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Finland Baby Boxes: Why Cardboard?

Shared 1 million times and read over 10 million times, the BBC’s blog about Finland’s baby boxes has become one of the most viewed blogs in the history of the BBC website. This unusual story about a long standing national tradition has grabbed public imagination and sparked discussions across the country.

Finland's Maternity Package

Image © Finnish Baby Box Ltd

BABIES AND BOXES

For the last 150 years, parents of new-born babies in Finland have been given a padded cardboard box that acts as a Moses basket for the first few weeks of their child’s life.

These boxes are provided by the Finnish state, but can be bought online from companies such as Finnish Baby Box.

Anssi Okkonnen, a founder of Finnish Baby Box, told us:

“The Finnish Baby Box is a great starter-kit to parenthood with a selection of high quality indoor and outdoor clothes that will help clothe the baby for the first 9 months, hygiene products such as nail clippers and bath thermometer, and the baby can sleep in the box too, as it comes with fitted mattress, sheets, duvet cover and a sleeping bag. The box is a safe and cozy place for the baby to sleep and it is surprisingly convenient when placed next to the parents bed – night feeding is easy and the baby is nearby but does not share the bed.”

The reason why this story is so popular though, seems to be the quirkiness of the material. Cribs and strollers are usually made from wood or robust plastic, not cardboard!

People don’t usually associate cardboard with being a suitable storage option for babies, which is incredible given its versatility, and the fact that we use it to ship other fragile items.

Statistics show that around 90% of packages sent every year are done so in cardboard packaging. That is an incredible percentage given the variety of goods and products that are being sent.

WHY CARDBOARD?

If parents in Finland have put their trust in cardboard boxes to accommodate their sleeping infants, why haven’t we?

First of all, it’s useful to look at the properties of the material. Cardboard doesn’t splinter or smash and is getting stronger and stronger, with new processes of manufacturing making boxes more durable and crush resistant than ever before. Companies such as ourselves offer extra strong triple-walled boxes, ideal for heavy or fragile goods which can support a weight up to 500kg – not that you’d need that for a baby!

What’s more, cardboard is not only a durable material, it is flexible too. A cardboard box can easily be adjusted to suit a particular size or shape.

Secondly, being manufactured with different layers of fluting, cardboard is an excellent insulator which is sure to keep babies warm in winter.

Thirdly, from an eco-friendly and environmental perspective, cardboard is one of the most sustainable packaging materials on the market, with many boxes being manufactured from recycled cardboard. Cardboard boxes can also be reused over and over again, to store items, move goods and of course, for growing families.

Many cardboard boxes also carry the Mobius Loop, a sign that they can be recycled, while some boxes are even manufactured to be biodegradable after use. This allows companies to adhere to green policies, and once a baby is old enough, parents can easily dispose of the box.

So it seems that Finland’s baby boxes are a real alternative to plastic cribs, strollers or Moses baskets; after all warmth, comfort and protection are the ideal conditions for any sleeping baby!

 MAKING IT PERSONAL

Inside the Baby Box

Image © Finnish Baby Box Ltd

With ‘personalisation’ seemingly the latest buzz term in packaging, cardboard boxes can easily be marked and personalised. For businesses, they can become an extra form of advertising to help strengthen a company’s brand, and overprinting allows them to add their own branding or bespoke design directly onto the cardboard.

It’s a material that can easily be personalised by parents to match their baby’s personality and character. They could have their own initials, name, birth sign or favourite picture on the box.

Cardboard boxes also make an ideal ‘keep sake’ or memory box for children, allowing them to store their most cherished items.

 

 BABY BOXES FOR BRITAIN – COULD IT WORK?

After reading the BBC article, we wondered why the baby boxes idea hasn’t yet been adopted in Britain. The benefits of cardboard are clear to see, so why shouldn’t we use it in the UK? We’ve run the numbers to see just how much it would cost the taxpayer in this country for the NHS to produce boxes for every new born baby.

Based on the most recent figures of baby births (taken from 2014), it would cost £6.5m to ‘box’ every baby in Britain. But if Finland, a country where temperatures can drop to -50°C, can trust cardboard boxes to protect their precious newborns, then there’s no reason why Britain couldn’t do the same.

Please note that Rajapack do not stock the Finnish baby boxes that are discussed in this article. The article is purely a response to a topic that was widely discussed at the time of writing.

