Packaging: Levels, Importance and Functions
What is Packaging?
The act of designing and producing the container and wrapper of a product is known as packaging. It plays a very important role in today’s world as packaging can be a reason for the success or failure of many products. Appropriate containers and wrappers provide protection and convenience in handling the products. For example, juices, soft drinks, etc., are packed in containers, milk, oil, etc., are packed in tetra packs; heavy goods like electronic appliances are packed in boxes, etc.
Levels of Packaging
Usually, three different levels of packaging are found in products:
1. Primary Package: Primary packages are immediate packaging of a product. Sometimes primary package remains till the inside material of the product is used as in the case of toothpaste, body wash, etc. In other cases, the package remains till the consumer is ready to use the product as in the case of bathing soap.
2. Secondary Packaging: The additional package that provides an additional layer of protection to the product is termed as Secondary package. For example, a cardboard box of a toothpaste tube. The secondary package is generally discarded when the customer starts using the inside material from the primary package.
3. Transportation Packaging: Further packaging which is essential for the protection of the product during transportation and storage is termed transportation packaging. Such packaging contains a number of secondary packaging. For example, a corrugated box containing 20, 50 or 100 units of toothpaste.
Importance of Packaging
Packaging is important because of the following reasons:
1. Rising Standards of Health and Sanitation: As the standard of living has increased, people now have become more conscious about health and sanitation. Now, they prefer packed goods over loose goods as there are less chances of adulteration and contamination in packed products.
2. Self-service Outlets: Self-service outlets are becoming very popular these days. Buyers are more influenced by the products sold at these outlets because of their attractive packaging. Attractive packaging attracts higher sales.
3. Innovational Opportunity: There have been significant changes in the marketing scene because of development and innovation in packaging. For example, milk and fruit juices can be stored for a longer period of time because of tetra packs.
4. Product Differentiation: Products can be easily differentiated from other products because of packaging, as packaging creates a brand image. The colour, size, material, etc., of the package, create a real difference in the minds of the consumers about the quality of the product. For example, from the package of food, drinks, etc., people can guess about the quality of the product.
Functions of Packaging
The important functions of packaging are as follows:
1. Product Identification: Identification of products becomes easy because of packaging. For example, Nestle Maggi can be easily identified from its packaging. Because of this reason, manufacturers use attractive packages, so that users can remember and identify their products.
2. Product Protection: Products are protected from damage and deterioration during transportation, storage and distribution with the help of packaging. Goods are also protected against breakage, leakage, spoilage, pilferage, climatic effects like moisture or humidity, etc., because of packaging. For example, zip lock packets are used to protect snacks, dry fruits, etc. from moisture and other kinds of damage.
3. Facilitating Use of the Product: Packaging should be convenient to use and handle. It should be easy to open and close and should fit well into the cupboard, drawer, refrigerator, etc. For example, glass bottles of Nestle or Bru coffee are convenient to store.
4. Product Promotion: Packaging helps in the promotion of products as it acts as a silent salesman, and thus, increases sales. It makes the product attractive and induces consumers to buy it. Packaged goods are suitable for self-service stores.
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