Home to gourmet peanut brand VIPnuts, New York Delhi was founded by husband-and-wife Nina and Eugene Slattery, who started their food producer journey by launching a range of spices inspired by family recipes created by Nina’s grandmother.
The two entrepreneurs had met each other in art school and found that they shared a love of great food and flavours. Their backgrounds – Nina comes from an Indian family and Eugene has Irish American roots – were the inspiration behind the company name, and New York Delhi was born.
“Our very first product was Magic Masala, a fantastic spice mix based on my grandmother’s own special recipe and the key ingredient to making the world’s best curry,” says Nina. Fortunately, the market agreed with that bold assertion, and the pair were lucky enough to land Fortnum & Masons as their very first customer.
Giving the humble peanut a makeover
The couple started using the unique spice mixes to flavour jumbo premium peanuts and that soon proved to be an incredibly popular idea. After successfully introducing their tasty nuts to the US market, and an appearance at the international food show SIAL, New York Delhi truly became a global taste sensation. Customers in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of China, including Hong Kong, just couldn’t get enough of VIPnuts.
“I think a large part of our success is due to the fact that at New York Delhi we offer flavoured peanuts for every palate,” says Nina. “We have savoury nuts like Hot Chilli and Bollywood Barbecue, and sweet ones such as Honey & Mustard or Hot Toffee, along with more traditional salted and dry roasted nuts. We also sell wasabi and cashew nuts in mouth-watering flavour combinations.”
Over the past year, the brand has seen huge growth in online sales, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. They can be found on Ocado, Amazon and many other online retailers. This has more than made up for the decline in sales to the hospitality industry, says Nina, who also said they plan to introduce VIPnut butter and more snack market categories.
Looking out for a packaging hero
VIPnuts are sold in several packaging formats including grab & go, shot packs, gift tins and large glass jars for selling by weight in pubs and bars. “We have now also introduced a Hero size pack for three of our flavours in the Barista Bites range. And for this project, we chose to work with ePac UK Silverstone and take advantage of their digital print expertise to make our product shine,” says Nina.
The company wanted to move away from basic pouches made from a metallic-look film with labels attached, to fully printed stand-up pouches with high impact graphics for a more professional look. The ability to order low quantities of each flavour to help with cash flow and avoid stocking a huge inventory was also an attractive proposition.
“We had been using a silver generic film as [the minimum order quantities (MOQs)] were very high,” explains Nina. “We simply applied a label to denote what flavour was in the pack and another with the appropriate ingredient listings and nutritional information. This helped us try a few flavours without huge commitments, but it really wasn’t ideal.”
With digital printing, the MOQs can be kept very low, because there are no plate costs, lengthy set-up times or wasted materials. Once the artwork has been approved, the pre-press operator sends it straight to the digital press where it is printed in full colour without delay. The printed film is then laminated and made into pouches on ePac’s state-of-the-art converting lines. This agility means shorter lead times with pouches delivered ready to fill in just 15 working days.
The sky’s the limit with digital
New York Delhi’s new pouches were made for three of their SKUs: Cocoa Caramel Peanuts, Hot Toffee, and another very popular snack – Americanos Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans. Adding to the luxury look, the pouches are made from a metallic laminate with gold on the inside of the packs. Zippers for reclosing and tear-notches for easy opening are also part of the package.
Nina explains, “We are known for the gold lining of our bags rather than traditional silver, and this was the challenge we gave ePac. They also had to print the deepest black to really show off our brand – everything needed to look glossy and high quality. We are so impressed with what has been achieved and how quickly the pouches were delivered.”
Short lead times and low MOQs also give brands the freedom to experiment with new designs, products or flavours without incurring huge costs or creating unnecessary waste. “Digital allows us to experiment and try things sooner than we would have otherwise been able to. We are very big on new development, so this is right up our street,” exclaims Nina.
The partnership with ePac UK Silverstone looks set to continue with Nina singing the praises of this first project. She concludes, “We have been super impressed with ePac and I love that we can bring ideas to the market so much quicker. With digital print, the sky’s the limit and the relationship with ePac will help us take over the world. We’re very excited about our next venture.”
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