Answering your Questions from the Edelivery Expo 2015

On the 25th and 26th of March, we were on location at the eDelivery Expo in Birmingham, showcasing our services and products, as well as answering questions from new and existing customers.

Business owners and other exhibition attendees wanted to know what we do that makes our service so expert and specialised, as well as how we can create packaging solutions for different sizes and types of businesses.

Rajapack at eDelivery Expo 2015

We’ve compiled a selection of our answers to our most frequently asked questions from the eDelivery Expo 2015:

Where do Rajapack sit in the packaging market?

As part of the Raja Group we are the no. 1 Packaging Supplier across Europe. We pride ourselves on delivering a high level of service and a quality product to ensure our customers come back to us time and time again.

What makes Rajapack unique vs our competitors?

  • We have the largest range of packaging items in stock and available for next day delivery
  • Next day delivery is available on orders placed before 4.30pm
  • We offer specific packaging advice and support across our entire range from our UK-based sales team.
  • We guarantee consistent product quality across the range, meaning customers can be 100% confident in their purchases every time they order.
  • Long term contracts are available for customers ordering large volumes of products, protecting them from ever changing fluctuations in raw material prices.
  • We run a user friendly website that includes intelligent tools such as Box Selector and Rajaprint to help customers make the right decision.
  • Dedicated account managers make packaging purchases easy and efficient for large volume customers.

What packaging solutions do Rajapack offer for specific requirements?

At Rajapack we understand that our customers have specific needs that may require more bespoke solutions. Despite having 3,500 products in our offering, we realise some customers want us to source products that are not currently in our range or they want their packaging to be personalised with their logo. Our team of packaging specialists work tirelessly to offer a range of bespoke solutions, such as our custom-packaging tape system, Rajaprint, and go the extra mile to meet the demands of our customer base.

What ways can Rajapack offer to increase customers brand recognition?

We have a range of products that can be customised with our customer’s branding and logo to allow their products to stand out from the crowd. An example of this is Rajaprint, one of the more recent additions to the Rajapack website.

What machines do Rajapack offer?

When it comes to protection packaging, we have a range of machines that suit almost all of our customer’s needs. We have paper, air and foam packaging machines. These machines are designed to save you time and money over traditional protective packaging options.

Can Rajapack visit the customer’s site to do a packaging audit?

Our packaging specialists show off their expertise best, when they talk directly over the phone or visit their customers in person. By finding out the specific packaging needs of their customers, our team can work closely with you to audit your requirements and find the right solution for your business.

What bespoke products can Rajapack source?

We offer a range of bespoke packaging products that can be sourced specifically for your company. We can customise cardboard and postal boxes, packaging tape, labels, and a range of bags such as gift, plastic and canvas.

These questions reinforce the trends that we are seeing in the packaging market this year, with personalisation and unique branding being at the forefront of our customer’s requirements. Many customers are looking to create tailored and personalised packaging solutions for their products, allowing them to be easily recognised and remembered.

For highlights of the eDelivery Expo 2015, head to www.edeliveryexpo.com.

Raja Group buys Distance Selling Company Morplan

The Raja Group are very happy to announce the purchase of the distance selling company, Morplan.

Morplan and Rajapack Logos

 Morplan is a major player in the distance selling of retail supplies and equipment for various sectors, including clothing, office supplies and retail equipment. They employ a staff of 120, offer a 500-page catalogue with over 5,000 products and have stores in three of Britain’s major cities (London, Glasgow and Bristol).  Morplan have a sales turnover of close to 25 million euros with an operating profit of 10%.

The Raja Group president, Danielle Kapel-Marcovici said of the acquisition;

“Morplan is a great fit in terms of our existing knowledge and expertise in the market place.  I am delighted to announce this 9th acquisition; it reinforces our position in the European business to business market and also complements our organic growth.”

The purchase of Morplan will allow the Raja Group to double its volume of business and improve its knowledge and skill base in the UK market in terms of products and customers. It will also facilitate rapid growth in sales for both companies.

Raja Group Building

This is yet another exciting development; the news of this takeover comes only a matter of weeks since we launched our innovative new online custom packaging-tape system, Rajaprint

Presenting InfusionWrap™ – Scented Bubble Wrap

As number 1 in Europe for Packaging, at Rajapack we continue to innovate in the industry; it was only a matter of weeks ago that we introduced our brand new Rajaprint custom packaging tape system and now, we have an industry-first to unveil.

