When Life Gives You Lemons: How HealthPak Helped Create Innovative, Eco-Friendly Promotional Soap

Published on 12/04/2017 | By HealthPak

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When a boutique Kiwi distillery wanted to help create an innovative and fun product in partnership with 42Below, they turned to HealthPak for support.

The concept behind the project was for The Botanical Distillery from Waiheke to turn the waste cocktail lemons from bars that served 42Below vodka into lemon-scented handwash. The company – owned and run by Helen Elscot and Jill Mulvaney – would first distil the lemons to extract the essential oil and hydrosol and then combine that with liquid soap in dispensers which would be sent to bars around New Zealand and Australia.

Using lemons which otherwise would be thrown away, the idea for the project was to demonstrate an original and unconventional way to recycle ingredients used in the Kiwi hospitality industry to create an eco-friendly and sustainable soap. As the saying goes (sort of)... when life gives you lemons, make lemon-scented soap!

Helen, who is a medical herbalist with a background in the food industry in New Zealand, and Jill, who’s one of the country’s leading experts in the art of distillation and fragrance, knew they had the skills to turn five pallet-loads of lemons into fragrance, but needed a trusted supplier from whom to source the right type of liquid soap.

“We knew HealthPak’s association with brands such as EcoStore and Forest & Bird and knew they were likely to be the right fit to help make a sustainable lemon-scented soap,” Helen says.

“We also knew that we were going to be dealing with hundreds of kilos of lemons and would need a large bulk-load of soap to create 400 bottles of the finished product.”

For The Botanical Distillery – who run distillation events and workshops on the Hauraki Gulf island – working alongside HealthPak wasn’t just about trusting the quality and quantity of the delivery. Helen and Jill were also able to call on the expertise of Managing Director Toby Whyte and General Manager Sales and Marketing Jimi Kennedy-Grant to ensure the final soap would work as required.

“Because the bottles distributed to the bars around the country and Australia were designed to be pump-action, we needed to know that the viscosity of the soap would be right to allow patrons to access it easily,” Helen says.

“Toby was able to make up four samples of the soap to test and we were then able to combine those with our distillation to test things such as stability and shelf-life.”

After a week’s distilling in a warehouse in Panmure – and more than half a tonne of lemons – The Botanical Distillery were able to deliver 140 litres of lemon-scented liquid soap for 42Below’s promotion. And while they were at it, they even managed to star in 42Below’s short film about their Recycled Cocktail Lemons Eco Soap.

“Working with Toby and Jimi was both necessary and good fun,” says Helen. “They were incredibly helpful about testing their product to make sure it was right for us and they went out of their way to make the project work – at one point Toby even hand-delivered a soap sample to Waiheke Island.

“The whole process took a few weeks of logistics to arrange before we could even think about the big final distillation, and HealthPak helped make sure it ran as smoothly as possible, both in terms of supplying the right product and getting it to us on time as efficiently as possible.”

Because HealthPak has years of experience working alongside Kiwi businesses to create New Zealand-made promotional items, it is the perfect choice if you need a specific product printed and packaged with you or your client’s details, or even one custom-designed to meet a marketing plan.

Jimi says HealthPak can adapt for large or small orders and work alongside businesses from concept to the final product, if required.

“Nothing is too outlandish and no design too tough for us,” he says. “As we like to say, we may be manufacturers, but unlike others we love marketing departments! And we really understand what it means to create the perfect product to help promote your brand.”

If you have a project that you think HealthPak can help with, or you’re interested in producing promo items contact us on +64 9 579 6268, at info@healthpak.co.nz or contact us via the website.