Kite Packaging, founded in 2001, is one of the UK’s largest packaging distributors and the only one built on employee share-ownership. This philosophy of partnership runs throughout the business, encouraging the team to deliver premium customer service at every opportunity. Kite now has ten locations across the UK which are fully integrated into its national and international supply chain, providing the right product at the right price, on time, every time.

Gavin Ashe, Managing Partner at Kite Packaging, speaks to Grocery Trader.

What are your best known products/solutions/services?

Single and double wall boxes. We stock these in many sizes as their versatility lends well to shipping all kinds of goods, perfect for vendors with big product portfolios such as the grocery industry. Packaging tapes and stretch wrap are other core products, including our 5×5 nano pallet wrap and dispenser. This exclusive product reduces stretch wrap consumption by up to 60% whilst lowering health and safety risks when compared to other hand-operated systems.

What’s the latest news from your company?

We’ve just launched our app which is designed to make the experience of browsing, buying and reordering packaging more convenient and accessible for our credit account customers. The app offers a personalised platform with round-the-clock access to our products and services with a quick barcode scanner and a personalised product section for increased efficiency.

What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?

Sustainability, especially with the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax last year and Extended Producer Responsibility this year, placing greater focus on businesses’ packaging practices.

The incorporation of robotics and automation to meet the UK’s current labour shortage and increase the efficiency of business functions. We’re offering more automated systems now than ever before, having recently introduced the Palomat Greenline to our range. This pallet stacking and dispensing system reduces handling time per pallet, optimises pallet flow, and removes the need for carrying heavy pallets. Thus, it results in fewer injuries, absences and reduces the cost of replacing damaged pallets.

With the current economic climate forcing many to reduce spending, we are looking at all areas of the supply chain to reduce the economic and environmental cost of packaging rather than just its unit cost.

How futureproof and flexible are your solutions?

Very. Whether that means embracing drone technology for efficiency in our warehouse or developing an app to improve our offering, we are continually assessing the market to ensure our offering and practices align with current trends.

Are you taking part in any major trade shows? Can you tell us what you’ll be exhibiting there?

We’re exhibiting our food packaging range at the Food and Drink Expo at the NEC from 24th – 26th April.

What sets your company apart from the competition?

Our people. We are invested in each other, our customers and suppliers, and in providing the best service we possibly can to everyone we deal with. As the only employee share-owned packaging supplier in the industry, we have a unique culture that is unattainable by other wholesalers.


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