A trip to the supermarket is an everyday task for millions of families across the UK, whether to pick up tonight’s supper or the weekly shop. Whilst we might take time to choose a particular brand of hair shampoo, the marmalade for our toast or flavour of fruit juice or smoothie, little thought will be given to the packaging of those products.
But for David Sharpe, Managing Director of Neville and More, the packaging of everyday products is what gets him up in the morning. The Sussex company sources and provides clever primary packaging for thousands of different products found in our supermarkets, on the high street and on the internet for over 800 different customers. Over 50 million bottles, jars, dispensers and their lids and fastenings pass through the company every year.
Neville and More was established 60 years ago, sourcing packaging for the pharmaceutical industry. In 1994, David, then working in the pharmaceutical packaging industry and a supplier to Neville and More, was given the opportunity to purchase the company.
“At the time, the business had just one employee and a turnover of £500,000,” says David. “But I could see its potential, particularly in expanding into other industry sectors.”
Today Neville and More has 35 employees and a turnover of £13m, with a growing international customer base. Its primary packaging – packaging that is in direct contact with its contents – is still used in the pharmaceutical industry, together with personal care, cosmetics, household cleaning products, and in the food and drink sectors.
“Our customers will come to us with a great idea for a new product or product development,” says David. “They will typically have some idea of the packaging they would like, and then leave it to us to source the best, safest and most appropriate packaging solution.
“Sometimes, we will find a manufacturer here in the UK, but increasingly it will mean us approaching manufacturers around the world. Quite often, one manufacturer will be able to provide the glass, aluminium or plastic bottle but not the closure, so the search for the best lid, cap or dispenser will start again.”
Product manufacturers and retailers turn to David and his team at Neville and More for their encyclopaedic knowledge and international connections. They know that if there is a packaging product out that is of the right specification and quality, Neville and More will be able to find it at the right price and in the right quantities.
“It is a market that, for us, is growing rapidly,” says David. “Our progression from pharmaceuticals, to personal care and household cleaning products and then food and drink has placed us as one of the market leaders. But there is a lot more we can do.
“Retailers and product manufacturers are more demanding, looking for ever-more innovative and environmentally friendly products. And we are looking to grow our international customer base too.”
Growth is expected to continue at a steady pace and is being funded organically.
“We fared well in the 2008 crash,” says David, “as people still need to wash their hair, clean their homes and still continue to buy their favourite food and drink – and the only way they can do that is through the sorts of packaging sourced by us. And whilst the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is not particularly helpful, it is unlikely to hold us back.”
In fact, Neville and More expect to double their international sales over the next five years to account for some 30% of turnover.
“We have great exposure in the UK in our core sectors and we see real opportunities across Europe and further afield,” says David.
“Our website generates enquiries from all around the world, and we regularly participate in the large trade shows and exhibitions – we will be in Paris and Gothenburg in the autumn. We have also invested in a new international sales executive, which is already delivering good results.”
Neville and More has been a client of Kreston Reeves (formerly Spofforths) for many years.
“Kreston Reeves is a great partner, offering a wide range of services that meet the needs of my business. I trust them and their expertise and have never had a reason to look elsewhere,” says David.
“They provide us with a wide range of ongoing services including payroll, accounts, corporation tax, audit and company secretarial services, and are always proactive when we have queries, not only in these core services but on other wider business issues.”
For more information visit http://www.nevilleandmore.com/
Neville and More featured as a 'Business growth story' in our 'Going for Growth: UK company growth strategies to 2021' report. To download your copy of the report, please click here.