Eggs cannot be transported from the poultry farm to the retailer unpackaged in a tray because they may break even before they reach the final consumer. Also, if a white shirt is transported and sold unpackaged, it may become stained. And if there is no proper packaging, a retailer may not be able to sell perishable milk products after one day.
The paper, boxes, plastic rolls, bags, etc. that enclose a product have much more value than the customer imagines.
But what is packaging, why is it important, what are its types and functions?
Packaging means the act of enclosing or protecting the product using a container to help distribute, identify, store, promote the product, etc., and also packaging constitutes all the activities of designing and producing the container of a product. and includes the following items:
_ Product identification and differentiation in the market
_ Product transportation and distribution
_ Product maintenance
Packaging, often considered as a fundamental subset of marketing, constitutes the main means of distribution, storage and sale, which can be part of the product itself or an external container made of various materials. Packaging is an essential element for both the seller and the customer. While the seller uses it as a tool for distribution, storage and promotion. The customer uses it as an important identification tool.
The importance of packaging for the seller
Distribution: Good packaging enables the seller to move the product from the manufacturing unit to the final point of sale and then to the customer. The seller uses different packaging for different reasons – transport packaging to transport the products and consumer packaging to help the consumer consume the product.
Storage: Storage involves risks related to product spoilage and spillage. Proper packaging helps the seller to better store and categorize the products.
Advertising: Packaging forms a vital element of marketing that the brand uses to differentiate the product using attractive, colorful and visually appealing packages and informs the buyer about the product’s performance, features and benefits.
Safety: Good packaging helps ensure the safety of the product before it reaches the end consumer. For example, a Tetra Pak prevents milk from spoiling before its expiration date.
The importance of packaging for the buyer
Identification: Packaging and labeling help customers identify the product and differentiate it from other products in the market.
Use: Often, the packaging, such as toothpaste packaging, which forms part of the product, aids its use and consumption.
Safety: It also protects the consumer from the dangers of the product. For example, a bottle of acid protects the user from acid burns.
Usually, packaging is divided into three types depending on its application and purpose, these types are:
Primary packaging, which is also called consumer packaging, is in direct contact with the product and is intended to identify, gain knowledge of the product and help the customer consume the product.
This is basic packaging that emphasizes utility and appearance.
This primary layer, such as a plastic bag, cardboard box, etc., contains the finished product, which protects the finished product from contamination and manipulation, and at the same time contains aesthetic elements that distinguish the product.
In addition to helping identification, differentiation and consumption, primary packaging acts as an advertising tool to attract more customers at the point of sale by making the product look more attractive.
forms the second layer of packaging that customers usually do not see. Its main use is grouping and keeping separate units of the product to deliver large quantities of that product to the point of sale.
It bundles smaller product units into a package and helps with inventory management (grouping and identification) before the product is shown to the customer.
Some examples of secondary packaging are:
The plastic ring that holds the soda cans together and the cardboard box that contains several individual boxes of cereal, etc.
Removing the secondary packaging does not affect the quality or features of the product.
The third packaging
Tertiary packaging, also known as bulk or transport packaging, is used to group a large quantity of a specific product to transport it from point A to B.
The main purpose of this packaging is to facilitate the transport of heavy loads or large quantities of a product easily and safely, while facilitating easy storage and handling.
Some examples of third-class packaging are:
Wooden pallets used in cargo transportation
A packed pallet containing a large amount of secondary packaging goods.