February 1 2015 Latest news:
By shaun lowthorpe Business editor
Friday, December 21, 2012
Norfolk confectionery firm Gnaw has carried out a rebranding of its Chocolate Buttons range following a substantial investment in new manufacturing equipment.
The EDP Future 50 business, which is based in a 7,500sq ft factory at Hall Road in Norwich, invested a four-figure sum in the vertical bagging machine and worked with Norwich-based strategic design agency Solid Block to revamp its packaging of the product.
Director Matt Legon, who founded the business with his wife Teri, said the new look chocolates were already with the firm’s distributors and were likely to be in the shops in the New Year.
“We used to have them before but they were in not very good clear packaging, so we have invested very heavily in a new production line because we wanted to take this product to a new level,” Mr Legon said.
“We are a brand new company and it took an awful lot of investment, it took six months to get these bags correct and there are five varieties of them.
“It’s knocking about 8p off the price of the product, and since launching, we have also seen sales increase 250pc. We previously produced 25,000 bags buttons, and we are hoping to do at least 80,000. That’s probably realistic, because we are seeing a massive increase.”
Gnaw’s new packs of Chocolate Buttons, currently being rolled out across the UK, will be sold through a broad range of retailers, from health food shops to theatres, joining its existing range of chocolate bars and Hot Choc Shots, whose packaging was also designed by Solid Block.
And Mr Legon said the firm, which this year won the EDP Business Awards Best New Business category and is part of the UKTI Passport Export Programme, had also secured a deal to sell its chocolate range in North America as it looks for new markets overseas.
“We have just launched in Canada, we shipped our first pallet about six weeks ago and we are working with a good distributor,” he said. “Her son came to England and bought one of our chocolate bars and she fell in love with it.”
Simon Roddis, from Solid Block, said the design project was “less of a brief and more of a blank sheet”.
“Looking for a point of difference in a crowded premium confectionery market, we conceived an identity that communicates a high quality product in a fun and playful manner,” he said. “We wanted to create a brand that stood out in a sector which can sometimes take itself a little too seriously.”
Around 2,000 Tesco workers discovered their jobs were at risk after the supermarket giant disclosed the locations of 43 store closures including two in Essex - a Homeplus store at Chelmsford and a smaller store in Heybridge.