Fresh fruits and vegetables require special handling during the shipping process. These delicate items can easily be bruised or damaged. Additionally, vegetables and fruits need the right packaging to protect them against environmental factors that could increase the risk of spoilage en route to their destinations. Because October is National Apple Month, the packaging experts at Custom Boxes Now have put together a list of the five most important elements to consider when packing these fruits for delivery to retail outlets or consumers.
Modern cardboard containers can do more than protect items on the way to consumers. These unique cardboard boxes can also serve as the basis for innovative and attractive Halloween costumes this fall. By recycling these materials, you can reinforce green-friendly values with your children while saving money on store-bought products. From traditional favorites to handmade conceptions that figuratively think outside the box, the team at Custom Boxes Now has compiled a list of five of the best costumes for this harvest season.
TOP COSTUME #1: The Ever-Popular Robot
Square and rectangular boxes of different sizes form the basis for this traditional costume. Depending on your do-it-yourself skill, you can use duct tape or staples to connect the various parts of the costume. Best of all, your young child can decorate the outside with tempura paints to express their own robot vision. For older children, metallic spray paints can be used with supervision to create a more realistic version of these costumes. Dryer vents can provide bendable arms and legs that still look amazingly real for a homemade effort.
TOP COSTUME #2: Dino Power
Finding ways to stand out in the competitive marketplace can help your business achieve more and reach a larger percentage of your target audience. Custom packaging solutions can be part of your overall marketing plan and can provide you with added visibility at every step of the distribution and delivery process. Here are four of the most important benefits of custom package boxes for your company’s products.
Benefit #1: Reduced Delivery Costs
Boxes designed specifically to hold your products typically cost less and require less packing material to shield delicate or fragile contents from damage en route to their destination. While the reduction in postage or delivery costs may not amount to much on an individual basis, it can add up to significant savings over the course of an average fiscal year.
The future of cardboard and corrugated packaging may rest with some of the giants of the delivery business. Amazon has already moved toward sending lightweight packages with the help of the U.S. Postal Service; now it may be contemplating hiring local delivery personnel to manage last-mile services in urban and rural areas. By working with these individuals on an as-needed basis, companies like Amazon can significantly reduce their costs for shipping items over extended distances. The packaging required for these new shipping methods, however, will have to meet even more stringent requirements to stand up to the potential inexperience of these new delivery providers.
Corrugated box styles and design have come a long way since 1856, when the patent was approved for the first known corrugated material, used in England as sweatband lining for men’s tall hats. Since then, corrugated materials have been through a rapid evolution. In 1871 unlined corrugated was first used to package glass and kerosene lamp chimneys, and the material was first cut and slotted to fold into boxes in 1894.
Manufacturers began using corrugated boxes to ship multitudes of products, and throughout the 20th century, development of rubber printing plates, flexographic printing, flexo folder-glue, preprinted linerboard, anilox technology, and edge crushing brought us to the corrugated boxes we know today. Here are four of the latest trends that continue keeping the corrugated box industry moving forward.
As Lightweight As Possible
Corrugated box producers are constantly striving to reduce the weight of their products, and they continue to achieve great results. Companies that ship their products long distances often need to keep their overall packaging weight to a minimum in a concerted effort to remain within budget of their targeted operational costs. One way to achieve this is by continually developing more lightweight corrugated boxes. Today’s lightweight containerboards can handle surprising capacities and weights. The durability and strength of shipping materials ensures products are packaged and shipped safely, allowing for secure delivery of products that remain in tact throughout the shipping experience.
Boxes for the Online Shopping Craze
There is no end in sight to the popularity of online shopping. It’s unbelievably convenient, there is a virtually unlimited selection of products and comparison shopping generally makes it possible for consumers to save big money. Oftentimes, retailers can simplify the box designs for their online sales because the purchase is made long before the consumer sees the box. There is still plenty of room for innovative designs, graphics and brand recognition with the shipping boxes for online orders, though.
Environmentally-Friendly Corrugated Boxes
New developments in technology that reduce the amount of paper used in corrugated box manufacturing, combined with more innovative designs and greater recycling possibilities, have made it possible for the development of much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly corrugated boxes. Not only do “green” consumers enjoy seeing the mark of sustainability; these sustainable practices are also often more efficient and cost-effective for businesses, making it a win on both sides.
