Packaging is the act of designing and creating the container and wrapper for the product. Package is the cover of the product that is used for storing, handling and protecting the product from external factors like sunlight, moisture, breakage etc.

Packaging makes the product attractive and acts as an important tool of sales promotion. Attractive packages allure the customers to buy the product. Packaging performs the basic function of holding the product, protection, handling, storage, convenience in usage.

Packaging may be an art or science concerned with the development and use of materials, methods and equipments for applying a product to a container or vice versa designed to protect throughout the various stages of distribution. Thus, a package is a container or a wrapper of a product in which it is wrapped of packed so that it may safely reach the consumers without losing its utility.

Packaging which is an important part of the product-offer has also received lot of attention in the recent years. Packaging can be a major component of the marketing strategy – giving a product a competitive advantage. Packaging can be defined as an art, science or technology of preparing goods for transport and sale.


Learn about: 1. Introduction to Product Packaging 2. Meaning of Product Packaging 3. Definitions 4. Characteristics 5. Objectives 6. Factors to be Considered 7. Significance and Importance 8. Requirements

9. Important Criteria 10. Levels 11. Layers 12. Material 13. Aspects 14. Decisions 15. Benefits 16. Advantages 17. Packaging Development.

Product Packaging: Introduction, Meaning, Definitions, Characteristics, Objectives, Layers, Aspects, Benefits, Importance and More..

Introduction to Product Packaging

In general the term ‘packaging’ and ‘packing’ are used interchangeably. Unit of the retail or consumer container is referred as packaging while transport containers are referred as packing. Consumer packaging has marketing implications whereas from logistics point of view transport containers are more important.

The wrapper or a container of a product is its package. The product is packed or wrapped so it may safely reach the consumer without losing its utility. It represents the creative skills of an artist on one hand and marketing and sales knowledge of the manufacturer’s management team on the other hand. Thus, it shows the combination of the talents of the designers, marketing experts, advertising team, technicians, researchers, and the top management.


Numerous packages are used in order to keep the products safe. The packages are mainly of two types – (i) Industrial Package and – (ii) Consumers Packages.

At the stage of industrial package, special attention is given to maximum safety so as the probability of wastage and loss can be reduced to minimum simultaneously, it is also ensured that the product could be moved from one place to another easily. Such packaging is not used as to increase in intrinsic value of the product as industrial products cannot be sold through generating attractions or incentives.

At the stage of consumer package, special attention is given to create attraction. It is expected from the consumer package that it will complete that sales cycle which is initiated through the advertisement.

It is said that as much as half sale of the product depends on the attractive packaging. Competition in consumer goods is increasing day to day now and it has therefore, become necessary that the packaging should be made attractive. Packaging provides safety to the product also.


Importance of packaging is increasing day to day in the modern era. Importance of packaging as prevailed in India never has seen before.

The packaging now is not only required in new of product’s safety and convenience but its marketing and sales values have also been accepted. In other words, concept of packaging is going to be market oriented instead of production packaging at present is not only providing safety to the product, it is also making the transportation comfortable and assisting the sales promotion.

It caters the demands of customers and increases the degree of their satisfaction. Packaging has appeared as a competitive man in competition to win the markets. Packaging has now become a prime business activity.

Product Packaging Meaning

Packaging is the act of designing and creating the container and wrapper for the product. Package is the cover of the product that is used for storing, handling and protecting the product from external factors like sunlight, moisture, breakage etc. Packaging makes the product attractive and acts as an important tool of sales promotion. Attractive packages allure the customers to buy the product. Packaging performs the basic function of holding the product, protection, handling, storage, convenience in usage.


1. Primary Packaging – Packaging may be primary packaging that is required to hold the product like the toothpaste tube that carries the toothpaste.

2. Secondary Packaging – Secondary packaging is the outer wrapper that performs the function of sales promotion by displaying the brand name, features, price, and quantity. Like the outer wrapper of the toothpaste tube.

3. Transport Packaging – Transport packaging is the carton or crates that facilitates transportation and avoids damages in transit. The types of packaging depend upon the nature of the product. Products like soft drinks, beverages are available in bottles and tetra packed containers, which is the primary package and does not have any secondary packaging. Marketers are designing and creating innovative packages that are unique, attractive and distinct so that it can be easily identifiable from its competitor.

Packaging is the container that carries the product. Packaging was considered a major expense in marketing. For some toiletries, packaging costs actually exceeded the costs of contents. Today, it is however, fully recognized that packaging helps in branding and promoting brand loyalty. It also enables the buyers to handle and carry their products with ease.


Moreover, packaging may act as prominent source of marketing communication and helps to cut marketing costs thus adding to profit. Usually three levels of packaging are found in the industry – Primary, secondary and treachery. Primary packages are those in which a SKU is kept and sold at retail outlets.

Secondary package are containers in which a bundle of SKU’s are kept mainly for storing at retailers and wholesaler point. Treachery packages are large containers that could carry enough secondary packages to provide quick and safe transportation of the product. It is primary package that is most expensive and adds to major cost of packaging.

Product Packaging Definitions

Packaging may be an art or science concerned with the development and use of materials, methods and equipments for applying a product to a container or vice versa designed to protect throughout the various stages of distribution. Thus, a package is a container or a wrapper of a product in which it is wrapped of packed so that it may safely reach the consumers without losing its utility.

The terms ‘Packaging’ and ‘Packing’ are generally being used interchangeably. Traditionally ‘Packaging’ refers to the unit of retail or consumer container and ‘Packing’ to transport container. Consumer packaging has import marketing implications while transport containers are more important, from logistics point of view.


A good package is the representation of the artistic combination of the designer’s creative skill and the product, marketing and sales knowledge of the manufacturer’s management team. The development of packaging is the sum total of the talents of the designer, the researcher, the technician, the advertising man, the marketing expert, the sales department and the top management.

William J. Staunton has defined the term as, “Packaging may be defined as the general group of activities in product planning which involves designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product”. Thus packaging is a brand activity that require careful consideration by the management. It includes activities for the development of container or wrapper.

