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1 – Which Sugar Format Should I Use?

This is simply down to personal preference. Our only comment is with regards to choosing sticks. If you are using your logo, you/your designer should look very carefully at how your logo looks when it’s reduced to 15mm in depth. The standard sugar stick is not a ‘flat’ surface which is why packers refer to them as ‘round sticks’ the graphics can tend to ‘roll over’ the top and bottom of the stick if the image used is not suitable.

2 – What is The Minimum Order Quantity?

This will depend on the exact format that you choose and can vary between 5,000 and 10,000. However, for a standard sachet size 43mm x 58mm we can produce just 1,000pcs containing white sugar with your own design and graphics printed in 1-2 colours.

3 – Help! I’ve Run Out of Sugar.

The biggest single problem we deal with is clients running out of stock. We are unable to offer warehousing and therefore are unable to hold stock. Every order is ‘Bespoke’ which means that every order is printed and packed on a job-by-job case. The average lead-time is 4-5 weeks. To help the process we do place a sticker on the top of every case produced, asking the person opening the case if it’s the last carton and to reorder with our phone number, however, it’s impossible for us to organise clients stock control!

4 – How Long Will It Take to Make My Order?

An approx. answer would be 4 weeks from the approved proof for the production process, and if the order is made outside of the UK a week for delivery from the European packer. However, you need to factor in the timing to get to that point. Do you have a design ready, if not who is going to do that? How long will it take? We offer a service whereby we supply a high quality visual for your approval that can be done in 2-3 days. (View our Branded Visuals section)

Once the design is approved who is going to provide the correct Vector artwork production file for the printer? How long will it take you?  We can produce this in 2-3 days for you. Any artwork that you send to us that is nonproductive, we shall make a charge to correct it.

The artwork file is then sent to the chosen sugar packer who will take 4-5 days to supply a PDF proof.

Once the proof is sent to you, we will expect it to be approved for production quickly, otherwise you will lose the production slot that could delay your order.

5 – What Is the Shelf Life and Storage for Sugar?

There is no legal requirement to print shelf-life information on the individual sugar portions. The shelf life is unlimited providing that the sugar cases are stored at room temperature and in dry and well-ventilated storage. The Ambient food storage temperature is somewhere from 15-25 degrees C.

6 – Our Logo is Always Printed in Full Colour, Can We Print it?

The maximum number is normally three colours printed flexographic. It also depends on the format that you require which we can advise you on. If you decide on having full colour it will be expensive. Unlike digital printing where there’s no origination (printing plates) costs, sugar packaging is printed using the Flexographic machines. This means you will be charged the cost of a printing plate for each colour you use. Probably the reason that most sugar packaging is one or two colours.  Please avoid using pale and pastel colours. Most sugar formats are tiny compared with other product packaging and when small text or logos are printed in pale colours, they can be difficult to read.

7 – Do I Have to Print ‘White’ or ‘Brown’ Sugar on My Packaging 

It’s common now to recognise that a brown paper sachet or stick probably contains brown sugar and a white paper sachet or stick contains white sugar. But don’t bet on it. Some clients are adamant that they do not wish to have the words white sugar or brown sugar anywhere on their personalised sugar. We always advise that this is not wise. If you state what the contents are on the packaging, it’s more unlikely that there will be any comeback from those who have accidentally emptied the contents into a beverage such as those who suffer allergies and have a sugar intolerance. Consider compensation culture!

It’s possible that customs will set aside for inspection small, unmarked sachets for obvious reasons!

8Can I have packaging that’s recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable.

Not long ago all sugar portions were packed in food grade paper with a PE lining. That’s no longer the case. Most of the sugar formats mentioned are now available in eco-friendly food packaging that costs only a small percentage more than standard paper. Some formats however cannot be produced using eco-friendly paper – please enquire.

9Where Is the Sugar Produced?

