Greenhouse goes the extra mile

Over the years we have always tried to do our bit for charities in Cork, this year we’ve decided to take part in the Cork City Marathon, in aid of Cork Simon Community, going the extra mile to give back to our community and help fight homelessness in our city.

The countdown is on!
With less than 2 weeks to go till the Cork City Marathon on Sunday, June 3rd, the training is in full swing! From lunchtime jogs in running sandals (yes, you read correctly!) to weekend mileage; through rain, hail or shine, our team are enthusiastic and excited for the big race!


Who are Cork Simon Community? 
Cork Simon works in solidarity with men and women who are homeless in Cork, offering housing and support in their journey back in independent living. Cork Simon Community help people to find a way to a place they can call home. A lifeline that’s changing lives every day.
The past few years Greenhouse has also had the pleasure of working on the branding for their annual fundraising ball held at Fota Island Resort, which is one of Cork Simon’s most important calendar events.


What can you do to help?
As part of our participation in this years Cork City Marathon we’re aiming to raise some much needed funds and raise awareness for the Cork Simon Community and together we can help make a difference in our community. If you’d like to show your support, you can donate through this link. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Donate here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/greenhouseteamrun
– by Rachael Tierney

PLASTIC, NOT SO FANTASTIC

As packaging specialists, and very conscious consumers, we are acutely aware of the impact of packaging on the environment. It’s a daily topic of conversation with both clients and colleagues alike as we keep in touch with consumer trends and the big brands’ efforts to help the environment.

Particularly topical is Ocean Plastic. Over 8 million tons of plastic waste finds its way into the oceans each year (!), resulting in five huge plastic gyres (ocean currents) around the world, and considerable damage to marine life. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050!

In a response to this, we’ve been admiring P&G’s bold stance on Ocean Plastic, with their launch of their Fairy detergent in a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic and ocean plastic. A message they are proudly communicating on pack. The innovative bottle will be made from 10% ocean plastic, collected from the ocean and beaches around the world, and 90% post-consumer recycled plastic. The project aims to drive awareness of the issue of ocean plastic pollution, inspire consumers to physically participate in beach clean-ups and recycle household waste. Great work P&G!

Other brands like Nestlé, and Coca-Cola are starting to take the issue seriously too and making steps towards a fully recycled product. In fact PepsiCo purchases almost half of all bottle grade rPET sold in the United States. Interestingly, Pepsi doesn’t promote this on its labels. One reason is they can’t guarantee the exact amount in each batch of bottles due to limited supply. “There isn’t enough rPET available. If there was more on the market we could put more in.”

So what can we do to help? Well, the obvious is to recycle our plastic. Be sure to rinse before recycling; the cleaner the plastic is, the easier it is to reincarnate it as something new.But even before getting to the recycling stage, think about re-using it first. Anything resealable can make very handy pots for things like overnight oats or dinner leftovers.

Here are some more tips to live a little bit more plastic-wary;

FIND YOUR FAVE REUSABLES.

The easiest way to reduce plastic bottle usage is to take a bottle of water with you. In the car, out shopping. Having a favourite water bottle that’s the right size, colour, that you enjoy using is a fun way to encourage reusables. In the office our faves are Chillys and Camelbak. We’re also big fans of KeepCups for on-the-go flat whites and coffee-shop trips. Check out the cork ones – super stylish!  (EXTRA TIP – Be sure to handwash your reusables though, there have been a few upsets with dishwashers here!)

KEEP A BAG IN HAND.

Keep a fold up bag in your handbag and larger grocery bags in your car, even if you don’t plan to shop, they always come in handy. Take a bag with you when clothes shopping too. Even though lots of shops provide recyclable paper bags these days, saying no to a shop bag is even better.

MAKE A PLAN, STAN.

Plan your grocery shopping – shopping with a list will mean you’re less likely to buy things you don’t need, saving you money too. Plan to use your leftovers and keep a close eye on expiration dates when you’re shopping to avoid food (and plastic packaging) wastage. Buy larger packs of cupboard staples like pasta and rice and you’ll be using less packaging too.

LOCAL LOVE.

At Greenhouse we LOVE farmers markets. In Cork we’re lucky to have The English Markets and Mahon Point Farmers Market on our doorstep, plus lots of other local farmers markets dotted around Cork. Markets are simply the best way to trial local produce, reducing air-miles, encourage organic producers and find exciting new artisan producers. You can also pick just the right amount of fruit and vegetables reducing food wastage and packaging, just be sure to have your tote bags to hand!

