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What makes great cardboard box packaging in food retail?


It can be a mammoth task getting a brand new product on shop shelves and into customers’ shopping bags. Choosing the right packaging has a major impact on this, and there are lots of things to consider.

We speak to large established businesses as well as start-ups every day, and when it comes to planning the packaging, it can be often overlooked. It’s something that can have a major impact on the brand image, and overall health of the product. Everything needs to be considered in the product’s journey to the end customer, including storage, transport, shelf presence, and environmental impact.

The packaging must showcase the brand

Whilst your shelf-ready packaging should stand out, it is crucial that it represents the brand and communicates the companies values well. Considerations around what your brand stands for will help you understand what your packaging should look like. It is about ensuring there is a balance between thoughtful and innovative packaging design and brand identity.

*colourful and vibrant custom packaging for Wizards Chocolate and Peakz.

Focus on your target market

Your product isn’t going to be liked by everyone, and you shouldn’t try and position your product as such. For example, if your brand is specifically aimed at vegans who strongly value sustainable companies, you’re not going to want to create shelf ready packaging that is appealing to young children.

For start-ups, you may still be working this out, but remember to map our and stick to your brand guidelines. As a significant part in the customer's buying journey, packaging plays a strong part of whether a purchase is going to be made.

For larger established companies, it's important to remember what has got you this far and ensure that you’re not going to alienate your audience.

Transportation & design considerations

Transportation is an afterthought for many businesses when producing their packaging. However, it can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Not only does product safety have to be taken into account, but packaging sizing and pallet allocation can present a huge difference in transportation costs.

‘Pretty’ packaging means nothing if it cannot protect your products during transportation to the retail environment. So it’s important to strike a balance between having unique packaging and adequate protection. Whilst it may be tempting to want a unique design, you have to consider retail shelf space available, and stick to standard sizes, as it will greatly reduce the production costs and provide greater flexibility on pallets, both in the warehouse and on lorries.

Love the environment

We’ve previously talked about customer perceptions changing, and favourably selecting environmentally friendly products and businesses. A lot of customers’ purchasing decisions are now driven by this new mindset, and with the war on plastic is heavily featured in the news, more businesses are choosing corrugated.

We’re passionate about doing ‘our bit’ for the earth, and we are keen to help the businesses we work with to make sustainable decisions too. If your brand can make the slightest difference in the amount of waste it produces, it is a win for the planet and your business, as it can provide strong marketing messaging that your customers will appreciate.

Key questions to ask yourself before thinking about packaging

  1. How heavy will my products be? (this will determine material grades)
  2. How will my product be stored? (warehouse or chiller)
  3. What are the measurements of my product? (the sizing of the packaging will affect transportation costs)
  4. What information needs to be on the packaging?

These are just a small handful of questions that you’ll need to ask yourself, as well as considering fully custom packaging design is required and how many colours you may want to print on the packaging.

Click here to get in touch if you’re ready to start planning your custom packaging solution. 

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