Secondary packaging

From CEOpedia | Management online
Secondary packaging
See also

Secondary Packaging is the packaging used to protect at least one primary package and a product in it. Protection lasts throughout distribution, starting from factory/place of production to the place where it is offered to the final customer. The package is removed usually after delivery to the last point of sale. This is first basic role – secondary packaging as a shipping container. The second important role of packaging is to present the product to the final customer and attract to buy (Heldman D. R. 2003, p. 873 – 875).

Secondary packaging as a shipping container

The most important task for such container is to keep products safely during transport. In today's market we can buy exotic fruits, order electronic devices or send something to our friend from another continent – this makes the containers to be more durable than ever before. Years ago there was no need to use it, there was only domestic distribution, in a city or around neighbourhood. Nowadays goods are delivered around the world also via planes and ships. Products have to face weather, usually bad handling and storage conditions. During all the distance and time, the shipping container must outlast all mechanical, chemical and weather difficulties. It also must keep primary packages and goods inside it undisturbed, guarantee that product is safe on its way to the final customer, and of course is the highest quality(Heldman D. R. 2003, p. 873 – 875).


  • Protection – Mentioned in the text, the most important function
  • Storage – Products are kept together in secondary packaging until it stands on the shelf in the store.
  • Information - During distribution operation it informs about content, size, colour, number of items inside
  • Transport – There are special standardized packaging rules for products transport. This facilitates the whole process and enables the transport of more goods with the same means of transport.

Steps of designing a shipping container

  • Find out size and durability without any damage of the primary package
  • Identify what kind of outside forces package must face to during the distribution process.
  • Find out the possibilities of the equipment which will be used to assemble, load and seal the secondary package
  • Prepare alternative design based on requirements and equipment possibilities.
  • Carry out tests on all secondary packaging, check that they meet the requirements and are durable enough.
  • Estimate costs of materials and production

(Heldman D. R. 2003, p. 873 – 875).

Secondary packaging as an outer packaging

Second most important task is to hold a unit or more of primary packages inside for example a box. The package is also a tool for a company to sell its product. Marketing specialist are involved into designing packages in order to perform functions given below, sometimes happen that some packages are iconic, like a glass bottle for a drink.

Functions of outer packaging

  • Promotional function, the properly packed product is sold more frequently
  • Creation of product image
  • Increasing value of the product by using more elegant materials
  • Advertisement of product and company,
  • Interest of the attention of a potential customer

Steps of designing the secondary packaging

  • Define the profile and goals of the company
  • Analyze the competitive company's market and its products - to find a new idea for packaging to be better and different than competitive product
  • Describe customer expectations for new packaging
  • Examine the target clients - product packaging for teens will look different than for adults
  • Specify the budget for the packaging – costs of packaking estimate around 10 – 15% of price of the product.

In order to make the product successful the packaging must first and foremost attract the attention of the customer. The aesthetics of packaging performance plays the most important role. Form - what usually attracts customers and encourages to buy is the shape of the packaging. The more unusual it is, the more it attracts the customer. In addition, the shape of the packaging and the material from which it is made may affect the ease of use of the product. Logo - packaging is not only a protective element, but above all, advertising. A properly placed logo, graphic symbol or company name will be put in the memory of the buyer. Colors - this is another element that will influence the client's decisions. Properly selected graphics will distinguish the product from the others.


Author: Angelika Zając