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Functions of Packaging

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The first function of packaging is to provide protection to the goods. It is the fundamental function of packaging. The second function of packaging is to secure convenience to consumers and the middlemen. The third function of packaging is the convenience in handling the product.

Packaging is the process of enclosing, or containing the product in bottles, plastic bags, wrappers, boxes etc. for the purpose of displaying useful information regarding the product, its contents, weight, size, price, constituents, etc. In other words, packaging refers to all the activities of designing and producing the container for a product.

Some of the functions of Packaging are – 

  1. Protection as the primary function of packaging
  2. Convenience Function of Packaging 
  3. Identification of Goods
  4. Attractiveness or Enhancing the Appearance
  5. Containment
  6. Profit Possibilities
  7. Utilitarian Functions
  8. Promotion and Communication of the Product
  9. Marketing Mix Function
  10. Dependability Function
  11. Easy Handling Function
  12. Dependability Function of Packaging
  13. Preservation of Packaging
  14. Reduce Transport Costs
  15. Provide Opportunities for Reuse
  16. Create a Favourable Product Image
  17. Establish Corporate Identity
  18. Containment or Agglomeration
  19. Information Transmission
  20. Marketing
  21. Security
  22. Portion Control

Functions of Packaging

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Packaging performs the following important functions:

1. Protection as the primary function of packaging

This is the primary function of packaging. Products require protection until they are used or consumed. Package prevents damage or loss when in storage or in transportation. Some products, when kept in open air, are likely to be adversely affected by weather, too hot or too cold, temperature, shock, light, water or dampness, passage of time or by insects or pests.

This is the case with products like sugar, gur, honey, salt, etc. There are some volatile products like spirit, acid, petroleum, gas etc. which disappear when not protected. Package can prevent such disappearance of volatile or gaseous articles. Foreign trade is impossible without sound packaging. Air-tight package protects the quality of the inner contents of several products.

2. Identification Function of Packaging

When goods are stored in warehouses or in go-downs or even in shops, they require to be identified as to type and make, and clearly distinguished from one brand to another easily. Packaging creates individuality and helps quick identification. Products of one manufacturer can be easily identified and distinguished from those of rivals with the help of packaging. The product gets a special and separate existence because of packaging and branding.

3. Convenience Function of Packaging 

All people –middle men, wholesalers, retailers, warehouse keepers, and customers-demand convenience in packages. The packages should be handy and portable. The size and shape of the package should be such as to make handling and carrying safe and easier.

4. Attractiveness or Promotion Appeal Function of Packaging

Attractiveness is an important consideration in the modern marketing system. For this purpose, the packages should be made attractive and eye-appealing from the selling point of view. The design and label on the package, colour combination, printed matter, picture, and get-up of the package- all these are the special features of the package and all of them act as self-selling points of the package.

In other words, the package must be artistic and appealing to the onlooker’s eyes. Prominent, clear and attractive advertising messages printed on the label of the package plays the role of a silent salesman performing such functions as attracting attention, arousing interest, creating a desire and gaining action.

5. Dependability Function of Packaging

Consumers mostly rely on the information given on the package of the product. Therefore the package must provide truthful and honest information about the product so that consumers’ dependence on the package is justified.

6. Differentiation Function of Packaging

Consumers would be enabled to differentiate most effectively and easily on the basis of the differences in packaging.

7. Easy Handling Function of Packaging

Modern packaging facilitates easy handling and movement of the packed products from one place to another. Packaging as a part of the physical distribution function should aim at – (i) minimising handling cost, (ii) minimising packing cost (iii) minimising inventory cost, (iv) minimising space cost and (v) minimising damage in storage and transportation.


Functions of Packaging in Marketing

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Packaging significantly helps an organisation in its marketing efforts.

The major functions of packaging in marketing are discussed below:

1. Packaging Protects its Contents:

The first function of packaging is to provide protection to the goods. It is the fundamental function of packaging. If packaging is proper, it can protect the consumers against theft, pilferage, leakage, breakage, contamination, deterioration and so on. Thus, the primary function of packaging is to provide safety to the products.

2. Packaging Provides Convenience:

The second function of packaging is to secure convenience to consumers and the middlemen. If the packaging is done properly, it would be possible to transport the goods conveniently. Packaging should be light in order that its transportation is made convenient.

3. Packaging Facilitates Easy Handling:

The third function of packaging is the convenience in handling the product. In this respect the designing of packaging becomes important. The packaging, if proper, makes the handling process convenient vis-a-vis maintaining economy. Thus, it helps to reduce handling cost of products.

4. Packaging Makes Product Identification Process Easy:

Packaging is an important source of product identification. Due to the variation in packaging, the product of different rival producers may conveniently be distinguished. It is based on the logic that the package creates individuality and helps quick identification. Products of one producer can easily be identified by the consumers as the packaging creates individuality.