BEWARE OF THE WASH.

Clean safely – beware of the bleach – a lot of common household cleaning products can hurt the environment as well as your health. Look out for non-toxic cleaning products and eco-friendly products next time you’re shopping. Also avoid exfoliating shower gels and face washes with tiny particles of plastic in them; they’re contributing to the Ocean Plastic problem too.

LOOSELY DOES IT.

Another topical subject in the office – teabags! Try using loose leaf tea to cut down on the plastic from teabags going back into the environment. At least until bio-degradable teabags become commonplace like Co-Op are trying to do.    

SMART CHOICES.

Glass and paper are more readily recycled, so when faced with options choose paper or glass packaged products over plastic packaged alternatives. The world will thank you for it!

– By Naomi Simpson

OFFSET 2018

With over 100 speakers from all over the globe OFFSET has fast become one of the most inspirational and educational creative conferences in the world. We were very happy to attend this year and soak up some serious design inspiration.

Set in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, OFFSET comprises of 2 stages as well as different workshops and exhibitors. We were able to get a little taste of a diverse range of industries such as Graphic Design, Photography, UI/UX, Animation, Gaming, Illustration, Fashion, Film, Industrial Design and Art.

We wanted to share some of our favourite bits, while it’s all still fresh in our heads, so check out a recap of some of our highlights from this year below!

DAY 1:

The extremely talented and innovative agency Adam & Eve/DDB represented by CCO Richard Brim stole the show on Friday afternoon.

Widely known for their tear jerking (and multi Award winning!) Christmas campaigns including Monty the Penguin” & Buster”  & most recently “Moz the Monster for John Lewis. The key take away from Brim’s hilarious & inspiring presentation was ‘Don’t ever be scared about saying something stupid, sometimes the most stupid ideas are where the magic happens’’.

Their campaign for Skittles saw them handing over their ‘rainbow’ to London Pride for the annual Pride Festival, meaning the Skittles packaging were a standout white for a short period of time on shelf.

‘’During Pride, only one rainbow matters. So we’ve given up ours to show support.”

DAY 2:

Chris Ware took to the stage on Day 2 , he is an extremely humble, witty and talented illustrator/cartoonist responsible for a variety of beautifully illustrated New Yorker covers. He humbly stated that he ‘’makes it up as he goes along’’ which seems unfathomable as we look at his highly detailed covers!

DAY 3:

Hailing from Dublin, the home grown hero Peter Donnelly spoke through his illustration process for food packaging (as well as picture books etc!). His fascination with mid century illustration shines through in his beautifully simplistic style.

A common thread throughout the weekend was to simply  ‘go create’ and that partnership is key, be it colleagues or clients, we all have knowledge & skills to share. Here at Greenhouse, we’re feeling inspired and are already looking forward to OFFSET 2019!

– by Marie O’Riordan

Appealing to the Senses

In a world immersed in products and packaging, it is often difficult to stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of consumers. Packaging is required to protect and provide information about it’s contents, but to really capture it’s audience, the brand’s packaging needs to connect on a higher level – to engage, entice and absorb the consumer.

So what sensory cues can be used to bring packaging to the next level? Here are our Top 5 sensory primers to ensure a lasting impression:

  1. CONTRASTING FINISHES

The majority of products on the market will reach the consumer at a store where indoor lighting illuminates it’s packaging. The way light interacts with the materials used on packaging can make a huge difference on it’s performance on shelf. Contrasting finishes can really catch the eye of a consumer, for example a foil stamp on matte paper.

  1. BUILDING ANTICIPATION

As consumers, we love the element of suspense and anticipation when opening packaging. That’s not to say we use the box-in-a-box-in-a-box approach!! With thousands of ‘unboxing’ videos on the internet, the modern consumer has become much more involved with the experience of packaging. The packaging of Apple products has become famous for it’s sleek, minimal, high quality materials and the unveiling of the device within is part of the experience of the brand.

  1. A SENSE OF HERITAGE

To connect with a consumer on a deeper level, a sense of heritage is often established. There may be a very interesting history of a brand which can be communicated in more ways than just a paragraph of text on the packaging. Custom papers and fabrics (silk, canvas etc) can be used to give a sense of the brand’s heritage that will really connect with it’s target audience.