This will depend on your chosen format, the quantity you require, and if you would like to have eco-friendly packaging. Once we have this information, we know who the best company would be to appoint as packers. With a huge selection of formats, and sizes available, no one packer has all the filling-line machinery under one roof. We collaborate with European companies who between them own a range of specialist packaging machinery. For example, if you would like wrapped sugar cubes, there are two companies who can offer this item. A European company who can produce a MOQ of just 6000pcs and a UK based company with a MOQ of 160,00.

10 – Are There Any Additional Costs?

Since the UK left the EC, HMRC charges an import tax on most imports. If the goods that we have estimated are to be produced outside of the UK, then HM Customs could apply import charges (DUTY) at the point of entry to the UK or inspect the goods for which you will be liable for payment. In most cases this will be for an import VAT which most clients who are registered for vat can reclaim. Because of customs complexities we are unable to enter in to disputes regarding customs charges. In our experience importing personalised sugar the sums involved are likely to be:

1 – Customs import Duty – HMRC for importing into the UK from the EU. This is referred to as a ‘third country duty’ and costs £35.00 for every 100kg. This is approx. for an order of 25 cases (25,000pcs)

Apart from the freight costs, all import taxes, duties, or associated courier or customs clearance administration charges for all consignments shall be paid for by the receiver.

2 – Note: Both Sugar & Sweetener is exempt from any VAT so no vat should be charged.

3 – Customs Clearance / handling admin fee / brokerage – this may be charged by the freight company/courier delivering your order but is likely to be a small sum.  (Approx. £12.00)

Note: It is possible that couriers will charge us for the above costs. When this happens, we will pay the charges on your behalf. We shall then invoice you for any charges paid and will expect payment within 14 days.

11 – Are There Extra Costs to Countries Outside of The UK?

In addition to the freight costs, all import taxes, duties, or associated courier or customs clearance administration charges for all consignments shall be paid for by the receiver, as set out by the Tax rules relating to the country importing the goods. Note, we are unable to correspond on your behalf with any customs or import tax issues with countries outside of the UK. Should any issues arise, we shall ask the specific freight company delivering the goods for their advice and let you have the phone number of the local office for you to contact together with copies of the airway bill etc.

12 – Can I Have Organic or Fairtrade Sugar?

For some of the formats we can offer organic/fairtrade sugar. To provide Fairtrade, the sugar packer must hold a license. Depending on what you wish to have printed your design may have to be approved by the Fairtrade organisation, this can sometimes take weeks and therefore ‘Fairtrade’ is not recommended for any time sensitive project such as a hotel opening or launch event.

13 -What Material Options Can You Offer for Sugar Packaging?

For most sugar packaging options, we offer white paper, brown/kraft paper, or transparent film. The standard paper is a food grade paper with a PE lining and is not available in different colours or foil.

14 -How Are the Sugar Portions Packed?

This can vary from one packer to another and depends on the format being packed. Nearly all sugar suppliers pack 1000pcs per case. Others pack 1,250pcs per case. Most formats are ‘tumble-packed’ off the end of a conveyor belt into the case. For most orders, individual cases are packed into an outer export case to strengthen the packaging for transit.

15 – Where Does the Sugar Come From?

If the sugar is packed here in the UK, then the white sugar will come from the country’s sole sugar refiner British Sugar. If a European packer is filling white sugar it can come from several European countries.

Brown sugar -the origin can vary depending on the availability: South America, Central America,

South Africa or Mauritius.

Demerara sugar is so named because it originally came from sugar cane fields in the colony of Demerara -which is a region of South America. In the UK, this sugar is typically sold as demerara sugar after the Demerara colony in Guyana. This was the original source of the sugar, although most of it is now produced in Mauritius.

So, although a sachet may have the word ‘Demerara’ on it, it is just the origin of the name being used unless it can be proved (most unlikely) its real origin is likely to be Mauritius.

16 – Can I Receive Samples?

Let us know the format and we shall be pleased to post out printed samples.

Do you have a question not shown here?

Please call Barry O’Dwyer Tel: 0845 2300 134. Or email

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