It is our absolute pleasure to announce the forthcoming release of our revolutionary new protective packaging: InfusionWrap™ – Scented Bubble Wrap.

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THE PRODUCT

InfusionWrap™ will be introduced to the RajaBul range of bubble wrap.  Customers have always been able to see a product, feel a product, even taste a product in some circumstances. Now, they can smell it as well for a full sensory experience.

By this, we don’t mean the smell of the cardboard or plastic that the item has been packaged in. We mean subtle scents of real products; coffee, fresh-baked bread, flowers, or sizzling bacon. Each bubble in this special edition bubble wrap will release aromas that stimulate the senses and evoke memory recall across a range of emotions.

Infusion Wrap

THE SCIENCE

The science behind the InfusionWrap™ is simple; we’ve used this exact same methodology that perfume manufacturers use when sampling their scents, only we’ve managed to reduce it from a liquid form.

Each bubble of our scented wrap contains 12 Olfactory units of fragrance. These are released once the bubble is popped. As our sense of smell is linked to our memory, the 12 Olfactory units can influence our mood, bring back memories and even effect how we work! This is because our olfactory senses are located in the limbic system, associated with the ’emotional brain’.

THE MATHS

There would be no point sending such an innovative and potentially market-changing product to market if no one could afford it. That’s why, for only £10 more than standard bubble wrap (per unit), you can bring this experience to your customers and enhance their experience when they unwrap your products.

That’s incredible value even if we do say so ourselves.

THE FUTURE

We truly believe that scented bubble wrap could completely replace standard bubble wrap in a matter of years, so get on board now so you can beat the competition by more than a nose!

Packaging Innovations 2015 Wrap Up

Last month saw the return of the Packaging Innovations Expo and once again, Rajapack were there to not only show off some of our great products, but also have a look at what others in the industry have been getting up to.

We sent along Matt and Jules, members of our fantastic internal sales and marketing teams, to report back to us on what was causing a stir at the expo in 2015.

Packaging Innovations 2015

Q. Which particular companies displayed products that really interested you? What were the products?

M. The one product which stood out for me was a super cool 3D printer from a company called ‘Laser Lines’; the whole area of 3D printing is just mind-blowing!

J. I thought there were a few interesting products from several different companies. I really liked the inflatable packaging that ‘Airpack’ were exhibiting and I also thought ‘Your Gift Basket’s’ range of gifting fillers were eye-catching and simple to assemble. ‘CS Labels’ had an incredible array of all types of labelling from embossed to metallic to holographic, in all sizes and colours.

Q. What were the main trends and themes that came out of the expo?

M- Customers are seeing the advantages of paper over air-fill machines and both are becoming popular replacements to loose-fill chips and bubble wrap. Customers also seem to be putting a higher value on efficiency over price and are starting to favour integrated packaging machines.

J. Cost-effectiveness and the need for strong, protective packaging were recurrent themes through the entire Expo. In terms of the types of products most on display, these appeared to be food packaging such as moulding and polypropylene and health and beauty items.

Q. Which products did you display and how were they received?

M. We displayed a selection from our 3500 line product range alongside 3 packaging machines. Our products were really well received, with customers especially interested in personalising their packaging with custom print or sizing. We showcased our new online tool RAJAprint which allows customers to design their own packaging tape online. The Ranpak FillPakTT Cutter, a paper void fill machine, had a lot of interest shown in it due to its efficiency and cost saving properties (as opposed to high volume solutions such as loose fill and bubble wrap). The Opus Mini Bio machine remains one of our most popular systems. Customers like the fact that it is affordable to be bought outright (not on a contract), as well as its speed and efficiency.

J. I agree with Matt. In terms of what we had on display, we also had shelves of customised products and gift lines which were a big draw, a shelving unit with all our core lines and our base packing station.

Q. Do you have any final conclusions that you have drawn from the Expo about the way the industry might be moving over the next 12 months?

M. Customers require more than just a low price from their packaging suppliers. They’re now looking for the whole package: a wide product offering, quick delivery, personalised support both over the phone and in the field, a deep knowledge of the market and ways that we can increase overall efficiency rather than just lowering current product cost.

Customers are looking at custom made or printed solutions as the norm these days and the number of customers going for bespoke solutions will only increase in the months to come.

