9 Reasons to Choose Paperboard Packaging

How do you decide when a paperboard folding carton or sleeve is the best option for your product packaging?

Folding boxes, trays, counter displays, and sleeves are manufactured from paperboard materials, which come in numerous types and grades from which to choose. The range of board types includes highly printable white bleached, kraft, and coated and uncoated recycled paper. The type of material appropriate for your product will depend on branding, protection required, how and where it is stored, and the distribution channel.

This type of paper packaging offers structural versatility and superior graphics that can elevate your brand while, at the same time, serve to protect and contain your product. So, how do you decide when a carton or sleeve is right for you?

Holiday folding carton packaging - Image by KReimer
Image by KReimer - Pixabay

Here are nine reasons why you would choose to package your product in paperboard.

1. Fragile products requiring physical protection from crushing are perfect candidates for folding carton packaging. Examples are cereals, chocolates, crackers, and electronics easily broken or damaged through transportation and handling.   Visit our How To Package Your Product in 10 Steps to learn more.

2. Folding boxes are stackable, allowing retailers to optimize shelf space with the added advantage of being easily assembled for in-store displays.

Kellogg's award winning cereal box design credit: paperbox.org3. Lithographic printing on paperboard offers high-end graphics for luxury items such as liquors and skincare products. Printing on white (bleached) board, with additional touches such as embossing and foil stamping, provides a premium look and feel that gives consumers a sense of quality.

4. Folding carton solutions are often the best choice for multipacks, counter displays, samplers, and gift packs. Creative customized structural and graphic designs, tailored to enhance your product’s unique qualities and branding, bring added value to your brand.

5. With six printable panels (front, back, two sides, top, and bottom), cartons provide the most significant opportunity to tell your story, provide product details, and promote your brand. They are a billboard for your product.

6. Sleeves can replace labels, give a printable surface for graphics and labelling, and provide tamper evidence. They are also a quick and easy way to run a special promotion saving the need to redesign the primary package.

7. Folding cartons are, well, foldable. Unlike other rigid containers and boxes, cartons take up less space in your warehouse.

8. While some other types of primary packaging are in short supply, there is ample availability of paperboard material for packaging.

9. Paperboard packaging is fully recyclable and widely accepted in consumer blue bin programs.  If you are looking for more information on designing for sustainability, check out our blog how to Make Sound Packaging Sustainability Decisions and get a copy of the PAC Packaging Sustainability Checklist.

Image: dohnalovajane -Pixabay
Image: dohnalovajane -Pixabay

Latest Paperboard Trends

While boxes have been a common choice for product packaging for the past 100 years, the industry has not stood still. In keeping up with trends, there are new and exciting innovations to capture consumers’ attention. Brad Weale, Director of Sales – Strategic Accounts, with the Great Little Box Company | Ideon Packaging, recently shared some insights and trends he sees in the market.

The most significant is the move to e-commerce. With the spike in online shopping and home delivery, companies are moving to online sales and looking for packaging solutions to manage costs, optimize the packaging, and promote their brand. The ‘unboxing’ experience is a wonderful opportunity to captivate your consumer. Printing press capability offers fabulous designs printed both on the outside and inside the box. With this flexibility, brand owners can WOW and delight their consumers, leading to social media sharing.

With the coronavirus driving consumer behaviour, companies are rethinking how to offer products to appeal to consumers. For instance, nutraceutical sales are rocketing during this time as people increase their use of immune-boosting supplements. One savvy company is responding with a Covid-19 multipack.

Brad’s advice is to take this opportunity to “pivot to new products and online sales now and take advantage of how paperboard packaging can help introduce these new products and transition to alternative marketing channels.”

Paperboard converters, such as GLBC offer custom solutions for products in all industries: processed foods, confection, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, beverage, personal care, and general (toys, chemicals, household…).

Future outlook

As for what the future holds, we can expect to see more SMART packaging such as track and trace RFID tags, QR codes, printed sensors, invisible bar codes, time and temperature indicators, and exciting design innovations like augmented reality, and printed electronics using conductive inks.

Conductive inks enhance package designs to give consumers a unique and exciting opportunity to engage with their purchase.

This award-winning Limited Edition Bombay Sapphire gin electroluminescence pack was tested by Barcardi in 2013.  While this technology is not new, it may become more mainstream as brand owners look for new ways to entice shoppers.

Sapphire Photo Image - courtesy of Karl Knauer - see his article

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