Rapid Advances in Printing
While simple and environmentally-friendly packaging is on the rise, the demand for point-of-sale displays, merchandising units and retail-ready packaging has also increased. This has spurred advances in printing that enable photorealistic images on displays and boxes, with smart marketing to go along with it. A little branding goes a long way in your brand imaging efforts. It’s well worth looking into the potential of taking advantage of the new technological capabilities for printing and packaging.
Advances are still being made to change the face of the important innovations in packing and shipping. Keep your eye out for more of the latest trends in corrugated box styles and design.
It’s safe to say that consumer behavior trends can and should have a large impact on the way companies package their products. Even the shape of your product packaging can have a huge influence on the way consumers perceive it, whether people find your goods in stores or buy them online and see the packaging for the first time when they open the box. The design of your packaging is crucial as well, including the way you position your logo and how you consider the general tastes of your target market. The materials you package your products in should also be chosen with the latest behaviors and trends of your target market in mind. If you want to keep up with your targeted consumer market, there are a few things you simply have to keep in mind to make sure all your bases are covered.
Here are four of the most important considerations businesses should make when it comes to product packaging:
Modern consumers demand convenience in their busy and hectic lives, and this doesn’t only apply to the products themselves. A shopper is more likely to purchase a product if its packaging seems more convenient than a competitors’ packaging. It’s a good idea to keep up with current innovations in product packaging and see if you can incorporate more convenient solutions that make the whole consumer experience more positive from start to finish. There are always ways to make things easier.
The way you design your products’ packaging should, of course, be aesthetically appealing to customers and include your logo to enhance brand awareness. Things like universal design are also important to consider if you want to broaden your market potential.
The key is to consider your targeted consumer markets, pay attention to their behaviors, watch the latest trends and customize the design of your products, packages and overall branded experience accordingly. People don’t want to feel like they’re being pandered to, but they do want to feel as if their wants, needs and preferences are being taken into consideration.
It’s obviously important to avoid packaging materials that are thought to be harmful to human (or animal) health. Health is an especially important consideration for the food and beverage industry, where keeping products fresh and preserving perishable ingredients is paramount. Avoiding any materials that have been associated with choking hazards is also important. If you want to let your customers know how much you care, just make it clear what actions you’re taking to preserve their health.
People are more concerned about the environment than ever before. Just think about how unpopular Styrofoam has become since people became more aware of its environmental impact, for example. Today’s consumers are more likely to be turned off by packaging that isn’t considered sustainable and environmentally friendly.
This means avoiding materials that are not biodegradable or recyclable, and promoting the environmentally friendly choices you have made, such as using any percentage of recycled materials in your packaging scheme.
Trends in product branding and packaging are always evolving to keep up with the times and align with consumer expectations. From logos, brand imaging and color schemes to packaging, manufacturing and advertising methods, there are many factors you must consider to stay competitive in our consumer-driven society. The 21st century has seen numerous shifts in how companies brand and package their products, and as 2014 rolls on there are several new trends taking the retail world by storm. Here are 4 of the biggest branding and packaging developments worth taking note of:
- Accommodations for the Aging Population
The continued growth of our aging population, not only in the U.S. but across the globe, is one of the biggest influences on branding, packaging and product design. As baby boomers and subsequent generations continue reaching and surpassing retirement age, with medical advances allowing people to live longer and healthier, senior consumers cannot be ignored. This has led to an increase in easy-to-open packages, easy-to-read text and fonts on product packaging and more products that are designed with the concerns of aging individuals in mind.
- Increased Convenience and Mobility
Products and packaging that make life more convenient have been popular for generations, and nowadays that means being mobile. Of course, we all know the importance of mobility in computers, phones and other electronics, but this consumer trend goes far beyond our smartphones and tablets. The surge in products designed with convenience and mobility in mind can be seen in the prepared food market, for example, with more foods designed to be taken on the go or easily prepared at home by adding a few simple, fresh ingredients. Consumers also don’t want to sacrifice quality and competitive pricing for convenience and mobility, leaving retailers and manufacturers with a tall order—but not an impossible feat to accomplish.
- New Packaging Options for Liquids
From juice, soups and coffees to wine, energy drinks and even baby food, there are more options than ever before when it comes to packaging liquid products. Flexible packaging seems to be at the forefront of the liquid packaging market at the moment, with high-quality films, pouches and dispensers, and overall designs that are more convenient, portable and ready-to-use. Glass, aluminum and plastic are certainly not the only options for the packaging of liquids anymore.
