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Scarily big pumpkins sees packaging demand soar

DS Smith has seen a surge in demand for its pumpkin packaging due to scarily large pumpkin crop

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The rainy British summer caused pumpkin harvests to be pushed back and as a result spookily large pumpkins have emerged

Britain’s unusually wet summer has led to a spooky phenomenon – larger than normal pumpkins. As a result, sustainable, fibre-based packaging supplier, DS Smith, has seen a 25% increase in demand for its Octabins.

Used to transport pumpkins, Octabins are made of recyclable cardboard and are designed with an octagonal shape to make them easier to fit inside trucks and shipping containers and less likely than a square or cylindrical box to bulge.

Heavy rain in July and August created the ideal environment for pumpkins to grow in time for September and early October harvesting. Because of this, DS Smith expects to have boxed up over 11 million pumpkins into 126,000 Octabins in the UK this year.

According to DS Smith, shipping of pumpkins at this time of year is a short and intense period at the best of times, however with 2023’s wet summer pushing back this year’s harvest it has created an unusually tight harvest window.

DS Smith’s Octabin pumpkin bins are designed to hold up to 1.25 tonnes and can store up to 85 pumpkins 

This has seen pumpkin growers rushing to ensure their harvests make it to supermarkets and stores safely with the help of DS Smith’s Octabins. The eight-sided cardboard packaging has been designed to hold up to 1.25 tonnes and can store up to 85 pumpkins.

“This year’s pumpkin harvest has been the biggest we’ve ever experienced – some pumpkins are weighing in at 25kg,” says Ross McGowan, pumpkin grower at Hatter’s Farm in Essex. “When they’re that big, what they’re stored or transported in can become an issue and the last bins I used were hopeless and couldn’t hold the weight to be double stacked.

“As a pumpkin farmer, you need something incredibly robust, but at Hatter’s Farm we also want something sustainable as that’s something that’s really important to us, and to the families that come and visit us.”

DS Smith has been flooded with orders for its Octabins as farmers have needed sturdier bins for their large pumpkins 

Joe Coote, pumpkin packaging account manager at DS Smith, adds: “We’re in a race against the clocks to get our Octabins bins to growers and retailers who have only recently realised they need extra storage for their giant pumpkins, and we’re the only company in the UK who can turn around spookily-printed packaging in such large numbers, at speed, that is strong enough for these heavy crops. 

“The result is that we’ve been flooded with orders. In the last two weeks alone, we’ve had to make and deliver tens of thousands more Octabins for retailers due to this year’s pumpkin size. It’s been a phenomenal season for us, and we have loved helping to get the UK’s pumpkins to where they need to be.”

If you have a story, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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