We were very excited when Namaste Foods, LLC, the makers of delicious Gluten Free goodies out of Coeur d’Alene, decided to change their baking mix packaging from brown bags to printed paperboard boxes earlier this year.

“The boxes are a much better choice than our previous packaging in Kraft paper bags, both in terms of how much more eye appealing they are as well as how little waste there is in comparison with the old packaging. The new boxes arrive on the store shelves looking just as great as they did coming off the production line,” says Kris Crawford, Namaste Foods’ Advertising Director. “This wasn’t always true of our old packaging as it could take much less abuse.”

Sonderen Packaging’s relationship with Namaste Foods began back in 2012 when they decided to try boxes for some of their new products, but many of their longer-standing products remained in bags.

“It’s been really fun to see it evolve and grow!” says Keva Sonderen. “After seeing how great the boxes for their new products looked and having a good experience, they decided to move their existing products to boxes, too. It changes a lot of things, moving to a box. Better print quality, more billboard space for branding as well as product protection.”

“We have never been able to have prepared food images on the packaging before, so to have the ability to reproduce beautiful, full-color images on the packaging that actually reproduces like it should is a dream come true for us. The response to the new packaging so far has been phenomenal and we only expect that to get better as time goes on,” says Kris.

ABOVE: New box packaging between two of the old bag packages on a grocery store shelf.

Gluten Free and other allergen free foods are notoriously expensive, and one of Namaste Foods’ pillars is keeping their products affordable for their customers. So cost was definitely a factor when considering their new packaging design.

“That is the main reason we wanted to switch to using the same size boxes for as many of our baking mixes as possible. We also plan to eventually redesign our pasta boxes to use this same size and style box as well. Makes it more cost effective,” says Kris. “The unit cost was slightly higher than the Kraft bags we’d been using, but the waste is so much less that it makes up the difference very quickly.”

Namaste Foods owner and founder, Daphne Taylor adds, “Yes, and the fact that our boxes are now bi-lingual to accommodate the Canadian market means that we need to inventory less packaging, which is a cost savings for us, too.  Also, the boxes are easier to run from a production standpoint, which leads to more efficiency and yet more cost savings.

“The response to the new packaging from retailers and customers alike has been over-the-top amazing – people LOVE them!  We are getting placement in stores who would not consider us when we were in the Kraft bags based on the packaging alone,” says Daphne. “I attribute this both to my amazing designer, Kris, and Sonderen as well.  The perfect team!”

“Sonderen has been fabulous to work with, as always, and has completed everything on time (and some of it two weeks early!) and perfectly seamless. They are by far my favorite packaging company,” says Kris. “They were so patient and created several different sized samples along the way, before we finally settled on the perfect size. Our baking mixes vary in weight from 14 ounces to 30 ounces, so it took some experimenting to find a single size and material thickness that could accommodate all of the mixes. This is the part of the process that is usually the most frustrating for me when working with other packaging companies for our re-sealable pouches. With Sonderen it was a breeze. I would be in heaven if they printed all our packaging, but maybe someday they will get into the stand-up pouch business and all my packaging problems will disappear.”

So, if you’re considering switching to paperboard packaging for your product?

“I would say go for it — you won’t be sorry!” says Kris. “Our products are so much more attractive and even feel more substantial in your hand than they did in the bags, even though the weight of the product didn’t change. The only change I would make if I could, would be to have switched over to paperboard boxes sooner. I can’t say enough about how great Sonderen’s entire team is to work with. They are always very responsive and not afraid to ask questions if they see something that may be a potential problem. Over the years I have discovered how unusual that is. It sounds like a simple thing, but it never ceases to amaze me how seldom the other companies are proactive and ask questions.”

“For me, it is so important that my staff is happy,” says Daphne. “This can be a real challenge if they have to deal with unresponsive, difficult or somewhat incompetent business partners.  After being in business for over 15 years and working with dozens and dozens of business partners, I can say without hesitation that Sonderen is the cream of the crop.  Hands down. Sonderen is The Bomb!  Pure and simple.”

Needless to say, we love working with our friends at Namaste Foods and look forward to continuing to serve their packaging needs and support their growth and success!

Find Namaste Foods’ delicious products online atwww.namastefoods.com and at natural foods stores and grocery stores nationwide.