Packaging which is an important part of the product-offer has also received lot of attention in the recent years. Packaging can be a major component of the marketing strategy – giving a product a competitive advantage. Packaging can be defined as an art, science or technology of preparing goods for transport and sale.

Packaging is often referred to as the fifth P, in addition to the 4 P’s of the marketing mix. This is because of the vital role that packaging plays as a part of the product strategy.


Packaging includes all activities of designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.

In the words of Kotler, “Packaging is an activity which is concerned with the production, economy, convenience and promotional considerations”.

Packaging may be “primary”, which refers to the product’s immediate container, such as the can or a box; or “secondary”, which refers to additional layers of protection that are removed once the product is ready such as the type of tooth paste, which covers in a card board box.

The container is called the package, and it might include up to three levels of material. Toothpaste in a tube (primary package) that is in a card board box (secondary package) that is in a corrugated box (shipping package) containing six dozen boxes of old spice. Thus, Packaging is the process of wrapping, covering, compressing, creating or filling of goods in order to protect the good.

“Packaging may be defined as the general group of activities in product planning which involves designing and producing the container as wrapper for a product” -William J. Stanton.

“Packaging is the use of containers and wrapping plus decoration and labeling to protect the product to help and promote its role and to make it convenient for the consumer to use the product” – Mason and Rath.


From the above definitions it is clear that packaging is an art and science in which container or wrapping material is used for the safe, easy and convenient distribution and consumption of a product. Packaging is meant for keeping the product safe and in good condition from the time of production till the time of consumption. It also provides identification to the product.

9 Main Characteristics of Product Packaging

Following are the main characteristics of packaging:

1. Packaging is a science.

2. Main objective of packaging is to deliver the product safely at the different stages and to provide the consumers facilities of their usage and assurance for their conservation.

3. Packing is that group of planning activities which relates to packing material (containers and wrappers), their manufacture, designing and packing.

4. Activities of labelling and branding are automatically included under packaging.


5. Packing is a part of packaging.

6. It generates consumer choice.

7. It introduces the customer with the product.

8. To make the consumer introduced with the product.

9. It enhances the image of the product.

Objectives of Product Packaging

1. Physical protection – The objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, mechanical shock, vibration, electrostatic discharge, compression, temperature


2. Barrier protection – A barrier from oxygen, water vapour, dust, etc., is often required.

3. Containment or agglomeration – Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. For example, a single box of 1000 pencils requires less physical handling than 1000 single pencils.

4. Information transmission – Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package, or product.

5. For Marketing purpose – The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package graphic design and physical design have been important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades

6. Security – Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment.

7. For Convenience – Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, dispensing, reuse, recycling, and ease of disposal.


8. Portion control – Single serving or single dosage packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage.

Common Messages on the Package:

1. Flammable liquid

2. Explosives

3. This way up

4. Fragile material


5. Keep away from water

Factors to be Considered for Package Designing in Product Packaging

In packaging, designing is the most important element to be considered.

In designing a package, the following factors should be considered:

(1) Language:

The language in which the package is printed should be the local one so that its contents call easily be read and understood by the consumers of the target market. If it is not so, the objective of package is itself lost and it will not perform the promotional function what is expected from it.

(2) Package Size:

The size of the package should be determined only on finding out the buying characteristics of the buyers. Size and frequency of consumption, storing capacity of consumers and the nature of product would be the probable factors to decide the buying characteristics. If the buyers shop the product regularly or they do not possess storing capacity such as freezers etc., the size of packages will have to be smaller.

(3) Container:

Some markets, especially developed countries, generally prefer disposable containers. Especially recently because of preoccupation regarding environmental pollution, the regulatory agencies sometimes insist that containers should be made of materials which will not have undesirable environmental effects. In the developing countries, however, reusable containers are preferred because of their storing utilities.

(4) Colour:

Consumers may have colour preferences but they vary from country to country. The packagers must know about the preferred colour while designing the package. For example, green is supposed to be favored colour in Islamic countries. Greeks like both white and blue but these are considered to be colours of mourning and sorrow in the Far East.

(5) Accepted Norms:

If the buyers in a specific foreign market are accustomed to purchase the product in a specific form or shape, it will be better to pack the product only in that form or shape because it will be readily acceptable. The exporter may feel difficulty in selling out the product if he changes the shape or form of packaging. For example if people in a market prefer shaving cream in tube, it will not be easier for an exporter to sell the product in jars.

(6) Length of Distribution Channel:

Length of distribution channel, i.e. time taken between production and final consumption has an important bearing on deciding upon the packaging. The longer is the time, the greater is the necessity of providing better and stronger packaging.

(7) Climate:

Climatic conditions also affect the type of packaging. A country with a hot humid climate will have a different type of packaging, especially for eatables and perishable items, than what is required in a country having cold climate. The package must be made of materials which may protect the contents from the climate of the importing country.

The above factors may require different packaging in different markets. But, like adaptation, the management should first explore the possibilities of the same packaging in different markets, essentially to save the costs. Only when it becomes absolutely necessary to differentiate, it should be resorted to.

Product Packaging – Importance and Significance

In marketing, packaging holds the great significance that can be revealed through the following points:

i. Provides information about the product.

ii. Helps in identifying brand name.

iii. Helps in protecting the product.

iv. Helps in product handling.

v. Offering customer convenience and satisfaction.

vi. Helps in promoting the products.

vii. Helps in preventing adulteration.

viii. Helps to assemble and arrange the contents in the desired form.

ix. Helps to provide a suitable product mix including sizes, weights, prices, grades etc.

x. It facilitates retailer’s functions.

xi. Helps to encourage repurchase.

xii. Helps in complying with legal requirements.

xiii. Provides opportunity and space for advertising.

Importance of Packaging:

1. Storage of the product – The package provides container for the product. Examples – bottles or tins containing cooking oil, packets containing milk, sachet and bottles containing shampoo and so on. A proper packaging enables easy storage in retail shops.

