Luxury Boxes play Voxes

Mixing metaphors, flavors, and formats

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Luxury Box
Haldiram's fancier combination of luxury boxes for sweets and savories photo - PSA

Gift wrapping adds a lovely personal touch to the art of gift-giving, signaling to a special friend or loved one that you put your heart and soul into every step of the process. The wrapping of gifts adds value to the present—the better the wrapping, the better it attracts. The neatly wrapped gifts raise the expectation of the gift inside. Over the years, there has been an epic revolution in the industry of packaging. Gifts wrapped in paper, cloth, and ribbons but now seen in colorful varieties and stylish luxury boxes.

Hy-Sill Manufacturing, the first American gift wrap manufacturer, was founded in 1903 by Eli Hyman and Morris Silverman. Wrapping presents wasn’t as simple back then as it is now. Because the self-adhesive tape wasn’t produced until 1930, early gift wrappers had to rely on the string and sealing wax to keep wrapped parcels intact. 

One of the essential Indian fests of the year, Diwali celebrates a togetherness of joy and love, marked by the victory of good over evil. But this is mostly forgotten. Indians now gravitate towards their roots and celebrate the festival with loved ones by exchanging gifts. Gift-giving to friends and relatives or dear ones on their birthdays, marriage, and other functions have become a significant trend, as in many cultures. 

Gifting trends during Diwali bring a drastic change in the packaging system. Everybody has to do premium packaging to attract the customer. As the holiday approaches, the market will be decked in festive hues. Edible products, a staple of Indian festivals, are trending. Sweets packaging, chocolate packaging, dry fruit packaging, and many more will be in fancier combinations of luxury boxes.

The gift boxes of sweets and foods must resemble the packs of high-end articles like gold and diamond jewelry, fashionable gear, opulent writing equipment, even electronic products, and cables. There must be doors and windows that close magnetically – the possibility of an unboxing experience.

Mixing metaphors and packaging materials and formats

The variety of sweets and chocolate brands increasingly mix flavors. At first, known for sweets but Haldiram’s is now famous for its own branded chocolates, bread, and cakes. New metaphors of sweets emerge from Haldiram, such as Chocolate Aam Papad Burfi and Moong Barfi in contemporary and elegant packs. As it crosses boundaries, Haldiram’s has a unique packaging style that combines the traditional cane baskets with the new boxes, jars, and tins inboxes.

Luxury Box
Mixing Metaphors in a single pack of goodies
photo PSA

Similar to the variety of flavors and textures, the packaging mixes metaphors of design, materials, and formats – paper, board, mono cartons, corrugated cartons, luxury boxes, tins, glass, and plastic jars and baskets of wood and cane, and plastic films. Everything must be visible through a window of either flexible film or plastic.

Shops and outlets combine flavors, products, and formats where each gift pack resembles a house with several layers or floors to enhance the luxury quotient of the present. Haldiram’s, Bikanervala, Brijwasi, and other outlets are making their premium gifts with boxes in boxes – lightweight boxes, metal packaging, zip-lock packaging, corrugated carton packaging, and many more.

The see-through element is vital for selecting the gift and for its consumption – and, hopefully, its re-use. The box sometimes looks like a jewelry box or a house with a massive picture window. Or a jewelry case with clear boxes and compartments for the arrangement of each delicacy. All that is left are the ribbons, the chunnis with gold and silver, and the branded paper carry bag for the last few steps of complete ostentation.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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Correspondent-Delhi & NCR Girish has been working and editorially contributing to both Indian Printer and Publisher and Packaging South Asia since 2021, covering the western regions of India. He has extensively covered a variety of verticals in both the printing and packaging industries. Skilled in taking Interviews and Story Writeup, Communication, Writing, and Research. Strong education professional with a Master of Arts - MA (MASS COMM.) focused in Mass Communication/Media Studies from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

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