Topics: Packaging and labeling, Packaging Pages: 8 (2680 words) Published: December 22, 2012
Package design must meet five groups of functional criteria: in-home, in-store (or warehouse), production, distribution and safety, and legal. In-home requirements usually dictate that packaging be easy to use and store, remind users when and what to repurchase, reinforce consumers' expectations of the product, and tell them how to safely and effectively use the product. In addition, increasing numbers of consumers expect packaging to be recyclable and environmentally sensitive. In-store criteria require that packaging attracts attention on the shelf, instill confidence in the buyer, identify the product or brand and differentiate it from the competition, communicate benefits and uses, and entice customers to actually purchase the item. The product must also be easy for retailers to store and stock on the shelves or the floor, and simple to process at a check-out counter or other final point of distribution. For instance, packaging that is oddly shaped and takes up a large amount of space may draw attention, but it may also be shunned by mail-order sellers concerned about shipping costs or space-conscious store retailers. Production demands, the third group of functional criteria influencing packaging, are primarily based on cost. A designer may create a fantastic package that would perform excellently in the marketplace, but if the company can't find a way to produce the package cost-effectively, the design is useless. Among the most important considerations is production line speed. If a container is too long, wide, or short, it could significantly slow the speed of the production machines. Or, if the top or spout of a container is too small or is oddly shaped, the product may not flow easily into the package. Packaging considerations related to distribution and safety are important and numerous. If an unacceptable portion of the goods are damaged during storage, transportation, or distribution, the package has failed. Likewise, if the package injures the user, future sales could be lost or the company could be liable for damages. As a result, engineers are faced with numerous technical considerations that have a residual impact on the final look and feel of the package. For instance, packages must be able to withstand the pressure of several other crates stored on top of them. They must also be able to resist moisture, adapt to temperature changes, and withstand rough handling. From a cost standpoint, packages must also be designed to suit standardized transportation requirements related to weight, size, and durability. In addition, packaging must be tamper-proof, which is to say tamper-evident, since it is extremely difficult to make a package truly tamper-proof. Because of the deaths in 1982 from tampered-with Tylenol containers, providing tamper-evident packaging became another major concern of packagers. As a result of this tragedy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires the use of tamper-evident packages for certain products, and companies adopted tamper-evident packages to avoid being liable for tampering incidents. Tamper-evident packaging comes in a variety of forms including seals, plastic bands, layers of sealed packages, and innerseals. Similarly, harmful substances such as cleaning agents and pharmaceuticals also must be childproof. Furthermore, packages should ideally be designed to handle normal use by consumers. For example, a vegetable-oil container must be able to fall from a counter without breaking and to have very warm oil poured back into it without melting. Examples of packages that may result in harm to consumers include: those with sharp edges, such as some pull-top canisters; glass containers that hold products made for use in the shower, which could cause serious injury if dropped; and heavy item boxes that might break when the customer is carrying them or cause strain or injury to the consumer when picked up or set down. The fifth basic group of packaging...
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