As time has progressed, customer’s wants and needs have altered accordingly as well. Though it’s true, with changing times, the product and the packaging have evolved too, but the fact that the consumer is the priority over the years has not changed. Therefore, we see companies have carefully strategized their product packaging to align with their branding. A meticulous packaging not only provides a brand personality to your product but also gives the top of line consumer experience!
PACKAGING OF EARLIER TIMES:
Before the product’s commercialization and mass production, more straightforward, handmade and organic means of packaging were used. The primary purpose was to save the product from possible damage. This included ceramics and clay pots. Though being durable, it was inconvenient to transport them because of the weight. This created the need for lighter packaging materials, especially in the 1800s and 1900s. Tinplate was used for perishable packaging items, e.g. food and tobacco. Contrary to today, custom cigar boxes have replaced the tinplate packaging with their sleek and classy look. An individual cigar can be stored in a customized package so that one can give it as a gift, too, and carry the sophisticated box with confidence.
Early year’s packaging materials;
- Glass: Glass was moulded in the form of bowls and cups in 1200 B.C to preserve products. It was later improvised by adding irregular shapes. Today we can buy medicines and perfumes packaged in these glass containers.
- Metals: For packaging, it was the first metal to be used economically. In the 1830s, boxes made up of tin were used in trading cookies, tobacco and chocolate. Then, the rigid metal was replaced by soft metal tubes for paints, and they were a hit!
- Paper: In 1817, the first paper making cylinder machine was used. This was the era when ‘flexible packaging’ evolved. The paper ensured low cost and high quantity of packaging, which was a win-win situation.
TODAY’S VERSATILE PACKAGING:
Product’s protection comes first: Adhering to the primary role of packaging, i.e. product’s safety, now packages come with seals and interlocking technology. Owing to the sensitive nature of the ice cream, where temperature and the container plays a vital role in maintaining its quality, ice cream box packaging comes as a saviour. Ice cream box with laminated cardboard feature, protects the highly sensitive dessert from high temperature and thus melting.
Customization for that special touch:
To add in the aesthetics and break from the traditional means of packaging, many customized packaging means have now evolved. Custom product boxes, tailor-made keeping in mind the specific product and customer requirements, now gives a wow factor to the product. Many of these custom product boxes also have a clear window, e.g. custom cigar boxes. This packaging format in cigar boxes allows the customer to have a clear view of the cigar before the purchase and the assurance that the product is not distorted. In addition, the premium quality of the cigar is preserved with multilayered protection in the box.
Rise of Digital technology
With E-Commerce rising parallel to the in-shop retail experience, there has been cutthroat competition among companies and brands. For that reason, the packaging is used to differentiate the products from the vast array available on the shelf. Custom product boxes made precisely to the product’s specification in terms of presentation and dimension not only determine the brand’s personality. Instead, the custom product boxes also serve as an advertising tool for the brand and stand out from the competition.
Today’s packaging materials
Let’s glance at some of the many packaging materials that are widely used today.
Paperboard boxes: Being light in weight yet strong to carry weight, these paperboard boxes are much recommended for B2B marketing and personalized packaging. Paperboard is used for packing cosmetics, juice, medicines, frozen food and much more.
They come in various types, all depending on the sturdiness and durability of the box. Because of its corrugated medium, one can quickly identify corrugated material. It comprises three layers of paper: an outer liner, an inside liner and corrugated material to give strength, which sets it apart from regular cardboard boxes.
Plastic packaging has replaced other materials, like wood, ceramic, glass and leather. It is also an excellent choice to showcase the product. However, with the ongoing debate of global pollution, its popularity graph has been declining and being replaced by recyclable materials. Ice cream box packaging is no exception. Over the years, we have seen ice cream in plastic tubs being replaced by box packaging, owing to the same strength and durability the box packaging provides. But with an environmentally friendly feature.
These are the sturdy boxes used in luxury products, jewellery and smartphones packaging. It is four-time thicker than the paperboard and thus the most expensive box styles amongst the lot. Moreover, the shipping fee is high as it is not collapsible or stackable.
Foil sealed bags
Predominantly seen in tea and coffee packaging, it helps preserve the aroma and flavour and increase shelf life. Other food items such as nuts, cheese and cereals are also packaged using this technology.
Frequently used for not too heavy items, chipboard packaging is used for grocery items, e.g. tissue boxes, cereal and crackers. However, it is comparatively flimsy and not recommended for a very moist environment as the product will be deformed and lose taste and aroma.
Hence, we see how packaging has evolved from cumbersome ways to modern-day marketing tools. The role of present day packaging is not confined to containing, preserving and protecting. Instead, it goes beyond that to promote and communicate the product. The appealing packaging of today took over 150 years to evolve! With significant development, the future of packaging indeed looks promising!