2. Protection of the product – Package protects the product from heat, sunlight, moisture. It also protects the product from leakage, spoilage and breakage.

3. Transportation of the product – Transport packaging like jute bags for rice and wheat carton or crates facilitates transportation and handling and avoids damages during transit.

4. Providing information to customer – Packaging provides detailed information to the customers about the name of the product, name of the manufacturer, ingredients of the product, product price, date of manufacturing and expiry date, guidelines for using the product and so on.

5. Product differentiation – Packaging creates product differentiation. A product can be easily differentiated from other products by the customers through the design, colour of the package.

6. Promotional function – Attracting consumers – Unique designed, attractive and beautiful packages like attractive perfume bottles help in attracting the customers and perform function of sales promotion. Some packages are re-used for household purposes like pet bottles of soft drinks, health drinks; glass jars of jams, sauces-this feature also attract customer’s attention

Requirements of Good Product Packaging

(i) It should be capable of withstanding the hazards of handling and transport. The cargo may be handled manually and mechanically. The handling methods may differ between places. When manually handled, it may be tilted, draped, thrown, pulled, pushed, rolled etc. further it may also be subject to compression due to stacking. The packing should, therefore, be capable withstanding such hazards of handling and transportation.

(ii) It should be easy to handle. To facilitate easy handling, bulk packs may be provided with handling facilities like hooks, handles, gripper’s etc. In case of products which shall not be turned upside down, the position should be clearly indicated like marking ‘this side up’. In case of fragile articles, which shall not be subject to rough handling, the size, shape and weight of the pack should be amendable for smooth handling. Further, it should also be indicated on the pack.

(iii) It should be amendable to quick examination of contents. It may be remembered that the customs authorities of the exporting and importing countries may want to examine the contents.

(iv) It should be easy to identify the manufacturer from package

(v) It should be adequately marked.

(vi) Unless it is necessary, the detail contents shall not be disclosed.

(vii) It should be easy to dispose of.

(viii) Packing must confirm to the buyer’s specifications. It must also obey the regulations in the exporting and importing countries, guidelines and regulation by the shipping company, etc.

There are certain packaging standards defined by countries where goods are exported such as the British standard packing code, published by the British standards institution and Exporters Encyclopedia, USA that gives detailed packing instructions.

Shipping companies also give certain packing instructions especially for highly dangerous products. According to the products the exporter intends to export, he has to choose the right type of packing. A right package always guarantees the right undamaged quality product at the time of delivery.

7 Important Product Packaging Criteria

The final form of any package is influenced by many factors but logical packaging development can be achieved by considering various packaging criteria.

There are basically seven important criteria:

1. Appearance

2. Protection

3. Function

4. Cost

5. Disposability

6. Ecofriendly or biodegradable

7. Marketing appeal.

These are the main considerations when developing a pack. The relative emphasis placed on them depends on the product and on its marketing requirements.

Some examples are listed below:

i. A cosmetic product; the most important criterion likely to be is appearance. For example- shampoo, perfume or hair oil.

ii. Aerosol hair spray; the most important criterion is usage function.

iii. Ethical pharmacy; the most important criterion is protection.

iv. For buying one bottle of milk or soft drink, the most important criteria are cost and disposability.

Criteria # 1. Appearance:

This criterion is growing in importance with the growth of supermarkets and cash and carry system.

The appearance of a package is important for a number of reasons:

i. It has to identify the product throughout the distribution chain and especially when it reaches the final consumer.

ii. It may have to carry instructions for use like liquid hair dye or an eye ointment.

iii. It may have to carry information about the contents in order to satisfy legal requirements (as with poisons, or with most foodstuffs or pharma products)

iv. It will usually carry the brand name and the name of the manufacturer or both.

v. It can act as an important sales aid particularly for personal products.

The appearance of package is dependent on two main elements – shape and surface appearance. There are often conflicting requirements for package shape. On the one hand, the market requirements may be for a complex shape to fit the product image, whereas the retailer’s requirements are for stability in stocking and efficient use of shelf space. One example of a special limitation is to provide positive identification in the dark.

Criteria # 2. Protection:

Although protection may not always be the most important criterion for every packaging situation, it is requirement that is rarely completely absent. The protection required by the product will vary enormously with the nature of the product itself, the final destination, the distribution system and the total time that protection is required. Protection is normally required against two main hazards — chemical and physical.

Product Packaging and Material Compatibility:

Chemical interaction between the product and its container is absolutely undesirable. Not only it may lead to undesirable changes in the product, but it may cause a weakening of the container with consequent failure in service.

One of the most common examples of product package incompatibility is packaging of acidic or alkaline products in tin plate containers. Both types of interaction can be found in this situation. For example- Certain detergents corrode tin plate and eventually cause leakage of the product.

The answer is to prevent contact of the product and the tin plate by lacquering of the surface. Aqueous liquids acquire an alkaline reaction very slowly when stored in glass and this can adversely affect certain alkali-sensitive drugs or transfusion liquids. Specially treated glass (sulphate glass) is available for the packaging of such liquids.

Ingress of Liquids and Vapours:

The packaging material is used to act as a barrier against any form of entry into the package. One of the commonest causes of product deterioration is water, either in the form of moisture or vapour. Many granular or powdered chemicals, for instance, cake badly under humid conditions, while others become extremely corrosive when damp.

The hazard of liquid ingressing may arise when a product is shipped through deck cargo or climatic to provide an outer, water-proof package using a plastics film or a varnished fibre-board case. Many products require protection against the ingress of gases, particularly of oxygen. Fatty foods, for instance, become affected when the fat is oxidised.

Also, many medicines are adversely affected by reaction with oxygen. Once again, the best barriers are glass and metals. Finally, many foodstuffs can be adversely affected by pick-up of external odours or flavours during transit and storage. Metal and glass are complete barriers.

Loss of liquid or vapour can also lead to adverse changes in the product. Examples include the drying out of tobacco or cigarettes, loss of solvents from shoe polish, loss of flavour from foodstuffs and the loss of perfume from cosmetics. The problems are much the same as those discussed above and the types of barrier materials are the same.


