4 essential factors to consider when packaging your product

product packaging

Packaging your product? Make sure you consider these factors first. 

Product packaging is big business. The value of packaging produced in Australia is $10-$10.5 billion, with the food and beverage sector using 65-70% of all Australian-produced packaging.

Packaging is itself a product; it introduces your product, protects it, displays it, preserves it, and more. And just like your product, the packaging is an item that needs to be manufactured and assembled.

There are three categories of packaging:

  • Primary: packaging the consumer takes home.
  • Secondary: anything used to group items together such as boxes, trays, film wrap; in other words, the packaging around your packaging.
  • Tertiary: packaging used for transporting and warehousing, such as cartons and pallets.

Choosing the right product packaging, therefore, can be crucial to your product’s success — it ensures your product arrives safely onto store shelves and into customers’ shopping bags.

When packaging is designed and constructed properly, it enables products to move smoothly through the supply chain. Download this free whitepaper to find out how. Download Now

 

Here are 4 essential factors to consider when designing your product packaging:

  1. MANUFACTURING

Packaging materials are an important factor. Paper/board is the largest single packaging material used in Australia, with about 36% of the total Australian packaging market, followed by plastics (30%), metal (20%), glass (10%) and other materials (4%).

Choosing the right material depends on your product and processes. Your packaging choice needs to flexible enough to deal with product promotions, SKU changes, new products and variants. There have been many new developments in lighter weight, higher performing packaging materials, which can minimise the storage requirements and transport costs while maximising the product’s value and appeal. Assess any modifications needed to your production line process and equipment.

Top things to consider:

  • Flexibility
  • Stacking and transportation
  • Capability and processes
  1. BUSINESS

Sustainability is a growing concern for businesses today. Research shows 60% of packaging is recovered and recycled. However, manufacturers need to achieve the right balance between environmental and commercial demands. If you are reducing packaging to meet environmental goals, what does this mean for product security? And conversely, if you need to invest in more packaging for product security, such as tamper evident devices, how will this impact your sustainability goals?

Another business consideration is cost. There are many ways to drive down packaging costs, but what will this mean for your brand image? Plastic bottles may be cheaper, but if you want the packaging to reflect the high quality of the product, glass may be the smarter option.

Top things to consider:

  • Cost effective
  • Sustainable
  • Recyclable
  • Flexible
  • Legal
  1. SUPPLY CHAIN

How your product will be safely stored and distributed is as important as the design of the product itself. That’s where your supply chain comes in.

First, consider the environment. In Australia, packaging needs to withstand crushing extremes of temperature, moisture and vibration, dust and other conditions.

Packaging also has a role to play in keeping the whole supply chain moving efficiently. In Australia, an estimated 50-60% of supermarket sales are perishable items, with 5-7% lost due to poor inventory management. Packaging with the right labelling and coding enables the seamless movement of your product from your plant to the shelf. It also helps better and faster turnaround of stock, improved stock accuracy and improved tracking of product recalls and withdrawals – all of which reduces wastage.

As part of this, it’s important to be aware of the information requirements on the label at each packaging level. For example, what does the retailer require you to put on the logistics label? This can mean the difference between getting your product onto shelves and dealing with costly returns and reworks.

Top things to consider:

  • Resiliency
  • Compliance
  • Shelf life
  • Labelling & coding
  • Retailer/customer needs
  • Transportation requirements
  1. BRAND AND MARKETING

We can’t underestimate the importance of “shelf appeal”. With a staggering 70% of all purchasing decisions made in-store, your packaging is often the first thing to attract buyers to your product on the shelf. It’s also a vehicle for information about your product, telling your prospective customer what the product is about.

If you need a reminder of how important packaging is, just look at the impact of plain packaging laws for cigarettes – this has resulted in the biggest smoking decline Australia has seen in 20 years.

However, only one in five consumers is satisfied with packaging today. So it’s worth spending time and effort on getting this right. Consumers expect convenience, easy opening (but tamper proof), respect for the environment and attractive – yet still functional.

Product packaging is considered to be an important indicator of quality, and these days it needs to satisfy consumers throughout the product lifecycle to build brand loyalty and increase the likelihood of repeat purchase.

Top things to consider:

  • Shelf readiness
  • Design consistency
  • Informative labelling/coding
  • User friendliness
  • Brand representation
  • Customer needs

FINAL THOUGHTS

When you’re designing packaging, it’s not enough to look at it from one point of view. From a consumer perspective, consider how your packaging can add value to a product and deliver an experience. How will it help your brand connect with customers to build loyalty and sales?

With your business hat on, think about how well the packaging will drive your business goals. How can the packaging process be optimised? Don’t just look at packaging now; consider the future direction and trends.

There are continuous innovations in packaging that meet both sets of requirements. Plastic liquid pouches, for example, can increase shelf-life, reduce carbon footprint and are cheaper and easier to transport, while also being attractive and easy to use for the consumer. (Stay updated with the latest packaging trends and innovations on our blog.)

To ensure your packaging does its job, consult with a professional who understands each processing area, including the impact of packaging on the consumer. Ready to talk about your packaging? Speak to Matthews Australasia.

Efficiency in your supply chain is vital. Please download this free whitepaper for a look at improving supply chain efficiency in beverage manufacturing. Download Now

 

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Image credit / gustbuster

Mark Dingley

Mark Dingley

General Manager, Operations at Matthews Australasia
Mark Dingley is Chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) and heads operations at Matthews Australasia. With 18+ years of experience in the product identification industry and the wealth of knowledge gained from working closely with industry associations in developing and implementing standards & best practice, Mark is able to assist manufacturers with a range of issues from getting real-time visibility of their production line, improving automation, establishing quality assurance using machine vision to selecting the best fit technology for coding and labelling applications. Mark Dingley's LinkedIn Profile
Mark Dingley

by Mark Dingley

Mark Dingley is Chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) and heads operations at Matthews Australasia. With 18+ years of experience in the product identification industry and the wealth of knowledge gained from working closely with industry associations in developing and implementing standards & best practice, Mark is able to assist manufacturers with a range of issues from getting real-time visibility of their production line, improving automation, establishing quality assurance using machine vision to selecting the best fit technology for coding and labelling applications. Mark Dingley's LinkedIn Profile

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