Packaging designers can spend a lot of time mulling over the most minute details. Not for nothing, of course – they must consider how their packaging impacts their end of the supply chain, from manufacturing to transportation to customer service. Forsaking one of these nodes for others risks physical damages to a shipment or indelible marks on a new marketing campaign or the brand overall. A successful packaging choice that considers the big picture, however, can cut costs and grow sales. Take a look a few packaging designs that account for the whole supply chain:
How smart brewers ‘handle’ challenges
Canada’s West Shefford Brewing Company found itself at an impasse in 2014 regarding how best to approach transportability, according to Packaging World. Committing to a handle on the company’s six-pack of 12-oz cans meant customers could carry the package freely, but because of the strength required to support the weight, this decision would ultimately sacrifice pallet stackability at the distribution level.
West Shefford settled on a retractable handle that slid down the middle of the product. During transportation, the handle would stay hidden, allowing logistics teams to move a pallet’s worth of product efficiently and without damage to the packaging. After customers purchased the product in their local liquor store, they could slide the handle into place and use it accordingly. In the end, this change had a negligible impact on West Shefford’s packaging processes and helped the company avoid spending capital on new machinery for alternative solutions.
Transparency from cow to consumer
Now more than ever, customers want to know where their food comes from and how it got to their local grocer. In response to this growing trend, Best in Packaging reported China Mengniu Dairy Co. Ltd. devised a tech-savvy strategy for incorporating product visibility into its very packaging. Customers with smartphones can scan bar codes on selected company products and learn valuable information about them before they buy.
Big Data isn’t just a ploy for attention – businesses who develop the IT infrastructure necessary to perform these task ultimately raise the standards for transparency in their industries. Someday, this will be the norm, which means participating businesses will have a better handle on the quality of their products and can then turn that data into impactful marketing and creative packaging solutions.