Where the product is food or pharmaceutical which has to be sterilised (usually by heat) either prior to packaging or in package, then the function of the package is to prevent the ingress of fresh micro-organisms. Suitable packaging materials are tin plate, aluminium, glass and some plastics or plastic-coated paper or aluminium foil.

Physical hazards in distribution may be static or dynamic and may be summarised under the following headings:

i. Impression:

This arises from stocking in transit or in storage. If the primary pack is sufficiently stout (For example- A cylindrical tin plate container with flat ends), the outer pack needs no more than the primary packs, which can take the stocking load themselves. For weaker primary packs such as corrugated carton or flexible plastic packs, the outer container must be constructed to take the maximum stocking load.

ii. Impact:

Damage due to impact can arise through dropping of the package or shunting of rail cars, or bad roads in certain parts of India etc. In addition to breakage of containers, leading to leakage, there is also the risk of damage to equipment by distortion.

iii. Puncturing:

Puncturing can occur through similar hazards to those outlined above for impact. The main risk is leakage of liquid or powdered contents but punctures may also provide inlets for moisture vapor, with consequent corrosion of metallic products.

iv. Vibration:

Vibration can cause a multitude of problems from abrasion and scratching of the outside of the containers (perhaps with loss of identification) to breakage of the contents. The package has a vital role to play a cushion when transporting fragile goods like glass tumblers, medicine (liquid preparation), sheet glass and horticulture products.

v. Effect of Temperature:

The effects of high temperature on a product are usually more serious than those of low temperature. Corrosion effects, For example- are accelerated by high temperature, as are other chemical changes and biological spoilage.

Examples of products likely to be adversely affected by an increase in temperature include chocolate, (which softens and melts at elevated temperatures and become unsaleable), fish, (which rapidly develops a strong off-odour and start decomposing and then becomes inedible), frozen foods start to deteriorate biologically; and many pharmaceutical products which lose their therapeutic activity (or many even become biologically inimical) if stored at high temperatures.

In the case of fish, the packing usually includes a quantity of crushed ice to preserve the contents at low temperature. Boxes are now available made from a foamed plastic — expanded polystyrene — which acts as an efficient heat insulant and allows economies in the use of ice for long transportation. The solution here is to reformulate the chocolates to give higher melting point when exporting to destinations known to experience long periods at temperatures of around 35° to 40° C in a tropical country like India.

Tins of emulsion paint exported to low temperature countries should, therefore, be placed in another packing giving adequate heat insulation. Similar remarks apply to many adhesives as these tend to undergo physical changes at low temperatures; such changes are difficult to reverse by the consumer.

vi. Effect of light:

Light may adversely affect many light-sensitive product like films. The effect varies from changes to colour, embrittlement of some plastic and catalysis of chemical reactions (such as oxidation of fats, giving rancidity). Many pharmaceutical products are affected by visible or ultraviolet light and must, therefore, be packed in opaque containers or coloured glass bottles to prevent Ultra Violet (UV) ray penetration.

vii. Pilferage:

Although no package is a complete defence against pilferage, some can often make the job of the thief much more difficult. One way of reducing pilferage is by containerisation, whereby a large number of normal shipping containers are put into a large van type container.

These large containers are solidly built and can be padlocked. The shrink wrapping of whole pallet loads can also be of help in this area. The shrink wrapping of glass containers and carton trays and boxes are used. The oil-proof caps are also used in pharmaceutical and liquor products.

Criteria # 3. Function:

The functions which a container may be called upon to perform can be divided into two main classes:

i. Those concerned with its end use, and

ii. Those concerned with its behaviour on the packaging or on filling line.

i. End-Use Performance:

This is obviously important since faulty performance will lead to dissatisfaction with the product itself despite good attributes and, hence, to a reduction in sales.

End-use package functions include:

a. Display

b. Ease of opening

c. Convenience

d. Dispensing

a. Display:

The package may be used as a display item in its own right by means of an attractive surface decoration or it may act as a display item for the product. The former has already been dealt with under the heading “Appearance”. The second factor, i.e., product visibility is not always desirable, of course, especially where the product is sensitive to light or ultraviolet rays.

When visibility is required, it is usually an aid to identification or to add sales appeal to the finished pack. The latter is an increasing trend in large chain stores. This is true for jams, pickles, squashes, edible oils, transfusion solutions and cold drinks.

In the case of flexible packaging, there are many plastic films, together with regenerated cellulose films, which can be obtained in a fully transparent form. For rigid packs, the choice lies between glass and certain plastic packs such as PVC bottles.

b. Easy in Opening:

This is a very difficult function to satisfy since it is generally combined with the necessity for the pack to maintain its seal or closure integrity until the customer wants to open it. For e.g. tear tapes in the case of film overwraps while there are now a number of easy opening devices for metal cans, such as beer cans or coke cans. The most difficult field is probably that of plastic pouches, especially those containing liquid products.

c. Convenience:

The need for convenience in packaging has led to the growth of packs where the package and the product are completely integrated and where it is difficult to separate product and package performance.

An excellent example of this type of product and package integration is the aerosol or pressurised pack. The product as used by the consumer (For example- an insecticidal mist or a shaving foam) is not actually contained by the package but is produced at the moment it is required. The production of the mist, foam, etc., is function of the complete pack. With the shaving foam, the container has to be strong enough to withstand the high internal pressures generated by the mixture of soap solution and liquefied gas propellant.

d. Dispensing:

Dispensing aids range from a plastic cap which is easily punctured to give a hole through which a liquid can be shaken, to complicated retractable taps for drums which can then be rolled along the ground without breaking off the tap. Liquid soap solution, vinegar, pest control liquids and skin treatment medicines, perfumes, and lotions etc. use such dispensing systems.

ii. Performance of Packaging on Filling Line:

This can be important aspect of container design. Examples of container designs which can affect speed or types of filling equipment are neck diameter, stability (relationship between base diameter and diameter at top of container), rigidity of container wall (a certain amount of rigidity is necessary for vacuum filling) and variations in container weight (which affects reproduction of weight filling).

