Merchants Look To Eco-Friendly Alternatives In Packaging

Jul 09, 2013 1:14 PM  By

The way merchants are packaging their products has changed over the years looking toward more eco-friendly alternatives and enhanced branding on their packages.

Stephen Martin, vice president of operations for SFG, said large boxes, packing material, storage space, excessive waste and branding all have changed over the years as his clients move toward the eco-friendly option.

“By reducing our shipping size it reduces filler, transportation costs and storage space,” said Martin.

Martin said Dell, for example, will ship multiple items in one box using streamlined cushioning.  This allowed Dell to reduce the size of the container and enhance the consumer experience by having everything right there when consumers open the box.

“You are seeing packaging that can go from the freezer to the microwave reducing the need for additional packaging or airtight sealed plastic bags for fruits cutting down on the larger heavy corrugated boxes,” said Martin.

Martin said this cuts down on packaging costs and shipping because of the light weight bags.  Tighter fitting containers cuts filler, weight and pick-pack time and helps place more units on a truck, which reduces transportation time.

According to Martin, many of his clients also want the ability to place the recycling symbol on their box, so his company is seeing more and more boxes made from recycled corrugated cardboard.

Martin said the branding of packages has become a major influence as a marketing strategy.  Merchants are significantly enhancing the consumer experience through branding.

“On the retail side, marketers say 80% of the purchase is based on the package,” said Martin.  ”Its color, size, shape then brand recognition.”

Martin said based on research, marketers are creating a better designed box, bubble mailer or packaging piece that is part of the whole shopping experience.

Martin also discussed this topic during his session “What’s New in Packaging Options” at the 2013 Operations Summit.