6 Required Functions of All Product Packaging
by Duncan Geddes
Pick a product, any product. Almost anything you can think of for purchase will arrive at a shop or your front door in some form of packaging, with additional layers added to transport and delivery.
The type and purpose of this packaging can vary wildly – from simple cardboard to an elaborate presentation gift box with laser-cut foam inlays – but there are several elements that will have been considered during the design of every type of packaging to ensure that they meet the increasingly high standards expected from consumers, manufacturers, logistics and shops.
The following six functions of product packaging are key to ensuring that goods are protected and presented to the highest standards in their journey from production to customer:
To protect products from damage
Depending on the product it is carrying, packaging is vital for protection during transit.
Additional protection might be needed for delicate items, which could require either a more rigid container or foam padding to minimise movement.
Egg crate packaging foam is a great example of this. Created from open cell polyurethane foam, the convoluted surface consisting of continuous peaks and troughs can keep even the most unusually shaped goods static and secure. As well as being lightweight and cost-effective, egg crate foams are available in a wide range of grades, densities and shapes.
To provide key information
Packaging contains large amounts of important information, from ingredients to usage instructions and indicators of safety and quality standards. These elements should be considered during the packaging’s development to make sure that key information is presented in a clear and accessible way.
With more than 20 years of experience, we are not just manufacturers. We collaborate with our clients to solve problems and realise their concepts through the design and development of foam products.
To contain multiple items
Products that consist of multiple pieces or components, for example photography equipment, will need to be both secured and accessible in its packaging. This type of packaging will likely use polyurethane and polyethylene (PE) foam inserts to protect their contents.
Foam inserts can serve a dual purpose of protecting goods while also presenting them effectively. From cameras in flight cases to a box for delicate jewellery, foam inserts can help to secure delicate items and keep them looking great.
To promote the product
Alongside storage and protection, effective presentation of the product is a very important function of packaging. The combination of visual branding, such as colours and logos, and product display, such as the inclusion of a clear window on the box lid, can make a significant contribution to attracting consumer interest by highlighting the quality of the products.
Giving the consumer visibility of the actual product can help to encourage sales and build customer confidence. To complement this, brand colours on packaging can help to convey a sense of luxury. By bonding fabrics to the foam before cutting, Technical Foam Services can provide fabric faced foam inserts in any colour to help enhance brand recognition, without compromising on quality and the protective properties of the material.
To improve storage effectiveness
The design of packaging can have a significant effect for storage. Unnecessary weight and size can mean that fewer products can be stored at any point and could potentially result in items being damaged in transit.
Packaging which has been designed to be stackable, compact and to not add excessive weight can allow for a larger inventory in a smaller space, while also making the transportation and delivery more cost effective.
To consider environmental impact
Environmental consideration is an increasingly vital topic as moves to dramatically reduce the level of single-use plastic in products continue. Modern packaging must be efficient, secure and attractive, while also avoiding unnecessary waste. Examples of this can be seen in creative solutions, such as recyclable packaging that does not require metal or plastic fastenings.
Creative methods for re-using elements of packaging can help to minimise the volume of materials going to waste. Many of the engineered foam parts we produce are in flexible polyurethane, polyethylene – both of which can be recycled, with polyurethane foam being used to create chipfoam.
Technical Foam Services have a commitment to minimising the environmental impact of the foam conversion process and were the first UK foam converter to achieve three ISO standards – including ISO 1400 for our dedication to protecting our environment for the long-term.
At TFS, we specialise in the manufacture of foams for delicate and high-value products and can create bespoke packaging foam solution for products of all sizes.
Combining both safety and visual appeal means we are confident that our packaging foams will present your products and brand in the best possible way.