The full package

Disposable packaging specialist 4 Aces won the Innovation Recognition Award and was highly commended in the Ancillary Product category at last year’s Vendies for the company’s new Planet Range. Here VI catches up managing director, Chris Penn to find out the secret of their success

Give us a brief history on 4 Aces? 4 Aces supplies a full range of plastic and paper cups, food packaging and water cooler products to a mix of customers in the vending, HoReCa and water cooler markets. Best prices and a tailored service are responsible for the company’s constantly expanding customer base and 35 per cent year on year growth. Having retained core staff, customers and suppliers since the business launched, 4 Aces prides itself on its ability to build relation- ships as well as the breadth of choice and the quality of the products that it offers. Last year, we received accreditation from BRC Global Standards in

recognition of the com-pany’s best practice in the handling, storage and distribution of our cups and water products. This year, we’ve received FSC accreditation.

You achieved success at the Vendies with your new Planet Range both in the Ancillary Product and Innovation Recognition Awards. What does this mean to 4 Aces? Winning with that particular range of products was an especially great achievement as there is a major focus on environmentally- friendly products at the moment and the market for sustainable solutions is incredibly competitive, overall. We’ve worked hard to establish and build this range, offering a full collection of PLA hot and cold cups in varying sizes, in-cluding a 9 oz vending version of the hot cup. Demand is growing across all sectors and locations and sales are good. Achieving success in two categories validates our efforts to offer more eco-friendly solutions and positions us as most relevant in terms of our product offering.

What does 4 Aces do to stand out from its competition? We’re renowned for our superior level of customer service, which is exemplified by our highly-regarded direct parcel delivery service, offering a prompt, personal service, regardless of the size of the company or the size of the order. This service allows customers to get access to our complete range

of products without the need to hold any of it and is valued by many, with great feedback.

How is 4 Aces capitalising on the demand for environmentally sustainable packaging? Sustainable packaging sits high on the public agenda; consumers are far more savvy and informed about issues related to the environment than ever before. There’s a great public spirit driving the industry; the end-users most definitely want cups and packaging that are made from sustainable materials and renewable resources. There’s also great demand for tailored products and we’re printing on an increasing num-ber of single wall and double wall high quality, paper cups, accommodating small and large print runs and delivering to customers as and when they need the stock items. Such demand has encouraged us to get creative and, besides bespoke printing, we are also running more of our own designs.

Where vending is concerned, what are 4 Aces’ future plans? More of the same! It’s a healthy market that demands choice, so we’re primed to continue to expand across all of our ranges, increasing our offering in line with expectation. We’re keen to demonstrate that we are listening to the market and delivering on all fronts and we will be producing more contemporary lines, with eye- catching designs that will help our customers to drive healthy profits and increase their sales.

Why was it important for 4 Aces to enter The Vendies, and will you enter again? Customer recognition is incredibly important and we’re eager to impress vending operators and managers who might be interested in trying our products and who take note of the Vendies and those shortlisted products. It’s a competitive market and receiving any award or accreditation immediately puts you ahead of that competition. We’re really proud of both our achievements (and previous wins) and will most definitely be entering again.

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