Packaging Material Guide: What Are the Options and How To Choose

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when you consider the type of packaging you should use? You may see the benefits of different types of products and different packaging companies, such as flexible packaging manufacturers and box manufacturers, may sway you that their options are the best for your needs. This is information you should know about packaging types and how to choose the best for you.

Different Packaging Materials

Although you can find an unlimited number of packaging types, they tend to fall within six main categories. Traditional packaging uses paperboard or corrugated cardboard. Both materials are lightweight and collapse so they are easy to store. Paperboard has a single layer, while corrugated cardboard has several layers of cardboard or paperboard. While corrugated cardboard is sturdy, strong and durable, best for shipping products, paperboard is better for display on a shelf and not sturdy or strong enough for use as a shipping box.

Glass products are heavy but protect the product unless it gets dropped. Aluminum packaging is lightweight and strong. Both these materials are eco-friendly but they also take up significant room when stored and require the use of labels. Plastic packaging is durable, lightweight and seals out moisture, but it is not eco-friendly and can take up storage space.

Several products, such as polyethylene or mylar bags, offer greater flexibility. They do not take up significant storage space, come in various sizes, and have options that allow them to stand up on shelves and protect your products from moisture. They are also durable, and many have eco-friendly features.

Why Packaging Type Matters

You want your products protected. You may need to reduce spoilage by protecting them from moisture or something durable to protect them from punctures or breakage. Your packaging may also be the first introduction of your company to your customers and potential clients. Therefore, it should reflect your brand and give it a positive first impression while it effectively advertises your products.

You also likely have a strict packaging budget, and you don’t want these products to reduce your profit margins. Therefore, you need to balance your packaging needs and budget.

How To Assess Product Needs

First, you should consider what your product requires to remain fresh and safe for use. For example, if you sell food, cosmetics and other items that expire or can receive damage from added moisturizer, you need packaging that keeps moisture out and expands the expiration of these items. Also, are your products fragile, and do they need stronger, more durable options? Figure out if your products also need packaging that reseals, such as those products that you do not consume in one sitting. Finally, review your environmental impact policy to determine the material types you may want to use.

Other Considerations

You will likely have other considerations when you choose your packaging, such as stick pack packaging cost, how you will ship them to retailers and customers and what your customers need or prefer. Although you likely prefer custom packaging to draw your customers in and encourage brand recognition and loyalty, remember your budget.

Now that you understand the packaging types available and can choose the ones that work best for you, find a provider that will help you maximize your return on investment.