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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

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!

Don’t worry beer happy!

So it’s pretty obvious that we LOVE our beer here in Greenhouse (and cider and whiskey and gin and vodka and wine…). We do of course mean branding, designing and creating them! We are all teetotalers in this office don’t you know… ahem!

We have had an amazing time working with some of the best beer companies around. Check them out below!

Killarney Brewing
Greenhouse couldn’t contain our excitement with this brief—such a rich resource for inspiration—a superb product, a superb Irish location and the opportunity to tell an Irish story that both spoke to the tourist craft beer drinker and discerning Irish craft beer fans. We feel we achieved something Irish yet full of attitude. The tone of voice and contemporary storytelling was key to this, maintaining a balance between Irish legend, provenance and personality.


Boyne Brewhouse
Flowing on from the core brand values of the Boann Distillery, Greenhouse were briefed to create a suite of craft beers. A natural inspiration and cohesion stemmed from the celtic folklore of the area, allowing us to create a beer brand that was inherently Irish, while still looking edgy.

Dungarvan Brewing
With craft beer the clue is in the name. Artisan, pure, flavourful beer—Dungarvan Brewing Company have earned recognition nationally and internationally as a truly great craft beer. When working on the Dungarvan brand we had oceans of inspiration, from the Ballinacourty lighthouse to the beautiful liquid inside the bottles. Such depth and credibility needed a brand that was rooted, quality-led and local.


Crafty Divils
Crafty Divils’ aim is to provide great tasting hand crafted locally Irish beer bursting with flavours, aromas and textures brewed for your enjoyment. Their King Puck Pale Ale celebrates tradition, bringing together friends old and new to revel in the craíc agus ceol of Puck Fair. It’s said that ‘All roads lead to Puck’ but only one beer makes the festival!


Lidl—The Crafty Brewing Company!
Lidl continue to forge a key place in the Irish grocery market and are very pro-active in working with Irish suppliers. For us, it’s like kiddies in a candy store—as we welcome briefs from vastly varying categories—from fresh bakery to tea to craft beer.


Hope you get to enjoy one (or all ) of these beers at some point. We certainly have!

10 is the Magic Number!

Last week we had the pleasure of celebrating Noelle’s 10 year anniversary with us here in Greenhouse. 10 years ago when Greenhouse was a mere baby, (back then there was just 3 of us in a small office on Penrose Quay). We begged Noelle to join us and whip us into shape.


We’ve had the absolute pleasure of having her with us since then, crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s. Over the years Noelle has helped grow Greenhouse from 3 to 13 and lets be honest, we’d be broke without her. Thanks for everything Noelle, here’s to the next 10!

Time for a little ‘Flashback Friday’…

noelle2The early years

noelle3New York, New York!

noelle4Here we grow!

noelle5Lots of happy days in 10 years!

noelle7A few nights out…

noelle6…there were many!

noelle810 years on — the family is still growing!

We’re Jammin

(Needs to be played while reading this blog)

Why was the strawberry late? Because he was in a jam. Ok ok, that’s the only jam joke we’ll subject you to today!

Here at Greenhouse, we do love our jam and we’ve been fortunate enough to work on some delicious brands over the past 12 months.

We got to freshen up Ireland’s family favourite Fruitfield, while completely rebranding the beautiful premium jams from G’s. The bright and colourful Abbey Farm gave us a chance to really shake up the jam aisle, bringing their personality to life.

Let’s not forget Lidl’s top selling jam, Kilderg, which we had the pleasure of creating from scratch.

Orange you glad we didn’t jam pack this blog post with puns?

gs abbeyfarmkilderg