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Meet our Expert - helping bring new product concepts to life!

Lesley Wakefield joined Packaging Automation in 2010 and during this time has carved out a niche supporting new businesses to get established and also those customers who are thinking about new product development.

Lesley talks to us about her experience of supporting these businesses.

Q. What type of customers do you tend to work with?

Over the years we’ve had lots of businesses approach us with a simple idea or concept but not sure where to go or what to do next. In fact, during the recent pandemic we’ve helped lots of start-up businesses get their product to market and we have also supported some businesses to diversify too.

We’ve worked with Honestly Tasty, Freaks of Nature, BOL, Jikoni, Lunar and Me, Ashley Chase Cheese to name a few ….

Q. What types of challenges do these customers face and how do you help them?

If you’re a new business starting from scratch, you may not be familiar with gas flushing and your production quantities might be quite low initially so that’s where we can really help and that’s where we come in. Often customers are looking for dynamic packaging to reflect their product.

Of course, we start by explaining how everything works, what to look out for and how different materials work together. Working with my colleague Simon Wilson in our Test Kitchen facility we then invite them to come in for a machinery demo and they can have a go at operating the machine themselves to see just how simple it is to use. We can even seal some samples of their product for them too! We ask them to bring some of their product with them and we can run gas flushing trials to help them test proof of concept and achieve the best shelf life. We can run as many trials as necessary, the most important thing is to get the best possible result for the customer and their product.

Q. How do you help these customers?

There are a few things that we can do to help and usually this starts with our Trial Facility Simon and the team in the test kitchen are happy to work with customers to advise and guide them on the best packaging options for their products, often producing samples for the customer to present to retailers.

With a vast array of contacts for film and tray suppliers, the team are ahead of the game with all of the latest developments in packaging and can share ideas with our customers, trialling and testing wherever necessary.

We often produce samples for our customers too so they can present to large multiples if necessary.

To find out how Lesley and the team can support your new product development or product diversification please call Lesley on 01565 756555 or

07736619689 or email her at:


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