I first heard about Sz. Variáns about twenty years ago, through a kind friend of mine. At that time, they appeared to be a small family business: two siblings who, in addition to a high level of consciousness, also listened to their instincts and to the voice of their internal motivation, trying to best understand the market and develop their products in response to its changes.
I myself worked at an international advertising agency for nearly ten years, where I learnt the ins and outs of professional design and implementation tasks performed at multinational companies, covering every detail and placing innovative, creative solutions in the foreground. This is the approach that I have been seeing in the work of Sz. Variáns also for twenty years. In the course of our work together, their corporate social responsibility and willingness to act for our environment and our communities also served as an example for me. They supported us in numerous cultural, as well as social charity projects. The managing director is a caring, local patriotic, enthusiastically believing strategist of open market perspectives, whom I would be happy to recommend to anyone.
I first contacted Sz. Variáns Ltd. in 2008, based on the recommendation of a business partner, to design the new box for our “Százszorszép” (Daisy) brand of desserts. Stühmer’s products represent the premium category, and therefore, we also place much emphasis on packaging. We were looking for a company that, similarly to us, strives to produce the highest standard of products, use high quality materials, and apply state-of-the-art technologies.
Sz. Variáns Ltd. covers all phases of work that are necessary for the preparation of our boxes. In addition to the special printing technologies they use, I would definitely like to highlight the high quality of design background. After the box of the “Százszorszép” desserts, we also put them in charge of producing the packaging for the rest of our products. The company is characterised by high-quality work, reliability and a strict observance of deadlines.
We found each other due to God’s grace! Sz. Variáns was recommended to us by a renown designer in Eger, and ever since St. Andrea was established, they have been supplying the packaging for us. It is very rare that you meet a business partner who wants the very best for the other. The staff of Sz. Variáns have been characterised by this attitude from the first moment. Thinking together with the customer, with lots of love and patience, they perfect the quality of their products until we reach the highest level possible. This is indeed a huge blessing! Most recently, we have been working together on a collecting packaging for a special new wine family with which we wanted to communicate the message of high prestige. Because no matter how good a product is, excellence must be signalled to the customer also by way of the packaging.
We have been active in the area of producing and distributing advertising bags, and we practically started out at the same time as Sz. Variáns. Our acquaintance, working relationship, as well as our mutual trust and – I can safely say – our friendship has been unbroken ever since. They make paper carrier bags, wine gift bags and boxes for us, and they also purchase certain products from us. Our relationship is therefore not simply one of customer and supplier, but a real partnership. In normal market conditions, of course, we would not necessarily have to be also friends, but it remains a fact that this level of trust also makes our working relationship much easier. What also greatly contributes to the above is that Sz. Variáns is highly reliable, always delivering accurately and on time, and always in perfect quality.
Gerbeaud has been always famous for its innovation and continuous development. We place much emphasis not only on our pastries and cakes, but also on the packaging, as did our founders as well. Emil Gerbaud commissioned contemporary artists to design the boxes for the bonbons they made. In 2010, Gerbeaud started a major transformation, which continues to this day. Part of the process of renewal was also a changing of our image, an integral part of which was inherent in new packaging.
In November 2009, the first signs of the renewal were already apparent, when our new, French-style desserts started to appear in our product offering. Between the spring and November of 2010, changed 80 percent of our products. Of course, a few classic products, such as the Dobos or the Eszterházy cakes remained in our portfolio, but in addition to these, we also included such products of high culinary pleasure as Royal chocolate, Coconut-passion fruit or Basil-lemon cakes.
Gerbeaud is a traditional place. However, tradition can only be kept alive with continuous renewal. Combining tradition and evolution was an important consideration. We wanted to create a luxury brand that would be appreciated anywhere in the world. Our desire is to make Gerbaud bonbons a chic and trendy gift. We have the foundations for this, since we use ingredients of excellent quality for all of our products. We only work with natural materials, and use Valrhona chocolate for our products containing chocolate, which is recognised by experts as the best chocolate in the world. In the packaging we use, the sense of refined elegance and luxury are important. Since we talk about food packaging, we must definitely use materials that are authorised for food packaging use. In addition, the surface of the packaging must definitely bee fingerprint-free. Since the packaging of over 25 products had to be designed and produced at the same time, proper preparation was very important. Among other things, packaging solutions had to be found for chocolate cat tongues, bonbons, chocolate bars, sweet cookies and macarons, as well as sliced cakes. The packaging was designed by Zsolt Unger, who conceived solutions never before seen in Hungary. I believe that it is so unique today, not only in Hungary, but also worldwide, that this solution with the ribbon decoration and the small drawers can clearly become a hallmark and the most recognizable characteristic of Gerbaud’s packaging.
Sz. Variáns is the only company in Hungary that was able to provide this luxurious packaging solution. On the basis of the projects so far, I am convinced that I have chosen a company that is reliable and flexible in every respect. Based on the feedback we received, everyone considers the packaging of Gerbaud’s delicacies as beautiful and unique.
We came into contact with Sz. Variáns in 2003-2004, in connection with one of our tenders for the supply of decorative packaging materials. Although we announce a tender for this activity every year, they have been consistently among our partners ever since. How is this possible? Their gift bags, gift boxes and their inserts are of excellent quality, sold at highly competitive prices. We can say that with these solutions, we created a complete harmony between content and form: the porcelain products from Herend received high-quality packaging worthy to their own value. The cooperation between the two companies is very creative, since Sz. Variáns continuously monitors the global and European trends of packaging technology, and their experts come up with new proposals for product development every year, which we then coordinate with our own needs.
With the application of Kaizen methods, Sz. Variáns can provide the best for its customers. They are visibly becoming better and better…