What are Packaging Inserts and Why are They Important?

structural design concepts

Packaging inserts, also known as packaging inlays or box partitions, are used to secure packaged items inside a box, usually in the form of tray or wall divider. Inserts are designed to limit and restrict the movement of one or multiple items within a package and can be made from different materials such as foam, corrugated, paperboard, and other materials. In addition to protecting your product, inserts can help improve the presentation and packaging experience of your product.

Inserts can be stock or customized packaging items. Stock inserts are standardized and come in set sizes and shapes with no graphic design. Customized inserts can be altered to fit a specific product size and shape, if applicable graphics can be applied.

chipboard insert

Why Packaging Inserts Are Important

Packaging inserts are an essential part of packaging. It keeps products from being damaged and makes it easier to access the products in a package. 

Inserts can improve a customer’s perceived value of your product and brand. This is impacted on how well you present and protect your product. For example, a packaging that has customized inserts with brand colors will look a lot more appealing than a plain kraft or white kraft insert. 

When Do I Need Packaging Inserts?

Packaging inserts are needed if you have a fragile product, several items in one box, small items, or you just want your packaging to be well organized and presented. The type of packaging insert you will need will depend on your product needs. Speak to your packaging specialist for assistance on selecting the packaging insert for your packaging needs.

Below is a checklist to help you know whether you need a packaging insert or not.

When You Need Packaging Inserts Checklist

How Can I Customize a Packaging Insert?

Packaging inserts can be customized by structure and graphic design.

Structural Design

Inserts can be custom designed by size and shape. Trays can be designed with custom shaped cavities and foam can be cut to your specifications.

Graphic Design

Add your own graphic design to your insert. Include your logo, product information, and colors. 

Packaging Insert Material Types:


These inserts are best for holding small, lightweight items such as cosmetics, office supplies, electronic devices, and food.


Corrugated inserts, also sometimes referred as cardboard inserts, are commonly used to hold small to medium weight products such as light bulbs, small appliances, utensils, toys, and other items.


Foam is probably the most popular insert that is capable of holding the heaviest items and protecting the most fragile items. Foam inserts are used to package electronic devices, appliances, tvs, temperature sensitive items, and much more. 


Thermoform inserts are sturdy and rigid and can hold a wide variety of items such as food, medical, electronic, and cosmetic products.

custom foam pelican case
corrugated box inserts

Summary: What are Packaging Inserts and Why are They Important?

Packaging inserts are what keep our products protected and easily accessible when unpackaging. Inserts can come in a variety of materials and can be customized to fit your product and promote your brand. 

If you are interested in packaging inserts, then contact Brown Packaging today to get started.

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