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Inside the factory: Production transparency and conscious consumption

Call me a cliché millennial but I am the queen of streaming when it comes to TV. Rarely do I dabble in real time. However, for the last few weeks my Wi-Fi has been down which has left me reliant on the treasures of terrestrial….and I’m obsessed! From rediscovering my guilty pleasure, Made in Chelsea, to documentaries on British history. However, one show really took the cream: BBC 2’s Inside the Factory.

Lead by Gregg Wallace and his team of foodie enthusiasts, the show explores the production processes and people behind some of the Nation’s favourite brands. Does it sound dry at first glance? Yes absolutely. But within 10 minutes of watching how Mr. Kipling’s Cherry Bakewells are made, I was transfixed…

Is that really how they perfectly dollop the icing!?

Wait! How many years has he been making the pastry?

It’s the putting the cherries on by hand for me…

But I’m not the only one intrigued by this show. There is something special about the passion, care and ingenuity that goes into making a product, and the popularity of the series shows that there is a real consumer desire to see it.

This is not a surprise for those of us in the world of Strategy and Insight. In an age where consumers are increasingly aware of the social and environmental impact of their choices, transparency around production and people is often an incredibly emotive marketing tool for brands. We have witnessed this shift towards conscious consumption first hand in our market research groups over the the past few years, with consumers seeking care and craft from the businesses they engage with, from food & drink to banking.

So, in celebration of my newfound love for Inside the Factory, here are some brands that have done a fantastic job of using their production facilities and people as a key brand asset and reason to believe:

Pink Shirtmakers

Pink have been crafting their shirts in Northern Ireland for over a decade with the Smyth & Gibson team (a client of the Elephants). Pink prides itself on the dedication and mastery of its people. This comes across clearly in their behind the scenes videos in the factory. Beautiful shot and a great way to hero the individuals behind the shirt. Their ASMR production videos are also incredibly satisfying.


This famed stationary brand are passionate about pens and pencils and believe there is a beauty in the craft that goes into making them. So much so that they offer factory tours allowing consumers to experience the magic of pencil making right up close. And they are doing something right! Their incredibly popular YouTube videos receive millions of views, with ‘How we Make Pencils’ having over 11 million!


Outdoor clothing and equipment brand, Tatonka, is all about fair, socially responsible and sustainable production. In fact, they are the only outdoor manufacturer to fabricate all of their own products in a fully transparent manner. Their open factory is a huge part of their brand and reassures consumers that their purchase is having a positive impact.

Fullers Brewery

Alcohol businesses are amongst the best when it comes to heroing factories and production, with many brand’s using their unique processes as a point of difference, and inviting the public to their breweries/ distilleries, vineyards and cider houses as part of their extended brand. Fullers is renowned for their tours and experiences at their iconic London Brewery with people travelling from all over the world to see how their favourite brand’s are made.

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