Companies all over the world are spending billions on their product and display packaging for everything from food to electrical items and jewellery. Whereas traditionally products were sold loose and then placed into a shopping bag to be carried home, these days packaging accompanies almost everything that is sold and has several important functions:
Businesses rely on the power of their packaging to stimulate desire in shoppers, boost their sales and develop their brand. Essentially, packaging has become another form of advertising: its colours, design and overall look can make all the difference to whether shoppers purchase or dismiss products. Creative packaging can help to differentiate a quality brand from a cheaper alternative and help to attract the attention of particular audiences.
Many products rely on packaging for their protection. Products might require protection from:
• Movement and/or vibration during transport
For example, whereas food products require air-tight packaging to maintain their freshness, fragile items such as ornaments are placed in cushioned or foam-lined packaging. Sufficiently protective packaging ensures that the full-quality of a product is preserved, that it will not have a negative impact on the environment and vice versa.
Many products require packaging to keep them in-tact or in one position. For example, while containers hold juices and milk, tins hold fruits and puddings for convenient storage and no spillage. Additionally, small and fragile technical parts may be placed in separate containing sections to ensure they don’t move around within their packaging during transport.
Whereas foods such as carrots and kiwis may be easily recognised, many other products require to enable consumers to identify what they are. For example, different types of meats must be labelled so shoppers can differentiate between each and cosmetics must be labelled with their appropriate function and chemical ingredients. Packaging is also required to display the varying specifications of electrical items such as televisions and cameras.
Packaging must be designed for easy and safe lifting, movement and transport from manufacturer to shop shelves. This is why most products are packaged in similar-shaped cubic or rectangular boxes. These shapes can be easily stacked for space-saving in lorries and work efficiently with mechanical handling vehicles. If packaging has a more unusual shape then space, materials and money can be wasted.
6. Stacking and Storage
The shape of packaging is also important for the storage of products in shops. Similar-shaped boxes can be easily stacked both in stockrooms and on shelves. When you next visit your local supermarket, notice how most of the products are shelved and stacked in cubed or rectangular shaped packaging with minimal space between each row of boxes.
Packaging is required for the printing of important information that is required by consumers and the shops selling the goods. This information might include:
• product specifications
• use by dates
• storage guideleines
• company contact address
• promotional offers
• recycling guidelines
This article was written by Sarah Davies, a corrugated packaging specialist who works with us. A leading corrugated packaging manufacturer, Diamond-pak supply custom-made packaging for transit, postal and point of sale purposes to SMEs and large corporations across the world.