  1. TACTILE

As consumers we instinctively like to pick products off a shelf and run our fingers over it’s packaging. When our hands receive tactile feedback, for example an embossed logo, we immediately get a sense of luxury and quality from the packaging which differentiates it from rival brands. When the packaging is visually tactile we are instantly compelled to pick up or touch the product.

5. QUALITY OF MATERIAL

Understanding the product and it’s purpose is one of, if not the most important factor in designing it’s packaging. High quality, luxurious materials may be used, but if they do not suit the environment they will be in then the packaging will reflect very poorly on the brand. There is nothing worse than seeing warped packets or running ink, so considering the quality of materials and print processes before rolling out the packaging is crucial. After all, first impressions are everything!

By Siobhan Cotter

Food trends 2018: Must-eats for the coming year…

With extreme diets being replaced with more everyday and holistic well-being goals, we are ditching the fads for longer term healthier lifestyles.

Our unwavering fascination with world cuisine is being fuelled by access to social platforms that hero the most appetising and photogenic dishes for inspiration, meanwhile retailers struggle to keep up with the growing demand for our latest food crush. 

Sales of avocados, tonic waters, slow cooked meats, salad bowls and craft beers filled up our baskets in 2017, but what will we be craving this year and why? We have trawled the global experts lists to bring you a flavour of 2018’s likely food obsessions:

10 food trends for 2018

  1. Teas Please: Sales of herbal and green teas are set for an explosion this year with health-conscious consumers enticed by functional benefits and reduced caffeine.
  2. The Flexitarian in me: Following on from the #MeatFreeMonday movement in 2017, consumers are becoming more adventurous with their veggie and vegan habits, exploring meat substitutes more regularly- with tofu, tempeh and Indian cuisine (rich with pulses) on the up.
  3. The Darker Crafts: Darker beers like porters and stouts will experience the “craft beer” treatment and we’ll see the increase of boozy flavour cross-overs such as whiskeys finished in beer casks (and vice versa). 
  4. Super Local & Waste Not Want Not: Buying local to foraging or even growing on site- provenance and supporting small local producers continues to strengthen, combined with reducing food waste. 
  5. Eating Aloha: Move over 2017’s most ‘gramed Buddha Bowls, and in shimmys Poke Bowls fresh from Hawaii- tasty seafood and rice based meals- its sushi without the fuss!
  6. All in good time! Fermented foods that promote good gut health- from kefir to kombucha and kimchi, and probiotics to preserving, your tummy will thank you and make them worth the wait. 
  7. Moreish Mocktails- alcohol-free spirits and new-age soft drinks with floral and botanical notes will help us to enjoy socialising without the hangover. 
  8. Happy Hybrids: They shouldn’t work, but sometimes they do! From sushi croissants to pasta donuts, this “era of permissibility” for food experimentation means no end in sight for more extreme fusion creations.
  9. Middle Eastern Moment: Retail giant Whole Foods says Middle Eastern cuisine will truly hit the mainstream in 2018, so we’ll see more of spices like harissa, cardamom, and za’atar, as well as dishes like shakshuka.
  10. Pimping Up: As our fascination with Gin and Prosecco continues, we will see a further  explosion of weird and wonderful mixers, uber cordials and botanical syrups all designed to elevate your drinks trolley to a mixologist’s paradise. 

Get your Galtee on!

Last year, the Galtee rebrand and redesign launched with huge success within the market place and gave us the opportunity to do what we love the most – rejuvenating Irish brands!Giving Galtee its voice back, taking it out of its previous value positioning and proudly portraying the brand’s strong Irish roots allowed us to inject bags of personality through tone of voice and visually impactful range design. The rebrand has been very well received with an uplift in sales as well as creating a new energy around the Galtee brand within Kerry Foods.

Following the commercial success of the rebrand, we were very proud to be chosen to feature our work on The Dieline. The Dieline is an internationally-renowned resource, showcasing some of the best packaging designs from around the world. This indeed shows that both Irish brands and Irish design can compete internationally… no reason why more Irish work shouldn’t be showcased on the global stage, so watch this space!See full article here.

Top 5 ways to stand out at #Ploughing17

With close to 300,000 people expected to attend this year’s Ploughing Championships over a 3 day period, the annual event has become a very attractive platform for brands to market to Irish consumers.