Rajapack will also be displaying the eDelivery Expo in Birmingham on the 25th and 26th March. Click here for more information.

Rajapack are proud to introduce to you…RAJAPRINT

We couldn’t be more excited to introduce our brand new packaging-tape customisation system, Rajaprint. Rajaprint is an online system that allows users to choose from varying types of packaging tape before customising them with different colours, texts or brand logos.

raja-print-custom

We’ve always tried to be the best for our customers and to us that means listening to their requests and trying our best to turn them into workable, affordable products. It also means moving with the evolution of the packaging world.

Rajaprint comes as a reaction to a wave of customer feedback that suggests that customisation is set to be the packaging must-have of 2015.

The list of variables for Rajaprint is impressive, even if we do say so ourselves.

  • Over 100 different tapes to choose from
  • 2 different widths of tape
  • Various lengths depending on the tape selected
  • Tape-materials including Vinyl, Paper, Polypropylene, Cross Woven, Heavy Duty, Low Noise

It’s not just the customised tape that we’re proud of though. The functionality behind the system is seamless and so easy to use. It involves a 3-step process so you can go from start to finish in just a few clicks. Here’s a video to show you more

The added branding potential that customised packaging tape can provide is such a benefit to SME business’ who don’t want the large overheads of specialised branding campaigns. With the Rajaprint, special launch offer customers can buy a stock of custom vinyl tape from just £1.67 per roll (72 roll minimum order) and in the process take care of packaging and branding needs in one go.

We’re pretty proud of the turn-around time as well; business never sleeps and so we’ve made our process as streamlined as possible. Our typical delivery time is just two weeks from design sign-off.

Click on the picture below to try out Rajaprint for yourself, it could be the best thing you do today.

Rajaprint

Helping Communities – Celebrating International Women’s Day

The Raja-Daniele Marcovici Foundation

“The entire Raja Group marches for women’s rights!”

Raja Group employees marched for international women's day.

To help and support this year’s International Women’s Day, all employees across the 18 companies under the Raja Group umbrella have taken part in a week long mobilisation for Women’s rights.

All 1500 employees were given a free pedometer for the campaign, organised by the Raja-Daniele Marcovici Foundation, with the goal of achieving 15 million steps.

The attempt was made in support of the Life Project 4 Youth charity, which is currently helping young mothers in the slums of Manila and Jakarta. The charity helps young people living in these slums  build better futures for themselves and their families.

Since 2009, 500 young people have been supported by the Life Project 4 Youth, but with many living in vulnerable conditions in these slums, the charity is in vital need of help and support from organisations such as the Raja-Daniele Marcovici foundation.

That is why we are proud to announce that the Raja Group have incredibly met that goal of 15 million steps and therefore a generous donation of €15,000 has been gifted to the LP4Y by the foundation.

The Life Project 4 Youth charity at work.

This is an incredible amount of money for a charity which does such important work in some of the toughest environments in the world. To put it into context, 15 million steps between 1500 people equates to an average of 10,000 steps (5 miles) per person.

However, The Raja-Daniele Marcovici Foundation’s support of the Life Project 4 Youth charity has not started and finished with the March for Women’s Rights week. Since 2012, the foundation has supported two centres which specialise in the education and support of young, unmarried mothers.

In that time, the centres have helped over 50 young mothers to learn key entrepreneurial and production skills which will allow them to have control over their lives and build futures for themselves and help lift the communities out of poverty.

About the Raja-Daniele Marcovici Foundation 2006-2015

Founded in 2006 on the initiative of Daniele Kapel-Marcovici, CEO of the Raja Group, the Raja- Daniele Marcovici Foundation supports community projects for women in France and around the world. It campaigns for women’s rights, the fight against violence against women, education and training, professional and social integration.

To find out more about the work of the Life Project 4 Youth, watch the video below.

Rajapack raise money for Refuge’s Christmas gift appeal

Christmas will be coming early to Rajapack this year, as on November 29th we will be hosting a festive fundraising day for the charity Refuge.

Refuge

Refuge provide support to women and children who have suffered the trauma of domestic violence, a form of abuse which is distressingly common – as members of staff discovered when the charity gave a talk at our offices in June.

The talk had a big impact on us as it was revealed that, shockingly, one in four women experience domestic violence and two women a week are killed by abusive partners. Although Christmas should be a time for family and celebration, sadly many women and children will be spending the festive season in refuges, having fled violence in the home.

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