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7 Things to Consider When Packaging Your Product
When you are packaging your product, you need to balance a number of concerns. In a very real sense, packaging has an impact on all stages of your product’s lifestyle. When you first purchase it, it is an expense. When you ship it, you pay for the weight. And when it hits shelves, customers and retailers are all going to have an opinion.
So, how do you package your product in the best possible way? It depends on a lot of factors, and there is no single right answer that applies to everybody. That said, there are several things you’ll want to consider when you’re making that decision. Here’s a quick overview of the most important factors.
The main limitation when you’re choosing packaging types is how much it’s going to cost you. For example, if you’re selling $0.99 packs of chewing gum, it doesn’t make sense to ship them in individual bubble packages. Similarly, if you’re selling hydrochloric acid in bulk, you’re going to need to invest enough in packaging to meet EPA, OSHA, and hazmat requirements.
On a more mundane level, even minuscule costs per unit can add up to a significant expense when you’re buying in bulk. Flexible, lightweight packaging may only save you pennies per unit. But that can mean thousands of dollars, tens of thousands, or even more depending on your overall volume.
One frequently-overlooked aspect of product packaging is that it needs to be shipped. Yes, it contributes to your product’s final weight, and yes, you need to ship your product with all of that weight included. But you also need to have your packaging shipped to you, to begin with. Heavier packaging means increased fuel costs, more billable time for drivers, and more time and man-hours spent unloading.
Collapsible, flexible packaging is inexpensive and easy to ship. We’ve written before about how pouch packaging can reduce your shipping costs, but it bears repeating. A single semi-trailer can carry 35 times as much flexible pouch packaging as it can of comparable, rigid packaging. That’s a savings of over 97 percent. If someone told you that you could save 97 percent on any business expense, wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity?
We’ve already talked a bit about flexible packaging. But let’s break things down further. What material you use for packaging is, first and foremost, going to depend on your product. Flexible plastic pouches are our wheelhouse, but they’re not the best answer for everyone.
For example, pouch packaging would be a poor choice for ground beef, gravel, or masking tape. That said, for products that can be dispensed in a pouch, pouch packaging is an excellent choice. Not only can it save you money on shipping, but it’s easily scalable. The same machine can be switched from filling 4-ounce pouches to 12-ounce pouches with just a few minutes of labor.
Another consideration is how your business impacts the environment. And in this regard, product packaging is no joke. As a matter of fact, the EPA has reported that 23 percent of landfill waste is made up of packaging. Now, consider how much of that waste is simply inevitable. Nobody has figured out a way to sell steak without cellophane, bread without a bag, or children’s toys without wasteful bubble packs.
A lot of this plastic ends up in the environment. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is just one result of this kind of wasteful human activity. We’re not suggesting that pouch packaging has zero environmental impact. It still results in some waste. But it produces far less waste than jugs, cans, bags, or boxes with bags inside them.
Your packaging choices will also affect your retailers. It impacts their merchandising options, and it can also affect their returns. Pouch packaging is generally difficult to tamper with, which means your retailer partners will need to be less concerned about fraudulent returns. And many pouch packages can be displayed either on a shelf or on a peg hook, making them more versatile.
Customers also appreciate the benefits of sustainable packaging. In a recent poll, 72 percent of millennials said they would pay more for the same product if it was produced sustainably. As we mentioned, all packaging will result in some waste. But pouch packaging produces significantly less waste. When combined with other sustainable business practices, pouch packaging can contribute to a carbon-neutral production process.
Your final consideration is how to design your product packaging. This is something your business needs to constantly reassess because consumer trends are constantly changing. For example, it wasn’t long ago that crowded, cluttered packaging was the norm. Containers were covered in slogans, bullet points, animal mascots, and just about every complication imaginable. The one thing you hardly ever saw was blank space.
Nowadays, that trend has started to change. In today’s digital world, you’ve got to grab your customer’s attention immediately. As a result, simple designs have started to take center stage. Consider large swaths of negative space, with big, bold letters in high-contrast coloring. These are most likely to get a customer to take a second look – at least until trends change again.
How Karlville Can Help
If you are looking for a partner to help you with pouch packaging, Karlville is here to help. We manufacture a variety of pouch converting machines and pouch filling machines. We also have years of experience in the pouch packaging industry. Whether you’re packaging drinks and snacks or motor oil and spackle, we can help you find the best way of packaging your product.
Contact us today for more information, and we’ll get back to you with a quick, courteous response. If you prefer to do business over the phone, we can do that as well. Call our Florida office at (305)-533-1051 and we will answer any questions you may have.