PACKAGING AND LABELING DECISIONS

PACKAGING:
Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to the process of design, evaluation, and production of packages.

Packaging can also be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use. Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells. Well-designed packages can create convenience and promotional value. Packaging can be considered as a styling weapon, especially in food products, cosmetics and small consumer appliances. The package is the buyer’s first encounter with the product and is capable of turning the buyer on or off.

Purpose of Packaging:
Packaging has several objectives: Brand Identification – Packages contributes to instant recognition of the company’s brand. Physical protection - The objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, shock, vibration, compression, temperature, etc. Barrier protection - A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc., is often required. Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or Oxygen absorbers to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function. Containment or agglomeration - Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. For example, a single box of 1000 pencils requires less physical handling than 1000 single pencils. Liquids, powders, and granules need containment. Marketing - The packaging can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package design has been an important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display. Security - Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage: Some package constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilfer indicating seals. Packages may include authentication seals to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit. Convenience - Packages can have features which add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, and reuse.
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Portion control - Single serving or single dosage packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households. It is also aids the control of inventory: selling sealed one-liter-bottles of milk, rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves.

Packaging as a Marketing Tool:
Various factors have contributed to the growing use of packaging as a marketing tool: Self-Service – Due to an increasing number of super markets where a shopper passes by many items per minute, it becomes necessary for the products to attract attention and make favorable overall impression. Consumer Affluence – Due to rising consumer affluence, consumers are willing to pay a little more for the convenience, appearance, dependability, and prestige of better packages. Company and Brand Image - Packages contribute to instant recognition of the company or brand. Innovation Opportunity – Innovative packaging can bring large benefits to customers and as a result large profits to producers.

Types of packaging:
Transport packing: The product entering in to the trade need to be packed well enough to protect against loss damage during handling, transport and storage e.g. fiberboard, wooden crate etc. Consumer Packing: This packaging holds the required volume of the product for ultimate consumption and is more relevant in marketing e.g. beverages, tobacco etc.

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Packaging Decisions
Fulfill the Objectives:
From the perspective of both the firm and consumers, packaging must achieve a number of objectives: • Identify the brand, • Convey descriptive and persuasive information, • Facilitate product transportation and protection, • Assist at-home storage, and • Aid product consumption It must be confirmed to develop an effective package that these objectives are fulfilled.

Package’s Size and Shapes:
It has to be decided that what the exact size of package is and in what shape should be the package which is both attractive for the customer and convenient to use.

Package’s Color, text and graphics:
To attract the customers, the package should have an appealing color, text and graphics on it. Color must be carefully chosen: Blue is cool and serene, red is active and lively, yellow is medicinal and weak, pastel colors are famine and dark colors are masculine. Similarly, text and graphics also have a great psychological impact on customers and should be chosen carefully.

Package’s Cushion Material:
Cushioning is that part of packaging, which protects the article from damage due to shock and vibration. The main functions of cushioning materials can be detailed as follows: Shock protection against vibration • Protection against abrasion

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Protection of grease proof and water proof barriers at point of contact with solid blocks Protection of moisture vapours barriers at points of contact with sharp edges of the article itself. Protection of small projections Filling of void space in the container Other secondary purposes

It has to be chosen that what material has to be used for cushioning which fulfills these purposes and also is affordable to the company.

Packaging Cost:
The most important aspect when we look into packaging is the packaging cost. Packaging cost includes the following:
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Material cost: It means the cost of the pack and quality control cost. Storage and handling cost of empty packages: This include the handling cost of bulky packages, heavy materials of construction, drums etc. Packaging operation costs: This includes the cost involved in operations like, cleaning the package product filling – closing, labeling – unitizing, stenciling, handling cylindrical slums etc. Storage of filled packages: This includes the cost incurred to shift the goods from one form of packaging to another. Transportation cost of filled packages: This involves the transportation cost by sea, air etc. (freight by volume) Loss and Damage cost: It is related to the loss and damage during operation, transportation delivery etc. Insurance cost: It varies depending on the vulnerability of package Effect of packages on sales: The package that influence on sales. Obsolescence Cost: This cost involves when changes in the packaging materials, packages and labels happen. Package developmental cost: This include the evaluation cost, pilot test cost, field testing cost, consumer research cost, feed back cost, final trial cost etc.

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Harmony between various elements of Packaging:
The various packaging elements must be harmonized. The packaging elements also are harmonized with decisions on pricing, advertising, and other parts of marketing program.

