Have you ever wondered why toys are packaged the way they are? Or why certain foods come prepackaged in plastic? To the average consumer this extra packaging may seem unnecessary, but for companies, having proper packaging is a way to ensure their products reach the final destination in one piece and not damaged. Read on to learn more about why products are packaged the way they are.
- Transportation of Products
When products are shipped out from the warehouse, they could be going out on a ship, train, or a truck. The conditions of the product’s journey may not be the most smooth or safe. For example, many companies that sell electronics use foam packaging when shipping their items. They want to ensure that the product gets to the consumer with as little to no damage as possible. The foam packaging holds the item in place and minimizes the impact or shock that would otherwise damage the product during shipping.
- Food Safety
When it comes to transporting groceries and snacks, there are a few different things to consider while packaging. Companies and brands need to consider what will keep their food fresh while it’s being transported to the store. Chip bags are sealed air-tight to keep the chips as fresh as possible. While other types of produce packaging such as clamshells and crinkly bags portion out groceries for consumers (i.e. Berries, cherry tomatoes, grapes, etc.) Frozen food packaging is another thing to consider. Most frozen food items are plastic wrapped to withstand being transported in refrigerated conditions for long periods of time and to prevent freezer burn in products.
- Ease of Transporting Goods
When goods are transported, companies want to be sure that they are shipping as many products out as possible to be efficient. To maximize space inside the ship, truck or train, etc., products need to be stacked on top of one another. Boxes and plastic packaging can ensure that the products are protected inside while being transported.
- Prevents Theft
A common concern for companies is to protect their products from theft while in the stores. Most toy packaging comes in a box with a clear window so consumers can see what the toy looks like without having to open the box. Inside, there are various components to keep the toy attached to the box (i.e. Zip ties, twist ties, small plastic baggies, etc.) These small items are not accepted in the blue bin but prevents the product from being easily stolen.
- Nutritional Information and Branding Opportunities
Food companies are required by the Food and Drugs act to have nutritional information on their product’s packaging for consumers to make informed decisions at the store. They must also follow regulations regarding how food is packaged. The packaging is also a company’s final effort to grab a consumer’s attention from the store shelf. It provides a space where companies can put their logo and use their brand’s colours to make their product stand out from its competitors.
For many companies, packaging is the first step to making sure that their product is well protected on its journey to the end destination. While packaging may seem unnecessary at times, businesses need to guarantee their customers that the product won’t arrive damaged, which could end up costing them more money in the long run.
However, as consumers, we all have buying power when we decide what products to purchase and which companies we choose to support with our dollars. Remember the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce the amount you buy. Reuse what materials you can. And finally, recycle your materials in the blue bin.