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One of the most important considerations when planning and designing your packaging is the type of material you intend to use. Certain products store and transport better when packaged in special materials, like refrigerated and frozen products, beverages, and pharmaceutical products. Even for non-fragile, shelf-stable items, packaging material can make or break the product’s sales.

Choosing your packaging material should be a priority decision. You need to establish sourcing information, including backup suppliers, early in your planning. Processes for ordering from backup suppliers should be written down and readily accessible to ensure consistency in product branding and experience.

So, how do you choose the best packaging material for your products? In this post, we’ll review the top mistakes companies make when selecting and sourcing packaging materials.

You Don’t Prioritize the Function

Your packaging material needs to complement the intended purpose and/or needs of your product before all else. If your product must stay cold to maintain quality, then your packaging material must be insulated. If your product is fragile, your packaging material must be plush and protective. Customers don’t want lip balm packaged in a large plastic tub or frozen food in a glass container…make the form fit the function!

The Material’s Aesthetic Doesn’t Match Your Brand

Maintaining a consistent and coherent brand image helps customers recognize your products and increases repeat sales. Your packaging material should fit well with your desired brand image. For example, if you sell products that are unique for being eco-friendly, you’ll want to go with a natural, recyclable, or biodegradable packaging material instead of plastic. If you sell medical products, you’ll want sleek, modern packaging with clean lines. If you sell luxury items, you’ll want to avoid cheaper cardboard packaging. A confusing package/product combo can be a sales killer.

You’re Overpaying

Just like almost everything in life, it’s important to shop around when searching for sources for packaging materials. In addition to 1-2 primary suppliers, you’ll also want to identify multiple backup suppliers in case your first choices are unable to accommodate your material needs. When searching for suppliers, obtain written quotes from various candidates and narrow your options down based on the pricing along with sample quality. Many companies end up overpaying for packaging materials by relying solely on one supplier. This can be because of a sense of loyalty to that supplier or simply because no one has put in the research to identify alternatives. Getting quotes from other suppliers on a routine basis can bring big savings on your material costs. (Note: With suppliers, it’s not all about price. Run a test order through each supplier on your shortlist to see if the process meets your expectations. Some suppliers will flash an attractive price to pull in business but really can’t meet heavy demand. In those cases, it’s worth it to pay a bit more for reliability.)

Quality Packaging Equipment for Your Production Line

Finally, have your packaging materials been selected and sourced? Then it’s time to get to work! Effectively package all of your products using the customizable lines of case packers, tray formers, and cartoners from Econocorp. Our semi- and fully automated machines make easy work of your packaging needs, even for specialty items! Call us at (781) 986-7500, email, or contact us online to get started building the production line equipment your company needs today!