The right packaging for the job

09Aug11

I go through a lot of raisins, so it makes sense to buy them in bulk. Not too long ago, I placed an order for a few large bags, and they arrived in good shape. Fast forward a few months, and the retailer only carried the same product in “can” form. The price was about the same, but as I learned, the product itself came with some caveats.

Raisins in a can would work fine if the can was at least moderately durable. These cans, however, were anything but. Rather than metal or plastic, each canister was constructed of a thin cardboard material. Half of them arrived badly damaged, and one was leaking raisins all over the shipping box. Clearly, this packaging option was greatly inferior to the soft-side plastic bags that were used in the past.

The takeaway here is rather obvious. Retailers should take the transit and delivery method into account when selecting which versions of a given product to carry. If one version of the product comes in durable packaging that’s hard to damage, and another is likely to break at the slightest provocation, then the durable one is the better choice. Sure, there are other factors to consider, like the package size and aesthetics. But all else equal, the best packaging for a given product is the one that looks the best when it finally arrives in the customer’s hands.



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