As Aegg’s PR consultant, I was invited to attend Aegg’s company briefing at its HQ in Andover, where members from the senior management team updated staff on how the company is doing in relation to its glass and plastic packaging supplies to the food and drink markets. The same company briefing was also presented to the team members at the company’s logistics site in Suffolk, too.
When I started working with Aegg in 2015, they offered around 60 off-the-shelf plastic pots and bowls, which helped to “premiumise” food products with an extra on-shelf ‘zing’, in addition to its bespoke pots & bowls service. However, 4 years on, the company has evolved dramatically with plastic products now accounting for around half of its business following the 2019 introduction of glass bottles and glass jars for general foods, pickled vegetables, sauces, preserves, desserts, water and soft drinks, expanding not only the applications but also the amount of products themselves (Aegg now offers 211 products, which is being added to all the time). Where other food packaging companies may have struggled to keep up with changing consumer demands as a result of the ‘plastics’ debate, Aegg has thrived by looking forward and adding a glass solution to a knotty problem.
I was aware of the extreme shortage of glass bottles and glass jars within the UK over the last year or so due to increased demand from markets such as the growing tonics markets, as well as reduced output whilst some major UK glass furnaces are currently being rebuilt. However, I wasn’t aware of the extent of the huge increase in demand for Aegg’s glass packaging supplies import service: Aegg has seen the company grow in the last 12 months with its turnover almost doubling compared to this time last year. With the additional cash from trading coming into the business, Aegg is re-investing in various areas. For example, Aegg has invested, supported by other funding, in a new site in Suffolk (where the opening date has been rescheduled due to the changes in market demands) which includes a large warehouse to house the glass packaging supplies; Aegg has also invested in its own logistics fleet (currently consisting of 9 curtain siders, 12 skeletal trailers and 8 lorries) to transport the goods between Felixstowe dock, the Suffolk facility and Aegg’s customers. There is also a new warehousing and distribution hub planned for the north of the UK. To assist with the new facilities, services and increased demand, Aegg is also adding to its team at both its head office in Andover and Suffolk site, including additional managers to oversee production, quality, logistics and more. With the introduction of new glass bottles for water and soft drinks, Aegg has also attracted a number of new customers and is experiencing a big increase in these areas.
As part of the company briefing, the topic of sustainability was discussed, including the proposed plastics tax for plastic packaging with sub 30% recycled content; Aegg’s involvement in these Government discussions and the plastic tax details which were to be announced in the Autumn Budget on 6th November; and how Aegg is continuing to innovate in thin-walling some of its plastic pots, introducing some recycled content and trialling plant based plastics. There was also discussion within the company team around which is thought to be greener: plastic or glass. I personally feel that there is widespread consumer confusion over this issue and more research needs to be done to clarify the green credentials of plastic vs glass, since the energy consumed to make glass is greater, although the end product is more re-usable. I also feel that the government needs to make local recycling schemes more consistent across the country, as at the moment every council’s recycling is different. For example, the Andover-based team has a very different recycling scheme to that of where I live in Bournemouth, even though we are only an hour or so away from each other. However, by Aegg providing both plastic and glass options and always looking for ways to provide the most viable solutions, Aegg is a great place for the food and drink industry to start looking for their recyclable packaging supplies.
By Aegg being able to adapt quickly to the ongoing changes within the industry, this means that customers can rely on Aegg to provide the right packaging to suit the changing demands of its customers. Whether that is a move from PS plastic pots to more recyclable PET or PP pots, thin-walled PP pots which uses less of the base product in the manufacturing process; plant based polymer pots, plastic with recycled content or whether it is switching to glass pots, jars, bottles or bowls, which are deemed to be ‘greener’ with their re-usability and recyclability credentials, Aegg offers multiple options all under one roof. The new warehousing and logistics services also mean that customers have more flexibility in not only the products available, but also within the supply chain.
With the added stresses that can come with a growing company, it was really reassuring to hear from the senior management team that all the hard work put in by the team is reaping huge benefits, not only to the business as a whole, but by being able to provide a relevant service to its growing number of customers. Thank you for the invite to your meeting, Aegg, and I really look forward to the next company briefing (including the pizza lunch!)
Written by Emma Estridge, Aegg’s PR Consultant from Mushroom Marketing & PR