Testing Packaging:
After packaging is designed, it must be tested. Engineering tests are conducted to ensure that the package stands up under normal conditions; visual tests to ensure that the script is legible and the colors harmonious; dealer tests to ensure that dealers find the packages attractive and easy to handle; consumer tests to ensure favorable consumer response.

Green Packaging:
Due to increased consumer awareness, companies also have to pay attention to growing environmental and safety concerns about packaging. Packaging creates a major problem for solid waste disposal, requiring huge amounts of labor, energy and expense. The traditional “three R’s” of reduce, reuse, and recycle are part of a waste hierarchy which may be considered in product and package development.

Innovation Packaging:
Packaging innovation over the years has resulted in packages becoming resealable, tamper-proof and more convenient to use (easy-to-hold, easy-toopen, or squeezable). Innovative packaging helps a great deal in increasing the sales of a product. So company should try its best to develop an innovative package.

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LABELING:
Labeling is any written, electronic, or graphic communications on the packaging or on a separate but associated label. Sellers must label products. The label may be a simple tag attached to the product or an elaborately designed graphic that is part of the package. The label might carry only the brand name or a great deal of information.

Purposes of Labeling:
Labels perform several functions: Brand Identification – The label identifies the product or brand. Product Grading – The label might also grade the product; canned fruits are grade labeled A, B and C. Product Description – The label describes the product: who made it, where it was made, when it was made, what it contains, how it is to be used, and how to use it safely. Product Promotion – The label might promote the product through attractive graphics.
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Labeling Decisions:
Brand Name:
It is necessary for the label to contain the brand name. It has to be decided that how should that brand name appear on the product. It is advisable to scale the logo as large as possible in keeping with the overall design, while maintaining a control space around the logo of 1/2 inch.

Label Text, Graphics and Design:
Text, graphics and design on the label must be carefully selected because label in as important part of branding process. It plays a role in communicating the image and identity of a company.

Features and Benefits
Listing a product’s key benefits on its label helps support the brand promise and can help differentiate the product from others, while reaching out to customers seeking those particular benefits.

Weights and Measures
Weights on measure of a product are important for stocking, inventory and selection. There are international standards that apply for formatting this information. Identifying the weights and measures of products helps customers select the appropriate amount of product to suit their needs. While there are no consistent worldwide standards, in the United States and many other countries, the information is highly regulated by truth-in-labeling laws.

Instructions for Use
Listing a product’s key benefits on its label helps support the brand promise and can help differentiate the product from others, while reaching out to customers seeking those particular benefits.

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Package Inserts
Package inserts, which may contain instructions for using a product, are made when the information cannot fit on the product itself.

Safety Hazards
Possible dangers that could result from misusing a product must be identified on products to reduce liability and comply with regulations.

Statement of Contents
The contents of a product must be accurately described on its packaging label according to local regulations.

Nutritional Labeling (incase of Food Products):
Nutritional labeling should clearly state the amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and calories contained in products, as well as their vitamin and mineral content as a percentage of the recommended daily allowance.

Additional Labeling:
Additional labeling includes open dating (to describe freshness), unit pricing (to state the product cost in standard measurement units), grade labeling (to rate the quality level), and percentage labeling (to show the percentage of each important ingredient).

Labeling Laws:
Labels must comply with local or international truth-in-packaging-andlabeling laws, as well as regulations on hazard warnings and other declarations.

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Effective Packaging and Labeling:
About packaging and labeling it is asserted that as media gets more difficult, more fragmented and more expensive, the role that packaging can play in adding value to a brand has increased significantly. The trick, of course, is to add more packaging value than cost, and hence be able to charge a price premium and make an increased profit. Effective packaging and labeling is one of the most difficult parts of the mix to progress in companies; it concerns almost ever discipline. The key to developing great packaging and labeling lies in how the resources of the organization are utilized. This is because, unlike, say, advertising, packaging development can impinge on almost every department, especially if it involves physical structure. There are a number of key process requirements: • Understand the role and expertise of all the various disciplines involved (e.g. production, packaging development, distribution, supply chain, customer marketing, consumer marketing, PR).

Ensure senior manager sponsorship for the changes or developments that are proposed.

• Involve everyone at an early stage and establish a ‘teamwork’ modus operandi.

Be clear about objectives, responsibilities, time scales, costs and record them regularly in writing.

• Establish clear leadership of the team so that the pace and direction of activities can be judged.

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