- Sustainable Packaging and Eco-Friendly Branding
Consumers are more aware of the need to protect our environment than ever before, and many people are more likely to buy a product if they believe the packaging is sustainable and the company that produces it is considered “eco-friendly.” We are seeing more sustainable and biodegradable packaging choices, including more flexible materials and minimal packaging designs. Any shifts in manufacturing and packaging must be visible to the consumers to have a positive impact on public perceptions and sales figures, though, which means rebranding efforts must be part of the equation.
These are only a few of the most important shifts in product branding and packaging, of course. Retail giants must always be on the lookout for such trends to stay ahead of the curve.
Consumer experts are always talking about the latest retail packaging trends, and every year it seems things are evolving and advancing at a faster pace than the year before. With 2014 well underway, and retailers already gearing up for the next holiday shopping season, many branding and packaging trends have surfaced and shown themselves to be very important in the retail industry. We’ve compiled four of the top trends that retailers and industry insiders should definitely consider (if they aren’t already):
TREND #1: Benefiting from Compliance and Eco-Friendliness
From patient safety to environmental sustainability, retailers have more factors to consider in their packaging than ever before. Some of the latest trends in packaging and branding include more innovative unit-dosing designs on drug packaging, more eco-friendly food and beverage containers and more sustainable manufacturing processes. While these may seem like a lot of effort, the positive public perception to such changes can more than pay for the initial and ongoing investments. The key is to make the changes as publicly as possible in order to take advantage of the PR benefits.
TREND #2: Integration of Technology in Branding and Packaging
In the information age, many consumers already know what they’re looking for before they go to make a purchase because they’ve already done the research and considered all the facts. The most obvious way to make sales in such an environment is to offer high-quality products and maintain a positive public perception about your brand identity with as much good information as possible available for savvy consumers. This is the hard part. One simple solution to take advantage of consumers’ increased use of information technology is to integrate user-friendly apps into the branding and packaging of your products. Things like scan-able, interactive links can make your packaging more useful to consumers, and help them feel more confident in their purchases.
TREND #3: New Methods for Reducing Shrinkage
Shrinkage is a big problem for retailers, whether it’s caused by the theft, damage or loss of products, or for any other reason. The more shrinkage that occurs, the fewer products there are to sell, and the smaller the profit. We are seeing many retail industry trends that increase the security of products without negatively affecting the experience for consumers. Packaging that reduces the opportunity for theft and shrinkage while simultaneously enhancing the customer experience is a major trend, for obvious reasons.
TREND #4: Smarter Safety Solutions in Packaging
While it may seem absurd or even funny, the fact that many people are injured or even sent to the emergency room every year due to overly complex, protective packaging is no laughing matter. Oftentimes, packaging engineers are more concerned with increasing security and reducing theft than they are with the safety of consumers. It should go without saying that this is not good for the public perception of retail brands. Now more packaging engineers are striving to come up with designs that protect them from theft and shrinkage while keeping consumer safety always in mind.
By Matt Ruggle
Sometimes there’s some confusion over what can be recycled and what can’t. For example, a corrugated cardboard box you get in the mail that contains that thing you ordered from Amazon.com last week can be recycled, but the lettuce you got from the grocery store last month cannot.
There’s a great multitude of rules and exceptions, and typically, your local recycling disposal truck driver will know the ins and outs. Unfortunately, those guys are notoriously difficult to catch when they’re in your area, so if you prefer, here’s a website that will tell you more than everything you need to know:
This site covers more than just cardboard, so please take the time to read everything pertinent to your own life. You’ll be a much better-informed consumer, and you’ll help make the world a better place.
If you’re interested in purchasing boxes with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled material, feel free to contact Custom Boxes Now!
By Matt Ruggle
Every now and then we like to share ideas with our readers on what they can do with old cardboard boxes. As it turns out, so does Martha Stewart.
She wrote an exhaustive list on her Radio Blog some time ago, telling seventy things – seventy! – you can do with your cardboard boxes at home. Among the notables are: diorama, ironing board, paint shield, coffin for Halloween, and dog house.
A corrugated cardboard pinata also made Martha’s list.
It’s nice to see the queen of at-home projects helping to get cardboard repurposed on a broad scale!
Read the entire list here:
Of course, if projects aren’t your thing, we certainly encourage recycling cardboard through your proper local channels. Or, if you need some cardboard boxes freshly created just for you, perhaps with your own custom print, well, obviously, Custom Boxes Now! can help with that.