Unravelling Packaging Trends; Steens’ UMF 27+ Manuka honey

The Steens UMF 27+ Mānuka honey innovatively presents the sweet, golden liquid as a luxurious gift offering. Highly regarded for its healing properties, the ‘rare’ product can only be collected within a short time frame as the flower opens for only a few weeks every year. Steens’ striking new packaging, inspired by the honey bee, is an interactive structure with a bee box exterior and a blossoming insert; allowing the brand to stand apart in a competitive category by providing customers with a memorable unboxing experience.


Steens’ unique WholeComb extraction method ensures that many of the honey’s health benefits that are generally lost through commercial filtration techniques remain.




As the primary goal was to attract the attention of premium shoppers, Steens recognised that their product offering needed to challenge the status quo and create an emotional connection with consumers. Thus, the brand’s passion for the product needed to be translated through the highly interactive unboxing method, which resembled the process of opening a hive when collecting honey.



Different and delicate; the Steens packaging commands the premium price point without compromising its goal of connecting the concept to the bees.


The brand had a clear vision for the packaging of its honey harvested in New Zealand; it needed to be a unique, bold and gift-worthy offering that best-showcased the incredibly rare UMF 27+ Manuka honey. Symbolising the honeybees and their immediate draw to bright-coloured flowers, the bespoke packaging was ideated in a fun colour palette; contrasting the black and gold packaging commonly-found in the emerging Manuka Honey category.



A bespoke piece of art for a luxurious, rare offering; the packaging needed to uniquely reflect the joy Steens gets from opening a hive and collecting the Manuka honey.  




The ‘extraction’ process inspires every detail; starting with the hand-crafted packaging’s look and feel that resembles the beehives found in the countryside landscapes. The Steens boxes are painted in bright, contrasting colours – allowing customers to find their way back to their luxurious Manuka offering time-after-time, instead of ‘drifting to other hives’. The brave choice of exhilaratingly vibrant colours – in three different colourways – enables the brand to confidently stand their ground in the market; boldly highlighting to shoppers that their product offering is the purest Manuka honey.



Packaging imitates nature; the Steens Manuka Honey outer box is highly-recognisable by customers through its distinct look and feel.


The team of experts involved in the project – Steens, Wrapology, Think Packaging, David Trubridge and a freelance project coordinator – ensured the outer box and flower insert seamlessly opened to reveal the honey jar placed inside. A memorable unboxing experience unlike any other; upon twisting a tab on the flower base, the crosshatched petals blossom to reveal the luxurious offering dramatically. Past the surprise element, the meticulous design reminds the consumer the connection the product has to nature; that the honey originates from Manuka flowers.



The Steens Manuka Honey packaging cleverly enables consumers to collect honey like bees; starting with the floral insert’s bright colour to the interactiveness, which presents the premium honey jar.  




Suppose you need help creating a fun brand with striking packaging that stands apart in the category. In that case, we’d like to offer you a complimentary strategy call with our Managing Director and Head of Strategy, Grant Davidson. Having nearly 30 years of industry experience working with groundbreaking brands, Grant has the experience and knowledge necessary to identify your core brand strategy and communicate it effectively.


Written by Michael Callan
Mike is Davidson's Group Design Director with extensive experience across the corporate, retail and consumer goods sectors. Over his 25 year career, Mike has been recognised as a multi-award-winning designer - including AGDA, Melbourne & New York Design Awards.
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