Steens 27+ Honey Packaging

Mānuka flowers only open for a few weeks of the year and, if the conditions are right, there is a short window of time for bees to harvest the nectar to make honey. One of the highest grades of Mānuka honey, 27+ UMF Mānuka honey is extremely rare and precious, with limited amounts available annually. However, its rich health benefits are often lost during commercial honey pasteurisation and filtration. Steens developed a unique extraction process to ensure more of the health benefits of this rare honey remain.

Steens briefed us to develop an eye-catching retail box that would draw high-end consumers to their liquid gold, like bees irresistibly drawn to bright coloured flowers. With a price point of just over $1800, we knew that it had to be special.

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Opening experience sequence

To capture the exclusivity of this product we designed and crafted a bespoke, bold, kinetic and interactive unboxing experience that leads the consumer through a unique journey. First, they lift off the bright, multi-coloured lid. Inside this sits a perfectly friction-fitted booklet holder, which tells the honey’s story.

A crafted paper flower is then revealed. Rotating a small tab (indicated by a faint white foil directional line on the base) causes the intricately cross-hatched petals of the flower bud to majestically unfurl as if the Mānuka flower is blossoming. This reveals the jar inside.

Releasing the tamper-evident ‘seat-belt’ strap wrapped securely around the jar’s base allows it to be carefully lifted out of the flower by a cradle strap. This gives a small taste of the excitement and joy a beekeeper experiences when they open a hive to collect honey and reinforces the connection to the honey’s origin in the nectar of the Mānuka flower. This was a complex project, with some significant hurdles to overcome:

Using top quality paper stocks was paramount. We needed to ensure that the flower would maintain its integrity under the repetitive mechanical action, and that the colours would be as vibrant as possible. We chose dyed rather than printed papers, to ensure the premium design was not undermined by visible raw white edges on the sides of the laminated layers.

The slots needed to be die-cut with a sufficiently clean finish. There was no way for the laminated papers to be wrapped tidily around the interior of the slots, so precision was essential.

Achieving the right mechanics for the flower was no small feat. We needed to ensure that the petals interlocked tightly when closed and extended fully when open, each and every time. It was truly a ‘Eureka!’ moment when the structural design was solved and applied.

Being made entirely of FSC certified paper and paperboard, the boxes are 100% recyclable. But as such precise and unique works of packaging art, the hope is that they may be kept as treasured keepsakes instead.

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