Your new food product is ready to package and produce; you’re looking for a supplier who can readily assist you. What services and features are important as you grow and evolve? Have you thought about your customer base? Consider five pieces of the puzzle before choosing a packaging partner, one with a strategic, future-proof plan aligned with your overall business goals.
Consideration #1: Technologies, Process and Equipment
Consider technologies to help elevate your brand, production or service model and the types of materials you’re currently using for your latest item. Every food vendor requires a distinct set of service capabilities to produce their product(s). Find a supplier who can provide the right set for you.
For instance, if you’re completely starting from scratch, you might require more services and features than if you’re simply updating an existing operation. Factor your overall processes. Do you frequently change lines during production, or do you rely on automation equipment to help reduce manual labor and lower operating expenses? Think big picture service requirements before you get into the nitty gritty of what you’d like your packaging to look and feel like.
Consideration #2: Product Type
Once you’ve considered your equipment and processes, think a bit more about your product. What properties might influence the materials your supplier uses in the packaging? What is the temperature of your product? Are you working with a frozen, refrigerated or shelf-stable item?
The primary package you select to work with your equipment and your shelf-life targets must adhere to the appropriate barrier properties for product protection. Make sure your supplier understands your substance and can assess and provide for options that would extend product shelf life, the rigors of transport and product-package interaction.
Consideration #3: Packaging Selection and Design
Will you have one package or three? Some products require multiple layers. Will this be the case for your product at any point in the journey to the consumer? If so, your supplier needs the right equipment to manage varying material types, shapes, and sizes.
For your primary package (the one touching your product), you need to think back to your product type and how it may or may not be affected by light, temperature, oxygen, etc. Think also about the appropriate functionality. Will consumers spray, squeeze or pump to dispense?
The outer package, also known as ‘secondary packaging,’ would need to consider consumer trends and marketing goals, aesthetics and noticeable features to stand out from the competition.
The final piece of packing to consider is the ‘tertiary packaging,’ the one responsible for protecting your product during shipment from warehouse to aisle nine. Think through every layer and select a supplier who can propose the best combination for a seamless experience in all phases of the supply chain.
Consideration #4: Sustainability and Consumer Trends
What are your sustainability goals? If you’re trying to cut down on waste, opt for plant-based packaging to increase your recyclability or compost capabilities. You might accompany your biodegradable packaging with the appropriate consumer marketing message too!
Consumer demand and corporate responsibility are driving new sustainability efforts in food packaging, with suppliers developing initiative-taking solutions to cut down on waste. Look for a vendor who can rise to the occasion and challenge you with new, forward-looking, sustainable innovations.
Consideration #5: Financial Stability
Finally, and most importantly, choose a reputable supplier with global reach. At Sonoco Alloyd, we’re backed by more than half a century of experience in material science, award-winning packaging and merchandising expertise. We have hundreds of facilities worldwide to assist in your operations, process flow and supply chain needs.
Food packaging is incredibly complex. It requires know-how, planning and an understanding of the cascading effects of every decision along the way. Whether you’re looking to update a new line; research, construct and deliver innovative solutions; and/or produce ideas, concepts and renderings for high-quality graphics, look for a leader well-versed in it all!
From concepts to prototypes and final solutions, you can trust Sonoco Alloyd to meet any range of needs, in any phase of your company’s growth and development. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation! Just fill out this form and we’ll be in touch ASAP.