Gerard packs a punch by boxing clever

A company is now thinking big after boxing clever by thinking small.

Advanced Packaging Materials is expanding after landing several contracts for boxes for bottles of beer and wine.

Based on Blyth’s Riverside Industrial Estate, the company has been in operation for 15 years.

It started life in Cramlington before moving to Blyth five years ago.

Managing director Gerard Christie has had to buy two new printing machines to cope with demand for his beer boxes and has another two on order.

The success of the boxes is down to thinking small, he reckons.

While bigger packaging companies offer print runs in multiples of 1,000 boxes, his firm can do runs of as few as 300, helping smaller breweries on tight budgets save money.

Gerard said: “I had this idea of printing bottle gift boxes for microbreweries and approached several in the north east and had a very good response.

“We’re the first company in the country to do this variety.

“It was an unknown quantity for the company, but we’re pleasantly surprised at how well it’s gone so far.

“We also offer corporate wine boxes so companies can give away bottles of wine at Christmas or events, with the boxes featuring their logo and any messages.”

The company’s plans for the future include developing a wine box capable of being dropped from a height of six feet without the bottles inside being smashed.

Among the customers snapping up Gerard’s beer bottle boxes are Stannington’s Anarchy Brew Company, Barnsley Football Club, Oxfordshire’s Blenheim Palace and author Terry Pratchett.

For more information on the company, visit