The packaging and machinery interface is sometimes difficult to distinguish. Many modern packaging machines produce filled packages from film or sheet without any intermediate package being formed. These form, if and seal (FFS) machines bring package making into the product manufacturer’s plant and have been used in intravenous transfusion (IV) filling.

Criteria # 4. Cost:

Cost of packaging is an important criteria for selection of packaging material and its design. The selection of material for packaging will depend upon function of packaging. Expensive well designed packaging is used for premium or luxury products like expensive perfumes, cigarettes, beverages, personal products and electronic household gadgets.

The desire to reduce prices to be competitive in the market leads to explore cheap packaging for non-premium products. However, well-designed packaging gives rise to better marketing appeal and higher cost of packaging can be feasible for premium and luxury products meant for upmarket consumer segment. The expensive products also yield higher profit margins.

The cost of packaging is decided by the weight of packaging material and the design and moulding or fabrication charges. The packaging development is done keeping the environmental laws in mind and it is desirable to use ecofriendly materials.

Criteria # 5. Disposability:

The packaging material is disposed once the product is exhausted or consumed. Therefore, factor of disposability is an essential criteria in the selection of packaging material. The disposal of plastic materials is difficult in view of its non-degradable nature. The glass should be disposed off properly otherwise broken glass may be unsafe for general consumers. The disposal of one time throw away bottles for beverage caused serious concern for disposal of bottles.

Criteria # 6. Eco-Friendly or Bio-Degradable:

The packaging material and its disposability is becoming extremely significant in view of environmental problems. Products like metal and plastic are non-biodegradable and therefore becoming serious concern for environmentalists. The emphasis is on using bio-degradable or ecofriendly material like paper cuttings or shavings, wooden material, glass or any other packaging material.

The companies are therefore shifting their stand on non-biodegradable and moving towards using material which are ecofriendly. The Green Dot Scheme in Germany, does not allow companies to import materials into Germany which are packed with such non-biodegradable material.

Criteria # 7. Marketing Appeal:

The consumer attitude towards packaging is changing and manufacturing firms are giving special importance to designs of the pack. The consumer products in well-designed and well- shaped containers give better appeal to consumers when products are displayed. The impulsive buyers may go for well-designed attractive packed products like cosmetics, skin treatment and hair treatment products, beverages, alcohols and cigarettes etc.

Packaging is a great asset for some expensive consumer goods and has tremendous marketing appeal. It leads to positive evaluation and ultimately purchase decision. There are consumers who even retain empty packaging material or containers as souvenir as they like the design and shape of the container.

3 Levels of Product Packaging – Primary, Secondary and Shipping Package

There are different levels of packaging that a consumer may be exposed to. Usually, the customer is handling the product in its primary packaging. This is the packaging that the product is seen in as it sits on the store shelf for example. The primary packaging is the packaging that is exposed to the consumer and so will have the attributes conveying important information to the consumer. However, the overall packaging can also be subdivided into other levels of packaging.

Packaging has three levels namely the primary level, the secondary level and the shipping package.

These have been explained, in brief, below:

1. Primary Package:

The package, which has enclosed the actual commodity, is called primary package. Such package remains attached with the actual commodity until the consumers have completely used it. Tooth paste-tube, bottles of medicines, cigarette packets, match box etc., are the examples of primary package.

2. Secondary Package:

The layer of cover added to the primary package for its protection is called secondary package. After bringing the product home or being ready to use the product, the secondary package is taken-off or thrown. The cardboard-box in which tube of toothpaste is packed, the cover of soap etc., are the examples of secondary package. The consumers do not keep secondary package for long.

3. Shipping Package:

Shipping package is used to facilitate, identification, transportation, handling and storing the products. Shipping package is very important and necessary for the products of whose nature is to keep store for long time, to carry far away and need to be loaded and unloaded several times. Under shipping package, there may many primary and secondary packages. Wooden boxes, cartons, cardboard boxes, plastic boxes etc., are the examples of shipping package.

4 Layers of Packaging

Packaging gives a specific and sometimes, unique identity to the product. E.g. Coca-Cola bottle (the design of the Coca-Cola bottle is patented worldwide and cannot be duplicated). Packaging also helps keep the product safe, secure and of the said quality during the product’s journey from the manufacturing point to the final user i.e. consumer. Let us look at various types of packaging being used by various manufacturers.

Primary, Secondary & Shipment Packages:

Every product needs packaging to ensure that it is safe while being transported and being handled by the customer.

Most consumer products have three or four layers of packaging as follows:

1. Outer/Transport Pack (Primary Packaging):

The outer transport pack needs to be tough to withstand the transportation by rail/trucks. Especially if the load is part load, the transporters throw goods anyhow and put other materials that can damage the materials below. Many times the goods are transshipped (from one container/truck to another) with waiting time at the transshipment warehouse. At such places, the goods get damaged.

Since the goods are insured for transit damages, many people do not bother about such damages. But these persons do not understand that insurance is done yearly and the premium goes up if the claims are on the higher side. That means you pay for damages not in same year but in the next year. Earlier, the outer packing used to be wooden but for the consideration of cost and environment, this system has stopped.

2. Inner/Distribution Pack:

The distributors/wholesalers book orders in smaller quantity from the retailers so they need smaller distribution pack that helps them handle the goods easily.

3. Consumer/Retail Pack:

The consumer buys the products in units and not in large quantity and because of this, a consumer pack that helps consumers buy quantity as per their daily/weekly requirements is packed in consumer packs.

4. Industrial Packs:

Industrial purchases are always in bulk and so the industrial packs are in larger quantity, and if it is machinery, it is in unitary packs.

Product Packaging – Packaging Material Generally Used by Marketers

The main packaging materials generally used by the marketers are:

i. Paper/fibreboard Plastic

ii. Glass Steel

iii. Aluminum Wood packaging, and

iv. Packaging made from other materials (for example hessian, jute, cork, ceramics and so on).

