6 Things To Consider When Selecting Packaging Materials

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Packaging materials are the building blocks that create your entire package. It is essential for you to consider your packaging material options as they can directly affect your business goals, product shelf-life, structural integrity of a package, presentation of your package and how your brand is perceived, and more. Some popular packaging materials include: 

    • Corrugated
    • Paperboard
    • Chipboard
    • Plastic (HDPE, LDPE, PP, PVC, etc.)
    • Foam (polyethylene, polyurethane and expanded polystyrene)
Popular packaging materials

There are many other packaging materials you can select from depending on your packaging needs. To help you buy the best packaging material for your packaging application it is important for you to consider the following 

  1. Durability and Quality

  2. Budget

  3. Lead Time

  4. Tamper Evident and Secure

  5. Sustainability and Compliance

  6. Your Customer

6 Things To Consider When Selecting Packaging Material (1)

Durability and Quality

The durability and quality of your package says a lot about your brand and product. Not to mention, the potential for product loss from wear and tear of your packaging throughout the supply chain. This makes it important to invest wisely in a durable and quality packaging product. 

Durable and quality packaging can vary from product to product based on what you’re packaging. Things to consider include the size, shape and weight of the item, as well as any special packaging requirements. For example, heavy items could be packaged with corrugated and foam materials, while lighter items can be packaged in chipboard, paperboard or plastic.

The packaging material and the level of thickness should coincide with the weight of what you are packaging. In addition, you should also add any additives that can help protect your package to help it preserve its quality. Additives are properties that can be added to a packaging material. 

Different types of foam packaging


For the most part everyone wants to package their products in stylish boxes with thermoform tray inserts. However, the reality of it happening is usually slim since there are so many costs caught up in packaging materials. Packaging cost can fluctuate greatly depending on the materials you use. As a result, your budget will have a direct impact on what packaging material you can afford.

For example, corrugated material is more expensive than chipboard and polyethylene plastic is cheaper than both.

Frequently, buyers have to make a tradeoff between what they ideally want and what they can afford with their budget. The packaging material you select can impact how it sits on a shelf, how users perceive your product, or even your results. 

The best rule of thumb is if your product is inexpensive, then use cheaper packaging materials such as chipboard, paperboard, plastic, and styrofoam. If your product is pricey, then you should reflect that with your packaging with corrugated, thick and rigid paperboard or chipboard material, or thermoform. Ultimately, you do not want your package to cost as much or more then the product you’re selling. 

In addition, it is important for you to keep in mind any special requirements and additives for your packaging material as it can add to your packaging material costs.

Lead Time

Lead time is the time it takes to produce your packaging and deliver it to you. It is one of the most important factors in packaging due to the sense of urgency from buyers to meet their deadlines, goals, and to maintain healthy inventory levels. Not all packaging is readily available. This means the lead time on what you order will fluctuate, depending on the packaging material, and when and where you order it.

Supply and demand is the core influencing factor on how long a lead time will be. For example, if you are purchasing a product in high demand, chances are you’ll be waiting a while to receive that product. In addition, if you order something that’s very rare or in short supply, it may require you to order it from out of the country. The best lead times are when supply and demand are at an equilibrium.

Packaging Manufacturing and lead time

Tamper Evident and Secure

No one wants to receive a product with an open package. As a result, you should consider packaging products and materials that can properly secure your package. Typically, you would want to purchase packaging with safety features and tamper-evident seals. 

For example, shrink wrap, container seals, water activated tapes, poly straps can be ideal to prevent tampering and theft. In addition, plastic materials can be used to seal a product from contamination, which can be vital to the food, beverage and medical industry.

custom food plastic tray

Sustainability and Compliance

One of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is if your packaging will be accepted by the government, a retail entity (if applicable) or by your consumers. Today, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important requirement among businesses and governments. As a result, you should look for packaging material that is compliant to your industry standards and regulations. 

With technology today, many businesses can now package their products as recyclables, biodegradables, or compostable products without having to sacrifice much on the quality or design of the product. Being compliant to your industry standards and showing some corporate responsibility towards the environment can go a long way for your product and reputation.

custom biodegradable poly bag

Your Customer

You always want to keep your customer in mind when creating your packaging. This includes the packaging materials that you will select. Your target market and how you position your brand, should be reflected in what packaging materials you will use.

For example, if you are targeting customers that want to stand out with their product, then you might want to invest in something luxurious and expensive material. Penny pinchers will want your product to be minimalistic with cheaper packaging materials. If your customer likes convenience and ease of use, then you might want to invest in packaging products and materials such as foam and inserts to improve their packaging experience.

Need Assistance in Selecting the Right Packaging Material For Your Project?

As you can see there are a lot of factors that you should consider in selecting the right packaging material for your project. It is recommended that you work with a packaging specialist on acquiring the right packaging for your product needs.

At Brown Packaging, we have experience in working with businesses from concept to completion. We can address all of your packaging concerns in one place and give you the best value possible in setting your packaging up for success. Contact us today to get started.

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