Picture this: It’s 2010 and the sweet aroma of freshly baked mince pies fills the air at The Mighty Bakery in New Zealand’s corrugated-iron capital, Tirau. The team at this bakery is busy baking and packing to keep up with demand for the upcoming holiday season.
The bakery’s general manager realises that demand is spiking. He needs to keep up with the flow of new wholesale contracts coming through the door. So, he begins looking for ways to make their production line more efficient and reliable.
Fast forward to today—13 years on—and this once-humble bakery, owned by Yarrows, has transformed its fruit mince pie business, capturing the hearts (and taste buds) of customers far and wide.
Below, we explore how they managed their packaging challenges to get to where they are today: producing 24-hours a day for 9 months out of the year to meet wholesale demand. And now selling through hundreds of supermarkets across Australia and New Zealand.
Back in 2010, The Mighty Bakery was expanding to accommodate new wholesale contracts and this meant looking at automation. They knew early on that this involved sourcing a suitable flow wrapper to more efficiently wrap the increasing volumes of fruit mince pies.
They began looking for reputable equipment suppliers in New Zealand, who could also supply the right film.
The number one priority was that the film needed to be food safe and hygienic.
It also needed to be printed with their branding, present all the necessary nutritional information, and showcase the glossy appearance of their baked goods nicely underneath.
Furthermore, the packaging had to withstand the rigors of transportation and storage, and be accepted in both NZ and Australia by the supermarket chains.
How they did it:
They approached our team of packaging specialists and asked for our recommendations. After reviewing a range of options, they chose one of our Italian-manufactured Tecnopack flow wrapping machines.
“Built for high-volume runs, it’s easily changeable for different products, and the sleek design is very easy to clean down in a bakery environment,” says Accolade’s Managing Director, Clark Dury.
Initially, they used a system of plain film covering the mince pies with printed cardboard carton outers. This gradually evolved over the years and they continued to further refine their packaging as supermarket requirements changed.
Today, they use the pre-printed film that you’d be familiar seeing on the shelves at Countdown and Woolworths during the festive season.
Using a pre-printed film reduced the shipping weight of their packages, and lowered their supply chain costs. This film that we pre-print for them at our print facility in Auckland also helps the baked goods better withstand the chilled or frozen storage conditions.
They chose us to print their film because lead time was an important factor for their business.
Clark explains, “Because our product isn’t pre-printed overseas—it’s all printed right here in New Zealand, it gives our clients shorter lead times.”
Today, The Mighty Bakery’s Christmas mince pies are being sold throughout Australasia in increasingly higher volumes at places like Aldi, Coles, IGA, Woolworths, Countdown and Foodstuffs.
“We recently installed a second Tecnopack line at their packaging facility. The new flow wrap machine is fundamentally the same, but it has an auto-infeed system to autonomously feed the packs even faster,” says Clark.
It’s been a huge success for the bakery—their Christmas mince pie volumes have grown so much, they now package them 24-hours a day for more than nine months out of the year.
We’re proud to have helped them on their packaging journey so far and we look forward to continuing to partner with them as their business grows into the future.