But nowadays, tetra packs are one of the more popular packing material commonly used by the manufacturers while packing their products.

The advantageous of this material are:

i. Disposable natured package, Light weight,

ii. Can be used as an alternative for plastics, Easy to carry and so on.

For example, cold drinks like, Frooti, Maaza, Amul dairy products, Nestle milk, Tropicana, Real Juice, DHARA cooking oil, Aavin and Nandini flavoured milk, etc., all comes in tetra packs only.

One more famous packing material which commonly used is plastic. Many FMCG companies and cosmetics manufacturers are using plastic as their primary packing material. This is just because of its long lasting life, convenience to carry, water proof and non-leakage capacity.

But due to the awareness created by many social organizations which are supported by our government, a number of companies are now trying to avoid plastics packaging for their products. Companies have realized the hazards created by plastics on the earth, atmosphere and to the overall environment.

So, they are showing interest to replace plastics with paper or tetra packs. Paper cups, plates and bags which are used more, are bio-degradable and environment friendly as compare to plastic cups, plate, bags.

Pack Size:

Income streams differ between rural and urban sector on the basis of occupational pattern of people. It leads to varied liquid cash availability, surplus money and expenditure pattern. This gave the path for introducing sachet packet for many products like shampoos, powder, hair oil, tooth powder, toothpaste, etc., which are priced at Rs. 1.

Sachets lead to boom in shampoo sales in both the sectors because, these are not only economical but also convenient to use and carry. Due to the number of advantages almost all products are packed and now available in the sachets.

A single, pre-fixed quantity and size can satisfy only a particular group of consumers and will have limited or less number of customers alone for the product. So, for reaching out to maximum consumers irrespective of income level, marketers should provide their products in different size and weights which can be based on customers’ needs, specifications and convenience.

For example Sakthi masala or Aachi masala are available in different weights and packs to reach out all level of people. It starts from 50gm pack and goes up to a kilo packs. Now many FMCG products like, chicken, frozen idli, pickles, toothpastes, hair oil, milk powder etc., are all packed in different weights and packages.

Packing the products in small plastic bottles is also very popular besides sachets. Parachute, WD are providing coconut oil in this kind of plastic bottles which are more convenient, safety, easy to carry and use at just Rs. 1.

Packaging Aesthetics:

Packaging aesthetics refers to the attractive or beautiful packing used for covering the products which catches the attention of the consumers and compels them to purchase the product.

Packaging plays a vital role in the generation of sales in both the sectors. Rural consumers prefer bright and dark colours rather than light and mild colours. Lifebuoy bath soap which has more than half of its sales from rural sector is in red colour.

Dabur Red toothpaste and tooth powder, Babool, Navaratna hair oil, soaps like Hamam, Chandrika, shampoos like Chik-Black, 3 Roses tea, tractors, etc., are examples, for products which are provided in dark and bright colours and having more sales in rural sector. Rural consumers prefer to have dark colours for their vehicles, houses and clothes.

This may be due to the reason of existence of more dust, pollution, mud roads, kuccha and semi- pucca house patterns, poor infrastructural facilities, etc. in the villages.

So, the marketers need to use attractive bright colours with big font size, preferably in local languages and some kind of symbols and images (because of higher illiteracy level) which convey the product’s benefits at the first sight itself to magnetize the rural population.

Aspects of Product Packaging

1. Aspects with Regard to Protection:

These include protection of the product from the following:

(1) Contamination.

(2) Moisture gain or loss.

(3) Insect attack.

(4) Chemical change.

(5) Product loss.

(6) Pilferage and adulteration.

2. Aspects with Regard to Promotion:

These include:

(1) Communication.

(2) Easy sale of the product.

(3) Alternative of the salesman.

(4) Integrated marketing concept to be reinforced.

3. Aspects with Regard to Transport:

To ensure that the goods should reach safely in the hands of the consumer, transport packaging acquires a special place in the international marketing. The material should be such that it protects the product from the air, gas, light, moisture etc.

Factors to be Considered while Designing a Package:

For package designing, the factors listed below should be considered:

(1) Language

(2) Colour

(3) Climate

(4) Accepted norms

(5) Package size

(6) Container

(7) Length of the distribution channel.

Factors Influencing Packaging Decisions

Decision making on packaging is called Packaging Decision.

When any manufacturer wants to decide about the packaging of any product, he has to make his decision on the following five things:

1. Package Design:

The decisions of five kinds are made regarding design of a package as under:

(i) What type of goods are used for package?

(ii) What will be the design of a package?

(iii) Which colours will be used on package?

(iv) What will be written or exhibited on the package?

(v) What will the name of brand and trade mark on package?

Apart from it, convenience of middlemen and consumers is also taken into account while deciding the design of the package. It is done so that no inconvenience may take place while lifting or placing the product. Some other factors too influence the decision of the design of the package. For example, nature of product, cost, prevailing price, size, advertisement and legal restrictions etc.

2. Package Size:

Decision regarding package size depends on the quantum of purchased product by consumers. For example, cigarette is often bought in meargre quantity.

Its package therefore, contains 10 or 20 cigarettes. Decisions regarding different package size of products on the basis of consumer research are made.

3. Package Cost:

Package cost too is taken into account while deciding on product package. Product protection and purchasing parity of consumer is also taken into account while deciding on package cost.

4. Package Test:

After having decided the above things regarding package, package test is made to see if proper decision is made.

Four kinds of test are made for it:

(i) Mechanical test – Whether package design is appropriate for product protection?

(ii) Supervisory test – Whether the package is attractive and of beautiful look or not?

(iii) Middlemen’s test – Whether package is right in the opinion or outlook of middlemen?

(iv) Consumer test – Whether consumers prefer the package or not?

When any package is passed through these four factors of trials and found successful; final decision is made regarding that package otherwise this process of decision is repeated again.

