The packaging industry is big business. Billions of pounds are spent annually on the design and packaging of everything from food to toys to electronics. The fact is 60% of all packaging is for food products. Prior to that, food products were sold loosely at shops or market stalls. It was weighed, measured out and placed in sacks or baskets to carry home. But packaging has revolutionised how we shop.

First of all, the main function of a package is to protect a product from damage, or to keep food free from contamination by air, moisture, insects and toxins. Other factors to consider are changes in temperature, humidity and light as a product is shipped from one place to the next.

Packaging design is so important because it is the main way products are identified by consumers. This is why “knock-off” brands try to package their product as closely as possible to a leading premium brand, in the hopes a consumer may mistake it for the real thing and toss it in their trolley.

A more practical reason for packaging involves the ease to transport, move and store products. A box-shaped shaped package is easily stacked while also wasting very little storage space. This means more packages can be transported by lorry, saving considerable money in shipping.

Once the goods arrive at the shop, the storage and display of the goods should be easy for the shop as well as for consumers to make their selection. By stacking the same type of products next to each other on shelves, it makes it considerably easier for consumers to read labels and compare brands to make an educated decision on what they will buy. Some people will opt for a brand that is lower in price, while others will decide on information such as ingredients, nutritional information and even where a product is made.

Often overlooked for their contribution to how we shop, the bar code serves a number of purposes. Not only does it considerably speed up the check-out procedure, but it can identify if there is a bargain for the consumer that they may not be aware of.

Considering all of this, it’s important to get your packaging right. Elliott Packaging has set the industry standard for excellence in packaging, with one of the most experienced teams in the business.