Primary packaging is the first packaging layer in direct contact with the product. This is the last element of protecting the product against external conditions, which is removed when the product is used by the end user, e.g. a bottle, a can, a jar, a blisters of used medicines.
The functions of primary packaging
Primary packaging fulfills many different functions that are closely related to each other (D. Grundey 2010, pp. 87-103):
- protective function
- storage function
- loading and transport function
- sales function
- promotional function
- service function
- guarantee function
- additional function
Protective function is the most obvious and basic function which prevent to damage, influence of external and climatic conditions such as temperature, humidity, precipitation, solar radiation which causing contamination or spoiling or any other change in the parameters and properties of the packaged product. The primary packaging is also on purpose to protect the content from loss and theft. Primary packaging should be made of good quality and durable materials to keep it tight and not easily degraded as a result of various static and dynamic forces during handling, storage or transport. For example, we can give the market of hazardous materials, where the packaging with the utmost care must isolate the product from the environment to ensure protection of people and not lead to environmental degradation (K. Petersen 2010, pp. 52-68).
Storage function refers to that the primary packaging should have such features that will provide efficiency of use, at every stage of product life, both during production, distribution and use by intended consumer. It should be taken into account that the finished product can be stored in the warehouse or in the house of final consumer before final usefor a long period of time, therefore it is important to keep it tight and completely closed from the environment.
Loading and transport function is closely related to the protective function. Primary packaging should allow convenient and safe handling during storage, handling and transport. Due to the limited space in transport vehicles, the packaging shape and strength should allow storage next to each other or on top of one another without the risk of being crushed. The total weight of the product along with the packaging is decisive for the ergonomics and efficiency of handling loading, unloading and transporting goods. Lighter and smaller packages can be moved by hand, while heavy and large size goods have to be transported mechanically, using for example forklifts.
Sales function is aimed at enabling and promoting the sales process and increasing its efficiency.
Promotional function is all activities that will attract the attention of the potential buyer so that he finally makes the decision to buy the goods. Primary packaging is an excellent advertising space. Marketing activities using the basic packaging are the most common and effective form of advertising. The manufacturer places his company's data, logo, password and other key information on the packaging to help identify and distinguish him from the competition. For example, we can give cosmetics industry. On cosmetics packaging, e.g. face wash gel, the manufacturer may also include written and graphical promotional materials for related products sold by him (tonic and cream to be used after using the gel). In this way, the customer acquires knowledge about the availability of other products and it may also induce him to purchase them (N. Draskovic 2007, pp. 315-323).
Service function is related to the information set on packaging which describe the contents, instruction for use, mode of action. For example, it can be the nutritional details on food, contraindications for taking the medicines.
Guarantee function means that the manufacturer guarantees that all information on the packaging is true and reliably describe the content. The guarantee function is a confirmation of liability for a product intended for trade.
Additional function is most often associated with information on the recycling of primary packaging.
- Draskovic, N., (2007). The Marketing Role Of Packaging: A Review. International Journal of Management Cases, Vol. 9 No. 3/4, pp. 315-323.
- Grundey, D., (2010). Functionality of product packaging: Surveying consumers' attitude towards selected cosmetic brands. Economics and Sociology 3(1), pp. 87-103.
- Petersen, K., (1999). Potential of Biobased Materials for Food Packaging. Trends in Food Science & Technology 10, pp. 52-68.
Author: Anna Gołdyn