Over 1700 exhibitors will attend the event this year, many of whom have no direct connection with the agricultural world. While each of them compete over a massive 100 acre expanse for visitor’s attention and euros, we have rounded up our top tips on how brands can stand out from the crowd at big events.

  • Be unexpected: Use ‘the Ploughing’ to launch a new variant, format or give visitors an exclusive offer during the event- adding value to purchases (free branded gifts), or even use the crowd to weigh in on your latest new product flavours!
  • Large Formats: In such a large space it’s difficult to be seen amongst the crowds, super-size everything from pull ups to flags, goodie bags to packaging prototypes- make them bigger, and use your product samples to form your stand-blocks of colour which can be used to build up and define your exhibition space.
  • Be Social: Apart from using the usual #Ploughing17 hashtag on every post, create your own event hashtag (such as #GreenhouseOnTour) and use it across all your platforms (and tag others) to stay on everyone’s feed throughout the event with plenty of photos and live content. Twitter is the best live event platform to make connections and keep everyone updated while Instagram is fantastic for sharing visual content and videos. Your Facebook followers can also be targeted using Facebook events and even creating a branded Canvas to immerse followers in your Ploughing experience.
  • Experience is everything: even the smallest of stands can make a huge impact with floor coverings, furniture, music, smells, lighting, or even dancers and actors to entice visitors into your brands world! Brands that use a combination of these create memorable experiences that visitors will engage with more and share socially, thus spreading the word for you!
  • Be present! Events like Ploughing17 are the perfect opportunity to meet your customers first-hand, introduce them to the personalities and creators behind the brand and share your story. Where possible, business owners should take time to attend the event themselves, to gain insights from the public and see how competitors are driving forward.

Visit National Ploughing Championships 2017.

IFE 2017

Well it’s been a very busy week here in the studio, two of our account mangers, Shanti and Louise, headed off to the world of food and drink at the IFE 2017 in London. It was a complete immersion of new tastes, inspiration, trends and insights.

As IFE 2017 comes to a close we feel it’s the perfect time to recap on some of the key food industry trends we discovered there.

Craft juices and cordials. Tea in all shapes and sizes. Protein in everything from water to snacks. Birch water in different flavours… plus other waters too. Squeezy formats from jellies to sauces, healthy snacks with cool branding, gin in every bottle shape. Kids options made convenient. Popcorn from innocent to indulgent. Raw and wholesome made delicious. Colour pops at every turn. Honey turned gourmet. Chocolate with artisan style Provenance and storytelling to make connections with todays discerning consumer!

It was a whirlwind that’s for sure, our heads were spinning—literally. Over the next few weeks we’ll bring you through in more detail, the trends, insights and innovations we found the most interesting, make sure to stay tuned!

Big News Alert!

So we know we’ve been a bit quiet on the blogasphere lately (very sorry we know you missed us). But we have a good reason we promise!

We have been very busy getting ready for the Blas Na hÉireann food awards in Dingle, Co. Kerry next weekend (30 September—2 October). We are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring this fantastic event. If you’re not already aware, it is Blas Na hÉireann’s ninth year running and these Irish Food Awards are the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland.

Over 2,500 products have been entered into the 2016 competition to win Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in over 100 food and drink categories as well as key awards such as Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.

Over the next few days we will not only be tasting lots of amazing food and rubbing shoulders with the best of the best food companies in Ireland, we will also be holding our own ‘Strategic Branding and Packaging Workshop’ at the event. During this workshop we will share our experiences in developing some of Ireland’s most successful food brands and the challenges that come with designing for a competitive retail environment.

AND that’s not all guys. To celebrate all that is good in the world and mark our sponsorship, we have launched a Greenhouse Strategic Branding Bursary which is open to Irish Food Companies. One lucky organization will have the chance to avail of selected Greenhouse services to help develop their brand in the coming months.

Bloomin’ Brilliant!

The months leading up to Bloom are always very busy here in the studio—competitively creating new dynamic stands for our clients. So we absolutely love to hang up the mousepads and head up to the event itself—to see our ideas bloom (cant help it!).

We soaked up the sun, the horticultural designs and the great fresh food served up by our brands. What’s not to love? It was one big growmance. Check out some of the fantastic stands our clients had below!

P.S. We couldn’t get a clear shot of the Ballymaloe stand—we’re afraid anywhere that offers free samples of Ballymaloe relish on cheese is going to be hard to access. Yummy!