5. Packaging Changes the Image or Appearance of a Product:

On the basis of packaging, it becomes possible to bring a change in the product’s outlook. The design and the label used on the package or the terminologies used or the colour combinations or the pictures attract the consumers. Hence, image projection or creating attractiveness is an important aspect of packaging. The appearance and appeal of a product show a positive impact on the consumers, if the packaging is properly done.

6. Packaging Acts as a Promotional Appeal:

Attracting or eye-catching packaging bears the sales appeal. If the packages are of suitable size and shape and the colour or literatures used are eye-catching or attractive, the packaging may increase the impulse buying. It would be right to say that packaging is the biggest advertising medium that encourages impulse buying.


What are the Functions of Packaging?

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Basically, packaging fulfils three functions—containment, protection, and identification. But additional functions of packaging are convenience, attractiveness, promotional appeal, and economy.

1. Containment:

Packaging provides space in which a product is contained. This is especially important for products that are liquid, semi-liquid, powder, or granular forms. For example soft drink bottles, deodorant cans, hair sprays, talcum powder, etc. need packaging for containment.

2. Protection:

Packaging protects its contents during transportation from the manufacturer to the consumer, and even during its life with the consumers. Products, if kept in open, may be adversely affected by weather, temperature, shock, light, humidity, passage of time or by insects in case of food items.

One function of packaging is to protect the product from damage, keep it in good condition and maintain its utility.

3. Identification of Goods:

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Packaging helps in identification of goods when they are transported from the place of production to the warehouse or place of consumption. It helps to distinguish one brand from another.

Packages bear the name of the product, its maker, and its ingredients (in case of medicines and food preparations) instructions for handling (“handle with care” is marked on the package of breakable goods), safety warnings or limitations of use. Products of one manufacturer can be easily identified by the consumer from the rival’s as packaging creates individuality and helps in quick identification.

4. Convenience:

Packaging creates convenience of handling and store. Packages should be sized properly for easy handling and use. Properly packaged goods can be stored for long under normal conditions. It is easier to transport packaged goods over long distances as compared to unpacked products. Storage of packed goods is also more convenient. Good packaging also provides convenience in usage-salt shaker, soft drinks in reusable bottles, deodorant cans, etc.

5. Attractiveness or Enhancing the Appearance:

Packaging enhances the appearance of the product and makes it more attractive to the consumers. The design, colour, symbols, pictures, etc. on the label add to the product appeal. Good packaging is a form of silent advertisement; it pulls people towards the product and encourages them to buy it.

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Packaging should be eye-catching to stand out from among the various brands of products available in the market. Colours are an important component of packaging as people associate certain colours with specific feelings. Red is associated with danger and fire, while yellow denotes sunlight and warmth, blue can imply coolness, green for freshness, etc.


Main Functions of Packaging

People often consider product safety as a sales function of packaging but it is not correct at all.

For Example – 

Bata India expects following three functions from its packages:

  1. Product prosecution.
  2. Increase in the price of product value.
  3. Advertisement of product.

Some main functions of packaging are discussed below:

1. Protection:

Main function of packaging is to provide product protection viz. to protect the product from dust and clay, moisture and insects. It puts a check on adulteration too.

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The function of the package is to protect the product from:

(i) Breakage or damage due to mishandling:

 For example, cardboard packages for the machines, thermocol packaging for T.V., mixi etc.

(ii) Extremes of temperatures:

For example, the package for the vaccines includes information for keeping the product in the refrigerator.

(iii) Contamination with external elements such as:dirt or chemical elements.

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(iv) Absorption of moisture or odour of foreign elements:

For example, drugs are packed in aluminium foils to protect them from absorbing odour.

(v) Loss of liquid or vapour:

For example, acid, spirit, gas etc., are packed in air-tight containers for any loss of the product due to the vaporising effect.

(vi) Pilferage:

For example, Pepsi-Cola one litre bottles are packed in plastic containers which are fully covered and placed over one another.

2. Convenience:

To provide comfort while carrying the product here and there, lifting and placing it to manufacturers , middlemen and consumers. The package must be designed in such a way that it must be convenient to customers and distributors.

  1. The package must be convenient to transport.
  2. It must be convenient for storage.
  3. It must be convenient to display and does not waste shelf space.
  4. It must be convenient to handle.

3. Identification:

It is the packaging that makes the middle men and consumers duly identify with the products concerned. Besides it, the consumers receive important information too regarding the products.

4. Appeal or Advertising:

The packaging material functions as advertisement of product till it remains with the consumer and keeps the memory of the consumer afresh. Attractive advertising message, method to use the product and clear instructions given on the package label plays the role of a silent salesman.

