Packaging is an art, science and technology of protecting or enclosing goods for immediate distribution, storage, distribution, use and disposal. It includes a variety of processes including packaging design, analysis, manufacture, testing, packaging installation and disposal. Packaging also encompasses the creative process of developing, testing, designing, producing and packaging packages. In addition, packaging is an important part of the overall supply chain management system for the distribution, processing, storage and disposal of hazardous products.
Packaging helps consumers identify and purchase goods. Therefore, proper packaging plays a critical role in customer/consumers experience when purchasing products from a retail store. Proper packaging helps keep items secure, protected, durable and clean at all times. Consumers rely on packaging to provide information about products, for example, how to use a product, what to do if it breaks, how to inspect and handle it and where to get additional supplies. Package labeling is a critical component of many businesses.
Packaging provides protection for products from damage during transport. This depends upon the type of product and the environment it lives in. Packaging provides protection for perishable goods as well. Packaging for hazardous goods relies upon effective and efficient packaging systems. This also depends upon the type of goods as well. For instance, if food products are shipped as hazardous perishable goods, packaging is important to ensure that they are not contaminated before being shipped.
The aesthetic appearance of packaging depends upon the materials used in its production and the application of the finished product. Package material selection involves determining the compatibility of colors and textures for aesthetic appeal, and consideration of the visual elements in the package. Package aesthetics depends upon package size, shape and the position of the logo, brand name and other information for optimal appeal.
Package packaging is an inclusive process. It includes design, development, manufacturing, finishing and distribution of the packaging. It also includes the securing of the package during transport. The whole process of packaging involves coordination between the business and consumers.
Packaging can be based on a number of methods including carton packaging, foam-based packing, corrugated plastic, board packaging, bubble wrap, loose fill and foam board packaging. Some companies use special chemicals to pack perishable goods, hazardous substances and highly-flammable liquids. Other methods include thermal tape, bubble wrap and fitted paperboard. Special packaging can be required when the goods to be shipped need to withstand very low temperatures or corrosive liquids. For example, glass jars and bottles can be sealed in a special acid-free clear plastic to store them safely.
Re-use packaging includes re-use packaging or packing materials that have been used over again to pack similar or the same goods. This type of packaging is not necessarily better than new packaging as it may not be able to withstand harsh conditions and the cost of re-use would be greater. However, re-use packaging helps in reducing waste and providing secure storage for the packed goods.
There are several advantages of using re-use packaging for various purposes. First, packaging is reusable and it provides a good return on investment. Secondly, the material of packaging is non-biodegradable and it does not pollute the environment due to chemical disposal. Thirdly, it ensures that the packaging does not have any contact with food and remains safe for years at a stretch. Lastly, it avoids wastage of packaging material and costs involved in packaging and re-using the same.
Packaging plays an important role in appealing to consumers. It can attract consumers through its visual attractiveness, sound, shape and quality and appearance. A package with attractive colors that appeal to the eye and easy to read written content on the packaging helps in making the packaging more attractive to consumers. Attractive packaging enables the company to differentiate itself from other brands and increase the brand awareness among consumers and at the same time improve market share for the brand.
Apart from visual appeal, the packaging has to fulfill other basic functions. These include: ensuring that the product reaches the consumer on time, ensuring the safety of the product by checking the quality of the packaging material and ensuring the durability of the packaging material. The packaging should also be able to maintain the freshness of the goods for a certain period of time. Package labelling also helps in enhancing the brand loyalty and increasing the customer base.
Apart from the above-mentioned functions, the packaging also has to comply with the various environmental and health issues. The packaging has to be environment friendly and contain all the required ingredients for the consumer’s convenience. There are different types of packaging methods to suit different types of products and with the help of modern technology, the manufacturers have come up with a variety of packaging so that they can accommodate the various types of products. It is essential to choose the right packaging so as to attract the attention of the consumer and at the same time enhance the sales.