Getting your product packaging perfect for your unique product line requires you to consider many different elements. In fact, weighing all the criteria you will be faced with when deciding to buy product packaging equipment could quickly get overwhelming!
To help keep you organized and focused, we have determined what we think are the three most important factors to keep in mind. These elements will affect your packaging line, recipe, and how your product ultimately appeals to consumers when it’s sitting in a retail environment.
Supply Chain and Distribution
The number one factor that affects how you design your product packaging isn’t visual appeal or even cost. It’s handling. Your products will have to travel at least several miles – sometimes thousands – before they reach their destination. In the process, they will be subjected to vibrations, forces encountered during loading and unloading, humidity, dust, and often extreme temperatures.
Your packaging must account for how your product will be protected through all of these conditions. This requires you to think about every stage of the supply chain, not just how the package looks when removed from the carton and placed upon the shelf.
Limited space, protection from shock, reduced potential spoilage, and other factors will force your hand when deciding how your packaging and larger-volume carton arrangements will be designed. Compliance with state, federal, and sometimes international health laws is also a concern.
The packaging you choose can therefore greatly reduce the costs of spoilage and breakage, which can hurt your margins as well as your end consumer’s experience.
The facility that packages your product will also strongly affect what the final product packaging looks like.
Many contract packagers and product manufacturers are moving toward lines with modular components and faster changovers, for instance. Your packaging may therefore become standardized in order to facilitate more SKUs or different variations of the same product.
Cost factors are also at play that begin directly at the level of packaging machinery available to you, considering your budget. If you have a low-margin product created in small batch sizes, for instance, then holographic foil elements may be out of the question. However, if you do have large batch sizes for your product, then you may want to seek out the most economical packaging equipment possible in terms of per-item cost and overall maintenance.
Business and Marketing Goals
The final packaging factors to consider affect both how your target market perceives and consumes your product as well as how your product helps your business achieve its unique set of goals.
As an example, many businesses have sustainability initiatives. Choosing certain packaging types and processes can allow them to dramatically increase the volume of post-consumer recycled materials used in the packaging. It can also make the packaging itself easier to recycle, such as a film that prevents food residues from saturating paper packaging and making it unrecyclable.
On the consumer side, there are both marketability and usability factors. A product that wants consumers to have a convenient experience may create packaging that can be separated into snack-sized portions, for instance. Resealable packaging is another concern for foods designed to be eaten in more than one sitting. Companies that want customers to feel like they can stretch their dollar further by keeping the product fresh will want to consider how their packaging can reduce spoilage in this way.
Suggestions for When You Buy Product Packaging Equipment
Use the above criteria to consider how your unique business and distribution requirements will affect your sales.
Work backward mentally from the moment the product first reaches the shelf to imagine the conditions it will have to endure to reach that point from your packaging facility.
Consider your facility’s unique limitations and your needs for things like modular packaging equipment, minimal downtime, and a cohesive brand experience across all your product lines.
Finally, consider the cosmetics and utility of the package itself. While this may seem like the most important element, many packaging “nice to haves” will ultimately be shunted aside as impractical in the face of supply chain and manufacturing constraints.
If you need any assistance molding your packaging line and design to your unique business goals, take a look at the amazing industrial packaging equipment offered by Raab, and then reach out to a representative by contacting us today.