Your choice of packaging is one of the bigger decisions to make as you move from product testing to full production. It doesn’t matter if you’re launching a new company that’s about to roll out its first product or you’re adding new selections to a product line that you’ve established over years of work and built into a widely distributed brand with a lot of on-the-shelf recognition, the right packaging choice can make or break the rollout.
It’s also important to understand when it’s time to rebrand with new packaging for your older products, both for better visibility and cost-efficiency. Today, new forms of flexible packaging are speaking to the needs and concerns of consumers in ways that legacy packing methods did not, so before you pick a packing method, you need to understand what’s hot and why. Not every trend speaks to every kind of product, so the key is to find the right trend for your business and brand.
Sustainable flexible packaging is one of the strongest trends in today’s market, and it has been for several years. That’s because public awareness of environmental issues including both waste management and climate change are growing from year to year. Eco-friendly options have a range of features, and often those features require you to make choices about what your company’s environmental priorities are going to be.
- Recycled and recyclable materials lower waste.
- Biodegradable, plant-based packaging that avoids fossil fuels and breaks down quickly.
- Low-impact manufacturing methods that produce less waste, including carbon by-products.
- Minimal packaging to reduce waste.
Any of these features are enough to qualify packaging as eco-friendly when compared to traditional plastics made from freshly refined fossil fuels, but they aren’t all equal. It might be better to have bulkier packaging to protect your goods but to make it out of easily biodegradable materials so they break down easily when disposed of, for example.
Versatility on the Shelf
Another common trend is versatility. Traditional packaging choices like boxes had a uniform size and shape, making it easy to display them on shelves that had to be packed as full as possible, and the design of the box determined exactly what graphics and other branding materials would show. Today, stores often have a variety of display methods, so custom stands up pouches are often a better choice. They’re less costly than printed boxes with interior bags to keep food fresh, they still stand well to display branding graphics on a shelf, but they are also versatile, making it easy for them to be included in tabletop and basket displays.
Child Safe Packaging Options
Another important consideration is how to pick the right child-resistant packaging for adult food items, non-food items, medicines, and other goods that need to stay out of the hands of kids. Today’s flexible packaging has a variety of child-resistant construction options, and it’s a good idea to ask your design team whether any of them would help you make a more secure product that is still accessible to the people who need it. Finding the right balance of versatility, eco-friendly construction, and safety is the key to finding your perfect packaging choice. After that, it’s easy to design the shape of the package to add your graphics and branding.
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