Tipple Tails, a craft business founded by Jane Stammers, produces fruit cake gifts which are made with ingredients from local producers and local family businesses. Her products are widely sold in the UK.


Tipple Tails became aware that their product packaging was failing to protect their products on the shelf and was not luxurious or robust enough to enter the hamper market —so Jane turned to the Sheffield Innovation Programme for help.

The challenge:

Tipple Tails’ existing packaging had an artisanal feel, with all products being sold in a cellophane bag sealed with a tied tag label. 


However, the nature of this packaging meant the product was not protected during transportation and failed to prolong its shelf life. While the packaging may have reflected the traditional roots of the product, an increase in the variety of flavours and sizes illustrated a need for a more professional packaging design.

What we did

The Sheffield Innovation Programme put Tipple Tails in touch with Design Futures, a commercially focused product and packaging design consultancy group based within Sheffield Hallam University. 


Working closely with Tipple Tails, the Design Futures team developed a new packaging concept which addressed key elements including the hand illustrated logo, images and quality of finish. 


The concept of the new packaging is simple — a handle closed carton that reveals enough of the bun casing to show the product without overexposure. The outer carton is a standardised design to keep the cost per unit to a minimum. However, the carton can hold 8 different product varieties in 2 product sizes due to using interchangeable platforms.

The results

Tipple Tails have received great feedback from the new packaging design, which has led to a surge in orders from existing retailers and direct sales. They have also been able to implement a higher RRP for the product, due to its more luxurious appearance and clear differentiation from competitors. The revised packaging has made it possible to enter the lucrative festive hamper market which was previously off limits due to the high vulnerability to product damage. 


A change in structural packaging design has reduced the level of transit damages by over 70% as a result of interchangeable platforms which remove space within the carton to protect smaller products.


The team also worked to increase the shelf life of Tipple Tails products by removing the process of sealing the bags with ties and using sealed product bags which has helped to maintain freshness. As a result, shelf life has been extended by 25%. 

It was great working with the team from Design Futures - John, Peter and Nicola were really friendly and easy to work with. They very quickly understood the ethos of the company and were genuinely enthusiastic about coming up with some new design ideas.
They went over and above to deliver a selection of ideas for consideration – the final design was better than I could have hoped for! They were also able to provide me with contacts for the production of the packaging locally.

Jane Stammers Founder of Tipple Tails

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