Snacks have become a natural part of seeing a film and cinemas are attractive advertising locations for brands to be seen in. Besides easy handling, the PortaSnack™ packaging solution offers a branding opportunity – in this case for Empire Cinemas and Robinsons Fruit Shoot drinks. “The design and printing breathe quality and enhance the cinema experience,” says Gordon MacDonald, retail manager at Empire Cinemas.

The chain owns a total of 16 cinemas in the UK, its flagship venue being the legendary Empire at Leicester Square in London. In 1896, this former variety theatre was the first place in the UK to show films to paying audiences. In 1928, the building was remodelled as a cinema and the site has been modernised at regular intervals to suit the cinema culture of the day. Today, the facility has eight auditoriums, one of which seats 1,300 people and hosts all major premieres. The technical equipment is state-of-the-art, making this the Rolls Royce of cinemas. So this is the place to look out for royalty or celebrities.

Good quality and easy handling

In the impressive foyer, snack sales have become an important feature and easy handling is essential. “We are extremely pleased with this solution,” says Gordon MacDonald. “It’s quite simply more elegant and better suits our image than the simpler solutions we’ve used previously. The feeling we want to evoke on entering the cinema should be the same as entering a five-star hotel.”

With the PortaSnack concept, supplier PortaBrands, already the UK’s leading innovator in packaging solutions for drinks, is now branching into snacks. The list of awards received by the company is impressive. “We are constantly developing new packaging products that allow people to eat and drink on the move – products adapted for today’s lifestyle,” explains Ian Bates, CEO and innovator at PortaBrands. “We aren’t consultants on packaging design. We are innovators who identify needs in the market and seek to meet these with patented products.”

Kornäs Light was just what we needed

“We tried both recycled fibre and folding boxboard for this product but neither gave the desired performance. The locking flap at the front broke easily, the scoring was indistinct and the perforations didn’t always work,” says Ian Bates. “Korsnäs Light allowed us to reduce grammage by 50g and the lighter material folds better at the flap. In addition, the perforation on the back (which allows the package to be easily transformed into a small tray) worked particularly well with the Korsnäs material. The brown reverse side is actually a further advantage as it signals our regard for the environment.”