In the late 90's, corrugated pizza boxes were not visible on the market. A pizza box was often white in thinner materials, more like today's cake boxes, and often with prints that illustrated a rather stereotypical image of an Italian pizza baker. Martin MacFie, who was commissioned as purchasing and product manager at the time, was commissioned to investigate the market in search of a pizza box factory. After some research, he found a factory that could offer pizza boxes in corrugated cardboard at a real "fall off the chair" price. After finding the right factory, the next step in production, to develop a design, started. Many suggestions were made by Tingstad's then graphic designer Niklas Draberg and in the end Martin and Niklas agreed on the design we still see today. A design that did not "go free ride" on Italian culture and that still stands firm today.
Stop the production!
When it was decided on the design and the first factory samples appeared, they turned out, to Martin's horror, to be in the purple direction in the color. Martin called the factory to stop production immediately. However, the factory replied that everything was just as it should be and that the red color they used was the right red color. Martin pressed for the factory to solve it and with a coating on the cardboard, the red color finally came into its own and Martin was able to breathe out. After all, five containers had already been ordered, which meant huge volumes to sell.
A self-selling eye catcher
The red pizza box that arrived was undeniably a real eye catcher, in a world of white pizza boxes. When the price of it was also so much better than the competitors could offer, it quickly became popular. Even if a salesman at first thought that the unusual color of pizza boxes caught his eye, Martin remembers. The cartons became immensely popular with customers and the first five containers sold faster than expected, which was a good receipt.
"We do not make copies!"
Maybe you have seen or will see a similar pizza box if you travel in Europe. This is because more companies have been allowed to use Nikla's design, something that perhaps happened a little too lightly when it went, says Martin. It was even the case that when colleague Bertil went to Turkey to try to conclude an agreement with a factory there and asked if they could print our red cardboard, they said "No, no, we do not make copies!" So they thought that Bertil came with a competitor's carton and wanted to print it.
One thing is for sure, though: If you see a red pizza box in the same design around the world, you can be sure that the design originally comes from Tingstad.