Personal need is often the driver behind innovation. The old adage, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ is never truer than when a budding entrepreneur comes up against a problem in their own life and decides to solve it.
For Rachel Down, the moment of truth came when she realised that the health issues she was experiencing because of Candida overgrowth were not recognised by conventional medicine. Candida is a yeast that naturally lives in your body, but certain factors can cause it to multiply and cause serious problems.
A trained health and fitness instructor, Rachel started her journey to discover how to manage the condition herself. She changed her diet to maintain a healthy gut, and in the process started her own business, Boil & Broth, to manufacture and sell homemade bone broth and natural probiotic drinks that promote gut health and wellness.
However, delivering the health-giving broth to customers without spillage was not easy. The pouches Rachel initially acquired often spilled and developed leaks in transit. In her search for better packaging she discovered most suppliers required high volume orders, a real stumbling block for her business.
Eventually ePac UK reached out to her and she learned about a simple solution to her woes: high-quality, digitally printed pouches with low volume minimum order requirements.
“Packaging had been a real nightmare for us, so meeting the great team at ePac UK Silverstone and learning all about their fantastic offering was like a dream come true,” said Rachel.
Taking your health in your own hands
On Boil & Broth’s online shop you can find three varieties of broth made from beef or lamb marrow bone or free-range chicken bones;. They’re all grass fed or free range, with no hormones or antibiotics, and no added vegetables or seasoning. They come in 500ml stand-up pouches. There’s also a version for babies available in smaller 250ml pouches.
The shop also offers a range of flavoured kefir water and fermented drinks that include Fermented Lemonade and Ginger Beer, Raspberry & Cranberry, and Mango & Orange kefir water. They were developed to boost the immune system and fight off harmful gut pathogens.
Recently Rachel introduced a pet food brand, with a line of broth products for dogs developed with the same high standard as the human version, with a smattering of chia seeds added for extra goodness.
“When I realised that there was no help to be had from the NHS, I decided to do my own research. I learned all about how bone broth and fermented drinks could help improve my gut problems,” said Rachel, who is studying for a degree in Health Science. She has also published a book about her research along with a diet plan, a list of supplements, advice on what foods to eat and delicious recipes.
After just 12 weeks on the dietary regime she devised herself, Rachel was symptom free, feeling great and had lost over 15kg. Over two years, she shed a total of 38kg and is now the healthiest she’s ever been – ready to empower others to take their health into their own hands too. Over time, Rachel has learned a lot about the gut biome and how scientists consider our gut to be our ‘second brain’.
“I’m passionate about how bacteria and fungi can affect our health and I strongly believe they are key to a healthy existence, as well as integration of our natural world,” said Rachel. “When I was ill, doctors just wanted to give me drugs, but I managed to cure myself in a natural and sustainable way!”
Solving the packaging conundrum
Established in 2018, the business grew from using just one slow cooker in a small kitchen to 10 slow cookers boiling away in the conservatory. Now Boil & Broth has a dedicated operation on Rachel’s farm where they cook the bone broth for 12 hours using more innovative technology, such as pressure-cooking to reduce cooking times and increase nutrient retention.
The real expansion coincided with the UK lockdown in 2020, but rather than slowing down, business has been booming during the COVID-19 pandemic as more consumers have turned online to find healthier and more innovative options. She’s had to recruit more staff just to keep up with the orders that keep rolling in.
“When the first lockdown happened, our business grew by 200% overnight. I was working 16 hours a day for 10 weeks to cope with the demand, yet I never missed a next-day delivery,” said Rachel. “It was very tough, because my husband was still working, and the children were with me all day.”
But finding a great packaging partner was a bit of a headache. Rachel had chosen stand-up pouches as the best packaging format for her broth, but the quality of the pouches she had sourced was below par, with lots of spillages putting a damper on her success. The other problem was the time it took to apply labels to the pouches by hand.
“I just couldn’t find a supplier of quality printed pouches that would accept our lower volume orders, so I had to go with basic plain ones, which I was then spending a lot of time sticking printed labels onto,” said Rachel. “I chose to work with ePac, because they listened to my requirements and were able to offer exactly what I was looking for: affordable pouches with all the design features I needed. It’s saved our time and no more leaks – yay!”
Brand refresh with professional pouches
By going down the digital print route with ePac, Boil & Broth has been able to implement a complete change and refresh of the brand. Multiple SKUs in short runs with high-quality graphics printed on pouches that are delivered at short notice is the perfect answer for brands of all sizes, but especially so for small, local start-ups like Rachel’s.
Making this jump has truly levelled up Boil & Broth as a brand. “The design of the pouches looks great, they are high quality and have a professional feel. Our customers now feel they are getting a quality product inside and out,” said Rachel. And as regards the future, “I plan to convert all my old pouches to ePac’s new lovely ones before the end of the year – including our pet broth range.”
She concluded, “Working with ePac UK has been fantastic! Everyone we have been dealing with has been amazing, and I love that they want to help the small guys grow.”
Are you looking for the perfect packaging partner to make your products look professional? Why not get in touch with us to see what we can do for your brand?