Manufacturers such as Beatson Clark, which produces white flint and amber glass, specialise in small run lengths down to 150,000 for bottles, including embossed beer bottles. Said marketing manager Dawn Pugh: "The customer benefits from a bespoke bottle, but without having to buy half a million of them."
For jars, minimum run length would be "a little higher". "We supply the food, drink and pharmaceutical sectors, and we're seeing more of a trend towards food," she said. "Brandowners are looking more often for families of containers, such as preserve jars, spice jars and bottles, particularly for gift sets. People seem to be more interested in food as a gift."
Beatson Clark recently commissioned design consultancy Blue Marlin to carry out industry research and create a set of new design concepts, particularly focused on the idea of product families. Proximity and promptness of delivery can also play its part in this type of supplier relationship. Eccles-based manufacturer of cooking sauces, preserves and pickles Foxhill Foods is now sourcing its entire range of jars from local distributor Johnsen and Jorgensen.