A trip down any aisle in the grocery store will show just how far the packaging industry has come. Today’s consumers are greeted with innovative options that run the gamut from eco-friendly packaging to designs that actually assist in the food preparation process. So much consideration and science goes into selecting the correct container that, for manufacturers, packaging is a strategic decision. The following variables should be considered when choosing a container’s design:
1. Protection against damage or contamination by micro-organisms, air, moisture and toxins – Products must be safeguarded against rough transport and possible tampering as well as ensuring they meet any physical, chemical or biological needs.
2. Prevention of product spilling or leaking – Packages must be tightly sealed and made resilient to ensure the product remains uncompromised at all stages of distribution until opened by the consumer.
3. Product Identification and Labeling – Nutrition, ingredients and sell-by dates are important not only to the consumer, but to grocery stores as well. Bar codes help stores to track inventory and sales.
4. Marketing of Product to Consumers – The integrity of the product is extremely important, but marketing is equally essential. In addition to containing and protecting the item, the packaging must speak to a buyer and ultimately lead to a sale. Containers that achieve the ‘wow’ factor can set any product apart from its competitors.
Because packaging plays such an important role in the preservation and marketability of a product, many companies seek a contract packaging service to help them obtain the best quality packaging available. Benefits to a co-manufacturer include cost, speed, quality and innovation.
• Cost: Capital costs of equipment and facilities can be enormous. Through the utilization of a contract packaging service, startup costs are significantly reduced while energy and labor costs are kept low.
• Speed: Co-packing services can significantly reduce lead time in getting a product to market and can ensure enough time is allowed for quality assurance and validation. State-of-the-art equipment like continuous motion machinery produces consistent and high speed assembly, enacting multiple processes simultaneously without interruption.
• Quality and Innovation: Today’s market presents countless options in packaging and labeling needs. Co-manufacturers guarantee meeting all food specifications and requirements. More value is added by assisting in product development. Suggestions can be made in regards to alternative ingredients, raw materials, processes and packaging. As product lines continue to broaden, many manufacturers are faced with the constant need to evolve their products. Relying on contract packagers allows them to remain flexible and respond quicker to changes in the market.
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