Snack food entrepreneur Olly Hiscocks has come a long way since starting his business in his parents’ kitchen. Since 2014, Olly’s has gone from an artisan start-up selling at the local market to an international business that serves big retailers, travel operators, tech companies, online shops and more with olives, pretzels and nuts.
Along the way, having a standout high-quality packaging with impactful graphics has been a central part of Olly’s vision of bringing ethically sourced, healthy, and flavoursome snacks to the on-the-go market.
Olly’s Olive Revolution
The idea for the business was born when Olly spotted an opportunity in the market for flavoured olives that were 100% natural, with no artificial additives or preservatives. He also wanted to keep the fruit as fresh and colourful as possible without the use of heat treatment to conserve them. In most cases, olives are pasteurised to increase their shelf life, but that process can adversely affect the flavour, texture and nutritional value.
Instead Olly moved away from the traditional method and launched his all-natural olives in three delicious flavours: Basil & Garlic, Chilli & Rosemary, and Lemon & Thyme.
He explains, “We were the first olive brand not to use heat treatment but instead offer a tastier, crunchier, more natural taste experience to customers. We only use fresh ingredients and the result is juicy olives in unique marinades that I believe even olive ‘haters’ will love.”
His innovative approach was carried through to the packaging, which is bright, bold and colourful: “We don’t just want our products to taste amazing, they need to look amazing too.” And right from the start, it was stand-up pouches that proved the perfect format for Olly, who soon expanded his product range.
Moving into Nuts with Funky Pouches
Not content with just olives and pretzels,Olly decided to expand his reach in the snack category with a new range of nut mixes, another venture that promises to disrupt the market. As with his olives, Olly is employing the best production techniques to achieve a unique, full-bodied flavour and using only ethically sourced nuts.
To get the nut products out in packaging that reflects their exceptional quality, sustainable ethos and entrepreneurial nature, the company partnered with flexible packaging specialist ePac UK Silverstone.
From the get-go, Olly knew that any new nut product would need strong shelf impact to succeed in the competitive snack sector. He also wanted to launch the range very quickly and so began the search for a new packaging supplier that could offer high quality, fast delivery and full design flexibility.
Having spoken to a number of other brands, Olly found that ePac, with its state-of-the-art digital print capabilities and sophisticated converting lines, came highly recommended. “We were very much up against it from a time perspective, and the ePac team were very supportive in being flexible with production lead times so we could hit our launch date,” he says.
Olly was already aware of the benefits of digital printing, and the results didn’t disappoint. “Digital gives an incredible quality of print,” he says. “We have always been really insistent on making sure that our brand matches the quality of the product, and the finish ePac delivers that perfectly.”
He adds, “As a smaller brand who likes to make small tweaks to branding, ePac offers the perfect solution. Flexible, short lead times and low medium order quantities really helps when you’re launching a new product.”
Small MOQs with just-in-time delivery also equal reduced environmental impact, as there is no need to order tens of thousands of pouches that need storing for weeks or months, Olly doesn’t have to worry about warehousing with its associated costs and energy use. Nor will he end up with redundant stock going to landfill if the packaging design or business model changes.
Local Partner Proves Vital During Crisis
Having a local packaging partner when launching a brand-new range of products is always a huge advantage, but this has become even more important during the COVID-19 crisis. Staying local has allowed the company to avoid disruptions to the supply chain and made communication much easier.
“Not only does using a UK-based company for my packaging mean that delivery is fast and efficient, but I have also felt extra reassured during this critical time because there won’t be any issues with overseas shipping or unexpected delays in production,” says Olly. “And of course, the whole process is also so much more environmentally friendly.”
However, the pandemic has had some effect on sales, of course, particularly in the travel market, but says Olly, “Luckily we have been able to subsidise loss of sales in travel with an incredibly huge surge online. And now, with our new product ranges, we could not be in a stronger position.”
Since its foundation in the UK in 2019, the ePac concept has been proven time and time again, as evidenced by the company’s rapid expansion. Olly’s is a classic example of how the ePac business model continues to deliver exceptional packaging for brands of all sizes.
Jason Short, Area Sales Specialist at ePac UK Silverstone, worked closely with Olly on the project. “We offer the most flexible solution for small to medium brands, with lowest minimum orders, best-in-class print quality and faster production than what can be achieved with conventional printing,” Short says, adding, “I know Olly is over the moon with the pouches we produced for his new nut range and I have to say I think they look fantastic.”