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Oct 23, 2018

Does exactly what it says on the tin… or does it?

by Nina McCoy - Senior Account Director

Does exactly what it says on the tin… or does it?

Tradition is a funny thing and our familiarity with, and fondness for a packaging format shouldn’t be underestimated.

We are all aware of the changes that Christmas staple, confectionery tubs, have undergone in recent years, including the contents decreasing due to shrinkflation and the move from traditional tin to plastic – value engineering decisions which, in the light of the global plastic crisis, I am sure are being questioned at many senior meetings. Who knows, perhaps Roses’ trial of 2009 to replace tin with cardboard is being resurrected in those meetings right now?

This Christmas, Nestle is bucking the cost-saving trend at least in part and is going back to the traditional tin and adding value to its Quality Street tins with a pick and mix offering in selected John Lewis stores nationwide. For £12 for a 1.2kg tin you can pick your favourites, and, for an additional £3 even personalise your tin.

A clever move perhaps, as with personalisation comes the added likelihood that you will keep your branded tin and repurpose it, ensuring it stays in the home, and on view for a number of months, or even years.

If Michael Macintyre’s classic insight into UK homes and ‘the man drawer’ is correct, UK households have a multitude of things they want to store, but aren’t sure where to put them.

The Bright Side is just one brand which has capitalised on this and created a place (aka tin) for almost everything and anything you can think of. With a wide range of tins retailing at anything up to £16.99, they clearly are felt to be of some value. So it’s with good reason that alongside seasonal confectionery and biscuit tins, there are a number of branded tins aiming to achieve the holy grail of long-standing in-home branding:

Tetley’s 180th anniversary tin (not an anniversary I’ve seen marked before!) is offered free at point of sale and contains a standard 80 tea bag pack, giving the brand a reason to stand out when there’s a limited amount of new news in the black tea category.

In another low-engagement category, Bodyform’s designer tins free with every pack are a great way to generate impactful display. The insightful desire of 15-24 year olds to have these products in your bag discreetly has been a success, with this year seeing the hook up with artist Gemma Correll to keep the activation fresh and relevant.

Bisto and Oxo have discovered limited edition tins to be an almost perennial favourite. Whilst the looks change, their designs always nod to the brands’ heritage and iconic branding and advertising. And at £4 each the tin commands a premium over the product contained within. 

Alpen’s big bag tin encourages trading up to larger bag sizes and repeat purchase and is offered exclusively to ASDA shoppers, thereby adding value to shoppers whilst also supporting the retailer and helping to gain additional feature space for the offer.

No one wants squashed sandwiches for lunch and New York Bagel Company’s bagel-sized tins are just the answer! Offered as prizes in an on pack promotion there are currently 500 to be won every week until 26th November, that’s one roughly every 20 mins, well worth buying a pack and taking a moment to enter.

So whether your tins are free or paid for, are seasonal or not, and whether or not they still contain the intended product or the random contents of the ‘man drawer’, there’s no doubt that tins are a great way to build brand loyalty and promote your brand both in store and in home... after all, a tin is not just for Christmas!

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Packaging, On-Pack, Marketing

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