Featured Case Study

Hairspring Watercress

The challenge and the background

Hairspring Watercress is renowned for the amazing quality of its produce which is sold to a network of wholesalers, retailers an urban food markets. The family-run farm is split over two sites, both of which are fed by a continuous stream of natural, fresh spring water. For more than half a century, the business has also been recognised as an approved grower under the NFU Watercress Association scheme, demonstrating its adherence to strict hygiene standards.

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Hairspring were looking to move away from using polystyrene boxes for as this choice of material was presenting too many issues for the business. The core priority was to move towards a far more sustainable and environmentally-friendly packaging solution. In addition, the use of polystyrene also presented issues around ease of handling as well as significantly increasing transportation and storage costs for the business. The Westpak team were tasked with finding a solution that would offer a vast improvement in sustainability while still being sufficiently robust to accommodate very high moisture levels as well as being able to easily withstand the stresses of routine handling and transportation.

Westpak’s solution to the challenge

The team at Westpak were aware of Hairspring’s adherence to the NFU Watercress Association’s code of practice. As such, a series of key parameters were borne in mind, ensuring the new packaging design was fully compliant in this respect. The new design featured a thick cardboard exterior, offering greatly improved overall sustainability while still able to providing a sturdy and highly-robust solution. A thin, water-resistant lining was then also incorporated into the design – an essential addition to accommodate ice that is included at the bottom of the container. This packaging method helps to ensure that the watercress consistently arrives to the retailer in the best possible condition and remains as fresh as possible. The overall packaging design process underwent a series of design revisions and refinements before successfully and enthusiastically being incorporated by Hairspring.


The result

The revised box design offers a multitude of benefits for Hairspring watercress. Firstly, the business was able to achieve it’s core objective in switching to a far more sustainable and environmentally-friendly packaging solution. The cardboard exterior is also able to immediately convery this environmental message to its customers. Secondly, the business was able to incorporate enhanced branding into the box’s design – providing a stronger sense of visual identify over the preceding polystyrene design. In addition, hairspring were also able to be paid for successfully recycling the boxes as well as benefitting from drastically reduced storage and transportation costs.

The new design also offered unexpected benefits – the newly adopted method of storing watercress in lined boxes was actually found to  provide two extra days of product shelf-life. Hairspring were delighted with the implementation of this improved packaging design, to be able to offer a more sustainable solution to their customer-base, and to benefit from an series of additional financial and branding benefits.

Discover more about the traditional ways of working utilises across the Hairspring Watercress farm, as well as seeing this new packaging solution in action in the click below. (Video Credit: Emma Boyns on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/332406949)

The Westpak Approach

Whether creating bespoke packaging solutions or providing items from our standardised product ranges, we remain committed to working alongside key brands across the grocery and foodservice industries, working to a range of sustainability and business objectives. Westpak’s real expertise is in creating diverse packaging solutions using experience, creativity and product development. We meet the quick turnaround required by Grocery Retailers and Foodservice Chains, displaying their products at their very best. We create environmentally sustainable and recyclable products which challenge the status quo. Our creative packaging helps educate your customers and ensures you stand out from the rest.


Discover more of our latest case studies

We’re proud to have worked with some of the biggest names and brands across the UK’s grocery and foodservice industries. Our collection of case studies shows some of varying client objectives and considerations we have worked to, from enhanced sustainability credentials, to pioneering shopping experiences, rapid product launches and enhanced branding. Throughout each project we have employed our creative and innovative approach to achieve the ideal packaging solution. Use the links below to view some of other latest case studies.

You can use the categories below to browse our latest case studies exclusive to the food service and grocery industries. Alternatively click on ‘all case studies’ to return to our full case study library. We regularly update the case studies featured on our website so be sure to check back soon for more highlights from our biggest sustainable packaging projects.

Get in touch

Our team are on hand to discuss how we can utilise our innovative and tailored approach to realise your unique packaging requirements. Contact us today on 01322 284455 or by emailing [email protected].

Westpak Group Ltd, 2024   |   Bold Thinking, Reliable Execution

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Westpak Group Ltd, 2022
Bold Thinking, Reliable Execution