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PROACTIVELY RESPONDING TO MARKET TRENDS

PROACTIVELY RESPONDING TO MARKET TRENDS
 
 
Part of Westpak's interpretation of embodying an innovative approach is to always looks to respond to market trends as proactively as possible. We see it as our duty to ensure that we are both fully prepared for, and able to play a key role in shaping the latest developments of the UK's food packaging industry. This awareness of the industry's latest trends and developments is shaped in part from the regular and thorough communication we have with our clients. Our team are keen to take the time to not just understand what solutions are needed, but also why they are needed as well as what overall strategy or shift in consumer behaviour is guiding these actions. The Westpak team also ensure they keep up-to -date with the latest industry news. Through our network of contacts across the industry's supply chains as well as through regularly checking-in on a range of online publications and news portals, our team are able to keep abreast off new areas of stimulus, change or growth in the industry.  
 
So how have we responded to such change previously? How proactive were we in bringing new products and solutions to the market and how successful were these innovations?  
 
COVID-19 was of course one of the biggest factors to effect the UK economy in living memory. Westpak's core attributes of reliable manufacturing partners and robust logistical networks lent itself perfectly to introducing a range of sanitisation and protective equipment. The 'Extrasan' range was quickly established utilising 3 production facilities across the UK, located in Somerset, Mid Wales, and Northern Scotland. By keeping our production processes based in the UK, we were able to maintain complete control over product quality and removed any potential issues from cross-border delays to ensure fast, reliable delivery. As such, the Extrasan range was so successful that it now continues to offer a range of protective equipment as part of its own website at extrasanuk.com. 
 
The onset of COVID-19 didn't just act a catalyst to launch a parallel product offering, it also shaped the project work at the core of Westpak's client services. Our work with restaurant chain 'Gourmet Burger Kitchen', for example, saw the creation of hygienic paper cutlery pack to stop the spread of germs on their metal cutlery. As Gourmet Burger Kitchen's Fraser Morris commented, "Westpak were able to quickly offer us a great packaging solution, that gave reassurance to our customers that they were receiving clean and safe cutlery during the pandemic". 
 
One of the other key areas of development across the food packaging industry as a whole has been the continuous drive towards enhanced sustainability and environmentally-friendly processes. This is an essential consideration for multiple stakeholders across supply chains from manufacturers and distributors through to grocery chains, retail buyers and the end-consumer. Sustainability has remained one of Westpak's core-defining principles and has strongly influenced all aspect of our business. Our product ranges have of course evolved to offer enhanced environmental credentials. This can be seen in various products alterations such as manufacturing overwrap film from Polyethylene (PE) instead of PVC, or sourcing bag sealing tape from low density polyethylene (LDPE) over PVC. We also offer products manufactured from numerous recyclable and compostable materials across our wider packaging ranges. But our drive towards enhanced sustainability hasn't just influenced our product ranges, it has also shaped our role as advocates of sustainability, advising our clients on how they can achieve their corporate sustainability objectives. Our approach in this respect, is one of nuance and precision. We understand that assessing sustainability is a highly complex processes that draws information from a range of factors including environmental cost of production, ease and availability of recycling resources, as well as ensuring other packaging objectives are achieved including logistical and transport requirements. As such, we pride ourselves on acting as advisers for our clients, guiding their decision making to help them achieve their sustainability commitments in a way that works for their business's unique requirements.  
 
We have also seen the rapid evolution of the food service industry and distribution channels adjust at break-neck speed in-line with new consumer technology as well as through responses to the Coronavirus pandemic. We have a strong relationship with a range of major clients in the UK food severe sector but realise that the industry needs more responsive and robust packaging solutions. As such, we are dramatically increasing our connection with the food service industry and introducing a comprehensive new product range to cater for the latest challenges and opportunities that the industry faces. 
 
Lastly, we want to her from you about your position in our dynamic industry. Are you looking to improve your packaging to better align yourself with the industry's latest trends or are you  looking to introduce changes that will position you as one of the industry's forward-thinking trend-setters? Either way, our team are ready to help you respond to the market with speed without sacrificing reliability.