5. Packaging Criteria:

The package should represent properly the product for which it has been prepared. Keeping in mind this fundamental factor, image of status in concomitant to convenience, adaptability, beauty etc., essential characteristics and reliability as also dependability ought to be included in the package.

Packaging should be in the nature that the prospective buyer could feel proud instead of shame before other customers present in the store in course of examining the same. It is further necessary with regard convenience that the package should not only convenient for use and handling for customers but also easy to store and exhibit for retailers and the manufacturers can manufacture the same in large scale.

If the product is for use as kitchen item, its size should be proper and matching with the size of kitchen almirah. If it is eatable or foodstuff, it could be kept in refrigerator. Reliability relates to proper representation or true representation. The customer should be confident of quality product when he just sees at the package.

The products which mainly are bought on account of incentive or inspiration should be wrapped in a beautiful package. Owing to spread of education and increase in income as also rise in standard of living, special stress on beautiful packaging should be given as it has become necessary for consumer satisfaction.

Benefits of Packaging

Packing means wrapping of goods before they are transported or stored or delivered to a consumer. On the other hand, packaging is the sub-division of the packing function of marketing. “Packaging” has been defined as “an activity which is concerned with protection, economy, convenience and promotional considerations.”

According to William J. Stanton, “Packaging may be defined as the general group of activities in product planning which involves designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.”

Benefits of Packaging:

1. Product Attractiveness:

The size and shape of the package, its colour, printed matter on it etc. must make the package attractive to look at. The psychological feeling is that a good package contains good quality product in it. Attractiveness is a major consideration in modern packaging. A pictorial label on the package plays a role of silent salesmen.

2. Product Identification:

Packages differentiate similar products. Packaging and labelling are inseparable and are closely related to branding. Package has more significance, when the product cannot be seen by the buyer-packed milk, fruit juice, etc. Buyers depend on the package label in understanding the product in the package. An attractive level is a means of success in marketing.

3. Product Convenience:

The purpose of packaging is not merely confined to consumer service. The design and size of the package must be in accordance with the contents, i.e., product; it must be convenient to the ultimate customers. Package which can be easily handled, opened, moved, etc.; is appreciably favored by customers.

4. Effective Sales Tool:

A designed and attractive package invites customers. As is the product, so is the package. Many people think that a good package, taller in size, not shorter, contains bigger products. Women like round or curved shape of packages. Packaging, attractive and innovated, has value, as many people buy the products, for the sake of containers.

Advantages of Product Packaging to Manufacturers, Middlemen and Consumers

Packaging has several advantages. The advantages of packaging can be grouped into three categories.

They are:

1. Advantages of packaging to the manufacturers.

2. Advantages of packaging to middlemen like wholesalers and retailers.

3. Advantages of packaging to consumers.

1. Advantages of Packaging to Manufacturers:

The important advantages of packaging to manufacturers are:

a. Packaging is an important selling tool. It is often regarded as a ‘silent salesmen’.

b. It is helpful to the manufacturer to keep the product safe.

c. It minimises the possibility of adulteration of goods by middlemen.

d. It facilitates convenient storage.

e. It facilitates distribution.

f. It is helpful in advertising and sales promotion.

g. It increases the demand for the product.

h. It helps to increase the profits for the manufacturer.

i. It increases the image and goodwill of the producer.

j. It creates uniformity in size.

k. Packaging widens the market for the goods. Good packaging enables the producer to sell his products in distant markets, as properly packaged goods can be easily and safely carried over long distances.

l. Packaging economises the space occupied by the products, and thereby, reduces the cost of transportation and storage.

m. Packaging gives the product individuality, and helps the manufacturer to distinguish his product from those of others. This prevents the retailers from substituting the product of one manufacturer by similar products of other manufacturers.

n. Well-packaged goods fetch better prices than similar unpackaged goods.

o. Packaging helps in complying with legal requirements.

p. Packaging induces the consumers to repurchase the goods. In other words, it brings repeat orders to the manufacturer.

q. Packaging facilitates branding of goods, in the sense that the brand name can be easily printed on the packages. In fact, goods cannot be branded unless they are put in suitable packages.

r. It protects the goods from damage, leakage, deterioration in quality, etc.

2. Advantages of Packaging to Middlemen:

Packaging is advantageous to middlemen like wholesalers and retailers.

The advantages of packaging to middlemen are:

a. It is helpful in storage.

b. It is helpful in handling.

c. It is helpful in presenting the products before the consumers.

d. It is helpful in providing necessary information about the product to the consumers.

e. It is helpful in providing necessary information about the uses of the product.

f. It is helpful in handling the products.

g. Packaging economises the space occupied by the products, and thereby, the cost of storage in the shop.

h. Packaging contributes to good display of goods in the shop.

i. Packaging induces the consumers to repurchase the goods. In other words, it brings repeat orders for the seller.

j. It protects the goods from damage, leakage, spoilage, deterioration in quality, etc.

3. Advantages of Packaging to Consumers:

The advantages of packaging to consumers are:

a. Goods in packages are more hygienic than others.

b. Some of the containers used for packaging can be re-used by consumers for other purposes.

c. Packaging inspires confidence in the minds of the consumers about the quantity or weight of the goods.

d. Packaging gives confidence to the consumers about the quality of the goods.

e. Packaging protects the goods from damage, leakage, breakage, spoilage, deterioration in quality, etc.

Product Packaging Development (With Examples)

Development of new packaging for products is one of the major responsibilities of the packaging department in a company. Development of ecofriendly and recyclable materials are now the latest trend. Packaging development can be defined as a project which has as its objective a change in, or an issue of, a new packaging specification. In other words, implementation of a packaging change is that which will improve the pack performance and also help in marketing the product.

Packaging development projects can vary in size from a small change in specification (caused by a product weight change), to a completely new product involving many new pack components. Effective planning for a packaging development project can eliminate many potential problems which might otherwise be encountered in faulty design of packaging or packaging not appealing to the customers.

Development of special packs for a given product to meet a promotional requirement is a fast growing area in today’s supermarket or department environments.

