Hunter Luxury’s MD, Mike Banister explains the power of Hunter’s technical expertise to deliver compelling packaging experiences for leading luxury brands.

What does Technical Expertise mean to clients, existing and new?

Innovative ideas and ambitious packaging expressions, no matter how much intent there is to make them happen, are always faced with what’s actually possible. Inevitably creativity is reigned-in as the idea is prototyped and compromises are made, leading to a more conventional interpretation of a much braver concept.

Technical Expertise reduces that compromise, nurtures that bravery and finds solutions that keep the original idea thriving through the production journey. In short, it helps clients avoid the compromises.

Why is Technical Expertise important to luxury brands?

Whilst we work with some of the world’s category leaders, even world class packaging projects face the same realities as any project. Ideas are always bigger than the budget. Shipping product around global retail channels present harsh conditions, no matter how durable the solution. Opening and user experiences always carry fragilities, whilst brand experiences need to be consistent time and time again. Too many projects seek out the path of least resistance and engineer downwards to more conventional solutions. Whilst that’s great for project management, brands dilute the impact and cut-through.

How is Technical Expertise defined in Hunter people?

Experience. We employ senior-team members with decades of experience right across the packaging industry. From brand agencies to multi-million production houses in the Far-East, we have a really compelling mix of creative, design and hands-on production management to nurture great ideas, whilst mitigating the challenges to bring ideas to market.

How does Technical Expertise change projects?

Traditionally, a packaging concept is sent to procurement and production, to interpret the idea based on what’s ‘off-the-shelf’. Supply chains they’ve always used and materials they’re comfortable working with, as mitigating risk eclipses the idea.

Our Technical Expertise takes a different approach. We protect the original concept and build the production and project channels around it. Whilst this creates more space for a creative idea to flourish, we still build the hard-controls to mitigate risks in production.

How does The Macallan Estate project demonstrate ‘Technical Expertise’ changing real outcomes?

The brief wanted to tell a brilliant and sensory brand story from the heart of their Speyside provenance, through secondary packaging. The stretch-ambition was to use real stone on the packaging and that really needed solid technical expertise to deliver it.

The Industry’s first ever natural slate and rigid box required us to search for the right quarry to achieve the desired quality and finish. Every piece was hand-cut, unique and subject to extensive testing, with the transcript placed in laser-cut recesses. Added to this was the surround drawer-box designed to counter-balance the slate, whilst delivering an absolutely seamless opening motion, time and time again.

The Macallan project was a big success at the 2019 Luxury Packaging awards?

Yes. The Macallan Estate presentation pack took first place in the Luxury Drinks category at the Luxury Packaging Awards at London’s Grovesnor House in November 2019. The award, collected by Lineup Studios, confirmed the project as the best packaging launch in luxury drinks across the whole year.

Hunter were also given a commendation in the Supplier of the Year category. Delivering a project of this calibre, for a brand of such distinction, affirmed Hunter’s credentials as a world-class luxury packaging supplier. The pride held by The Macallan’s customers around this product will be more than shared by the team who delivered it.

Edrington Group, Lineup Studios and Hunter celebrate at Luxury Packaging Awards 2019.

How have Edrington group described the project?

A senior packaging technologist from Edrington was kind enough to give us this testimonial:

“From an initial concept briefing on what was a very Technically challenging project, the team at Hunter proved invaluable in terms of realisation of The Macallan Estate Packaging. Hunter’s help with the development and subsequent manufacture of this stunning pack is greatly appreciated by Edrington. We were very impressed with Hunter’s capability in sourcing the natural slate used on the front of pack and also the diligence in ensuring each piece is individually crafted to the correct specification to provide the required aesthetics of the finished pack. Thank you very much to the whole Team at Hunter for all of their hard work in making our vision for The Macallan Estate box a reality.”

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