Candy-Coated Brilliance: Thoro Packaging Sets New Standards in Folding Cartons

by Brittany Willes, editor, PostPress
The “But First, Cocktails” packaging won a Gold award for best creative use of foil/embossing in the 2016 FSEA Gold Leaf Awards’ folding carton category.

“Don’t forget about the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted. He lived happily ever after.” – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Mythical candy man Willy Wonka may have believed that exotic candies appealed almost exclusively to the hearts and imaginations of young children, but the owners of Sugarfina® gourmet candy believed differently. It was during a screening of the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” in which they first contemplated a boutique filled with gourmet, and decidedly adult, sweets. For them it was simple: Why should kids have all the fun? In keeping with this mindset, the Los Angeles, California-based company reached out to Thoro Packaging in order to create a unique package for its line of cocktail-inspired treats which include Champagne Bears®, Martini Olive Almonds, Jamaican Rum Snowballs and Cuba Libre® gummies. The result is the But First, Cocktails Candy Bento Box®, a stunning blend of whimsy and elegance one would expect from candies designed specifically for adults.

“The But First, Cocktails kit from Sugarfina is a sophisticated chic collection of cocktail-inspired candies,” stated Kate Scherer, creative director of Product 360 Creative, the agency hired to design the packaging. “Rosie of Sugarfina was inspired by the 1920’s, a time when cocktails and design were elaborate and elegant. She asked for an Art Deco-inspired pattern in a feminine color palette,” explained Scherer. “The shapes and intricacy of the pattern, along with the soft, muted tones, high-contrast black and reflective gold detail, are how we brought the Art Deco storytelling to the packaging.”

Sugarfina uses standard set-up boxes and customizes them for each product collection using a custom sleeve. For the Cocktails sleeve, a .018 caliper SBS board was selected and hot stamped using Kurz Luxor 414 Gold foil. The foil serves as an accent for the sleeve’s prominent white and powder blue color scheme, further emphasized by subtle ribbons of black throughout.

Printed on a Heidelberg press, the sleeve was done with four colors, black plus three spot colors, before receiving a UV matte varnish. The blue and white arch pattern was hot stamped with gold foil accents, with the foil stamping done on a Bobst BMA machine. The “ribbon” portion of the artwork, with the product name and information, was embossed to create the effect of the ribbon being on top of the background pattern. As with the foiling, all of the sleeve’s embossing was completed on a Bobst BMA. Finally, the sleeve was folded and glued using a Bobst Expert Fold machine. The foil/embossing dies were supplied by Universal Engraving, Inc.

As mentioned earlier, while the sleeve design may appear simple at first glance, the intricately detailed design presented Thoro staff with quite the production challenge. “The detailed nature of the pattern required extremely precise registration to align the foil stamped accents,” remarked Scherer. Close examination of the sleeve reveals gold foiling used throughout every facet of the sleeve’s design, from the outline of the ribbon on the front of the sleeve to the stripes and curves of the rows of arches in the background. Even the ingredients list on the back of the sleeve is boarded by a thin line of foil. Luckily, “our skilled staff was able to register the foil stamping successfully,” said Scherer, further aiding the sleeve’s goal of sophisticated elegance.

The “But First, Cocktails” packaging achieved more than just an elegant presentation for the consumer. Thoro entered the sleeve into the 2016 FSEA Gold Leaf Awards in the folding carton category. The packaging was awarded the Gold award for best creative use of foil/embossing.

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