Typical examples are:

1. Large aerosol containers to promote “extra 5 ml free”.

2. Packaging of instant coffee or Horlicks in a “free storage jar”.

3. “Two for the price of one” banded packs for powdered dessert products.

4. Special shrink-wrapped display packs for cash and carry outlets, generally gift items, dolls and kitchen appliances.

Some larger consumer goods companies have a separate section within the packaging department to meet marketing requirements. Hindustan Level, ITC, Nestle, Brooke Bond, Lipton, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have separate packaging development which cater to all requirements of production and marketing departments.

Logistics and Distribution:

The logistics and method of distribution can have a significant effect on the development of both primary and secondary package construction. Changes in distribution systems can lead to the need for a new approach to the packaging of a given product, For example- A change in container freight shipments often lead to a reduction in the amount of outer packaging necessary.

Details which should be covered at this stage of the planning operation are as follows:

1. Loading and unloading – Method of transport to and from the shipment vehicle.

2. Shipment method – Rail, road, sea, air or any combination of these.

3. Depot locations – Situation of depot throughout the distribution area.

4. Climatic conditions – Conditions of temperature and humidity encountered during storage and distribution. Possible exposure to water, (rain, sea water or condensation) during distribution.

5. Stocking-heights – Details of the method and height of stocking likely to be encountered within the distribution system or at the customer’s warehouse.

6. Layout of warehouse and handling mechanism.

The wooden carton should print the relevant ‘sign’ to caution the persons responsible for handling of crates or cartons during transportation and storage of products.

Pack Design and Company Brand Image:

The design of package and manufacture of well-shaped packs cost more than normal cost of packaging but such extra cost does help in giving a better image of the products and the manufactures whether brand or corporate image is being promoted, the package now plays a major part.

The package may create a favourable image in two ways:

1. By presenting a pleasant visual image via intrinsic shape or surface appearance and

2. By correct and efficient functioning.

The creation of a company brand image by the sophisticated and well-designed package is a complex matter and definitely expensive. Even changes in colour can affect the product image in some instances. In the field of baby care items, For example- there still remains something of the tradition of ‘pink for a girl and blue for a boy’, and the package often reflects this. In food packaging too, colour can have an effect. Liril soap is in a lemon green pack and Surf in blue pack.

A trial conducted with coffee packed into tins having one or other of three differently coloured labels, produced some very interesting results. The labels were coloured either brown, red or yellow and were otherwise plain, with no copy or other distinguishing marks.

Coffee from a uniform batch was placed in the tins and tasting tests were carried out among housewives who were allowed to know from which tins the samples were taken. In almost every case, the housewives chose the strongest brew, the coffee from the tin with the brown label. Similarly, coffee from the tin with the yellow label was usually reckoned to be the weakest.

The shape of the container is also a factor in creating a product image, although account has to be taken of what may be conflicting requirements by the consumer and the retailer. To the consumer, a tall, slender bottle with graceful curves may suggest the ideal image for a beauty care product but the retailer may dislike it intensely because of the difficulty of stocking it on his shelves.

It would seem to be a truism that package performance can make or destroy the products and indeed the company image but one still encounters many examples where this truism has been ignored. A beautiful decorated container which nevertheless breaks or leaks a highly perfumed product into the housewife’s purchase basket is not exactly promoting the company image, but only famishing it.

Product Packaging: Meaning, Levels, Functions and Importance

Product Packaging: Meaning, Levels, Functions and Importance!

Packaging refers to the process of designing the package such as containers, wrappers etc. It plays a very significant role in the marketing success or failure of many products especially for non durable consumer products.

It not only provides protection to the product but also acts as a promotional tool. Sometimes, customers assess the quality of the product from its packaging. Packaging has played an important role in the success of many products like Colgate Toothpaste, Taj Mahal Tea, Lays Wafers etc. It has been described as silent salesman.

Levels of Packaging:

Following are the three levels of Packaging:

1. Primary Package:

Primary package refers to the product’s immediate package. In certain cases, such package is retained till the consumer is ready to use the product. For example, plastic packet for socks while in some other cases such package is used throughout the life of the product such as the bottle carrying jam or tomato sauce etc.

2. Secondary Packaging:

Secondary packaging is the additional packing given to a product to protect it. Such packing is retained till the consumer wants to start using the product. For example. Pears Soap usually comes in a card board box. Consumer first throws the box when he desires to use it & than discards plastic wrapper too to get hold of the soap.

3. Transportation Packaging:

It refers to packages essential for storing, identifying or transporting. For example, use of corrugated boxes, wooden crates etc.

Functions of Packaging:

Following are the main functions performed by packaging:

1. Product Identification:

Packaging ensures easy identification of a product. For example, Taj Mahal Tea can be easily identified from a distance due to its blue color box.

2. Product Protection:

The most important function of packaging is to ensure protection of a product from spoilage, leakage, breakage etc. It also ensures effective protection during storage and transportation of a product.

3. Facilitating Use of the Product:

Packaging helps the customers to easily handle and use the product. For example, tubes of tooth pastes, bottles of cold drinks etc.

4. Product Promotion:

Packaging acts as an important promotional tool. The attractive color scheme or photograph used in packing helps in attracting the attention of the people and inducing them to purchase the product. Therefore, it plays the role of silent salesman.

Importance of Packaging:

The importance of packaging is as follows:

1. Rising Standards of Health and Sanitation:

Rising standards of living in the country have resulted in more use of packed goods and this also reduces the chances of adulteration.

2. Self Service Outlets:

At present, packaging has occupied a place of silent salesmanship especially at self service outlets.

3. Innovational Opportunity:

Various innovative packing ideas especially in the field of medicines, soft drinks, milk etc. has increased the scope of marketing of these products. Now, pasteurized milk come in packs which can be stored for few days even.

4. Product Differentiation:

Packaging helps in product differentiation. The color, size, material etc. of package help the customer to assess the quality of the product. For example, potato wafers of local brand & branded companies give different impact on the minds of the customers, all because of difference in their packing.