with the idea of including a window to reveal the bottle within, it was later decided that a fully enclosed package would best provide the support needed for the unusually heavy contents within. The auto-bottom style was chosen to reinforce the structural support required to hold the liquor bottle, while the folded top provides a clean, luxurious surface appearance.
Along the length of the front and back facing sides of the package, the San Francisco Giants logo and the “24 Blades Gin” text pay homage to the 24 blades of Oracle Park grass distilled within the spirit itself and highlight the piece.
The elegant design was inspired by the contents – Juniper Berries, Lemon peel, Lavender, Rosemary and the blades of Oracle Park grass lay printed boldly in crisp gold against the black backdrop, with the hemp inclusions of the material intermittently peeking through the print to provide a luxuriously rustic charm to the finished design.
The most impressive aspect of the design is the heavy black double-sided ink coverage on the white hemp stock. The entire package was printed digitally on an Indigo printer and is one of the first times that our hemp solution has been printed with solid ink coverage.
“It’s a game when you’re trying to get ink coverage to sit nicely on a new paper. You have the potential to burn through a lot of sheets trying to get the coverage just right, but they hit this right on the head right off the bat,” said Waite, “there is definitely heavy ink coverage on this piece. It turned out really nice and smooth and they didn’t have to work very hard at getting it there.”
The distribution of the package, originally intended as a portion of a welcome basket for luxury suite owners, was delayed as a result of the shortened season and zero-attendance requirements due to the pandemic – but fans did eventually receive their mementos. And we hope that this project helps to serve as a sign of optimism as baseball and sports return…as well as representing a collaborative appreciation for creating striking packaging while keeping sight of sustainability and ecological stewardship.
Hemp is one of the most sustainable and diverse materials available today, and the products being made from its fibers have the potential to change the game in sustainable packaging. We at Ecological Fibers are incredibly excited to be able to incorporate this new material into our ever-expanding collection of industry solutions.
To learn more about our latest hemp materials and their ecological properties and benefits, please click here.
And for more information on how Ecological Fibers can help take your upcoming project to the next level, please feel free to reach out to our sales staff at any time.