What Is Primary Packaging and Secondary Packaging?

So many items, from televisions to shoes and food, require multiple layers of packaging. There is the transportation packaging — usually plain brown boxes — the item is shipped in, the packaging the product is actually stored in and display packaging that stores set up to direct customers to an item.

Custom Boxes Now! can help with a range of boxes and containers for all your needs. Understanding the differences between various types of packaging can help you invest in the right boxes and containers for your products.

The Azkabox Custom Secondary Packaging

What Is Primary Packaging?

Primary packaging, also known as retail or consumer packaging, is the packaging around a product. This is what the customer typically takes home from a store. The role of retail packaging is to protect the item and contain any information the customer needs to know. This layer of packaging is not usually removed until a customer is ready to use the product.

An example of primary packaging, for example, is the cereal box in which breakfast cereal is sold. The cereal keeps the product fresh and organized in a customer’s home, gives nutritional information and practical information about the amount sold, and helps the customer dispense the cereal into a bowl.

Other examples of primary packaging include the carton for orange juice, the wrapper on cookies and gum, the box around thumbtacks and the tube around toothpaste. In all cases, this packaging will include a scannable code and other information that may be necessary to comply with regulations. For example, on baby food, a best-before date may need to be stamped on the package. Similarly, medication may require an ingredients list on the packaging.

Primary packaging is important because it stays with customers the longest. Quality primary packaging reinforces the quality of the brand. In some cases, poor primary packaging can affect the quality of the product. For example, faulty cans for soda can make the drink flat and unsafe for customers to drink.

Donkey Kong Primary Packaging

What Is Secondary Packaging?

Secondary packaging is used for logistical or display reasons. If a group of items is packaged and sold together, they are often placed in secondary packaging. Retail stores may also use secondary packaging to display a specific product. Examples of secondary packaging include:

  • Countertop display units near cash registers
  • Shelf-ready packaging
  • Retail-ready packaging
  • Case stacker displays
  • Pallet displays
  • Floor bin displays
  • Endcap displays

Since secondary packaging is often used to attract a customer’s eye, it usually features cardboard treated to create a glossy or polished shine. This type of packaging may also include eye-catching graphics.

Secondary Packaging Uses

Secondary packaging often has a practical purpose, too. It can hold several units of a product together for bulk sale. For example, sodas may be sold in packages of twenty. Secondary packaging around the cans may include a box that helps customers get the soda home and even dispense one can at a time.

Some secondary packaging is also used for transport. For example, some shelf-ready packaging or countertop display units are used to get multiple items to a store. At the store, workers can open the package along certain perforations to reveal a display they can use.

The box keeps the primary packaging safe and in good condition, but the secondary packaging also helps stores by providing a way to display products. Some types of secondary packaging, such as pallet or floor bin displays, help retail stores display products without taking up limited shelf space.

Primary Packaging vs. Secondary Packaging

Primary and secondary packaging work together to create a whole customer experience. Secondary packaging can capture a customer’s attention first and make a product stand out. Creative Displays Now, for example, helps create floor and other displays that make customers stop and read more. Secondary packaging gives retailers additional ways to promote a product while primary packaging reinforces the brand message and gives customers more information, further encouraging them to buy.

Get Your Primary and Secondary Packaging Right

When done correctly, primary and secondary packaging work together to enforce a certain brand image, feel and colors. They provide slightly different but complementary information so a buyer can make an informed choice about their purchase.

Creating beautiful primary and secondary packaging for your product gives you double the chances to make a sale. Contact Creative Displays Now to create amazing retail displays to make your product pop. Then build your box with us at Custom Boxes Now to get complementing secondary and primary packaging designed to work together. You can also contact our team if you need any help or have questions about our services.