  1. The package tells the product story itself.
  2. The package must be eye-catching.
  3. The package must be easy to handle, to store.
  4. The package must reflect good value.

The products where packaging performs basic marketing functions by making the brand more appealing are chocolates, toys and play games, gifts, etc.

5. Profit Possibilities:

Possibilities of earning more are increased if the packaging of a product is good. As high price for the product can be realised for the product of superior packaging the customers attraction is spurt up thereby sale increased.


Functions of Packaging in Marketing Management   

Packaging has grown in importance over the years. Apart from the basic functions of packaging, certain developments in the marketing system and market characteristics have enlarged the role of packaging.

The important functions of packaging in Marketing management and reasons for the growing importance of packaging are given below:

1. Protection of Packaging

Protection of the product is an essential function of packaging. Handling requirements and methods of handling, climatic and weather conditions, etc., are, therefore, among important considerations in packaging decision-making.

2. Preservation of Packaging

The packaging should preserve the quality of the product. The packaging material should not pass or absorb any flavour or odour to the product or react with it. This is particularly important in cases like food and pharmaceutical products. The interaction between the product and packaging should be totally eliminated.

3. Presentation of Packaging

Packaging has been widely recognised as an independent and potential selling tool. In other words, packaging also performs a promotional function.

The need to make packaging attractive and acceptable is, thus, obvious. These can be achieved by giving proper attention to packaging features like shape, design, size, surface- graphics, colour schemes, labelling, branding packaging materials, etc.

The following developments have increased the importance of packaging and the need to make packaging very impressive:

(a) Self-Service:

The method of self-service has spread in the advanced countries. Under such a marketing environment, “instead of confronting a salesman, the consumer first confronts a package. The package must now perform many of the sales tasks. It must attract attention, describe the product’s features, give the consumer confidence and make a favourable overall impression.”

(b) Consumer Affluence:

The steady rise in incomes, particularly in the developed countries, has caused the consumers “to attach increasing importance to non-price features. They are willing to pay a little more for convenience, appearance, dependability and prestige. Packaging is an important vehicle for protecting these qualities.”

(c) Integrated Marketing Concept:

“Companies are increasingly trying to endow their brands with distinctive personalities. These personalities are conveyed through the general company image through advertising messages and media, and through the choice of brand name. It does not make sense to stop short at packaging. Packaging must support and reinforce the brand personality the company is trying to build.”


4 Function of Packaging

Packaging, apart from adding marketing appeal, has some very important primary functions to perform and failure of these functions may lead to either loss of product or damage to product and financial loss to the company. Packaging also plays an important role in product display and the shape of the packaging design is very crucial.

It performs the following four functions:

  1. Utilitarian function
  2. Communication function
  3. Profit function
  4. Marketing mix function

1. Utilitarian Functions:

Package performs a utilitarian function by retaining and enhancing the product value to consumers in the following ways:

i. Protection of Product

Package protects a product from deterioration due to moisture and sunlight, for instance tea, hygroscopic material like salt, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, food products, spilling oil or chemical in drums, liquid products in bottles leading to spoilage. Sometimes, the product is to be protected from evaporation during transportation.

ii. Convenience in Product Usage 

It enhances convenience of product use by keeping it clean and undisturbed.

iii. Product or Brand Identification

It helps in easy brand identification. Brands like Coca Cola Pepsi soft drink bottles, Dettol or Savlon bottle, Horlicks bottle, Fair & Lovely Skin Care, Colgate toothpaste, Nirma detergent and Lifebuoy soap — these can be easily identified by consumers and the retail people.

iv. Easy and Safe to Handle

It makes product handling easier and safe on the retail store shelves. Hair oil, shampoo, medicines, and cornflakes can be safely and quickly handled in a well-packed container.

2. Communication Function:

Packing performs the function of communication by becoming an important adjunct to the components of communication mix, namely through advertising and sales promotion such as 

i. It makes product’s identification and differentiation both easy and effective. In a competitive market when differences in tangible products attributes are not conspicuous, it is the package’s unique presentation that makes a product different from other competing brands.

Different brands of hair oil, shampoo, detergent, soap, liquor have different design and colour of glass or plastic or paper containers resulting in easy identification and the package becomes an integral part of the total product. The consumers visualise the product along with the package and these days they prefer a good, appealing and attractive packaging.

Consumers feel happy that their favourite brands are available in safe and attractive packages. This gives consumers extra satisfaction. Products like Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Horlicks, Vat 69, Old Spice, Lakme nail polish and Coca Cola are some examples.

ii. Package features communicate product massage and motivate consumers to buy, i.e., India King Cigarettes, Liril soap and Kellogg’s breakfast cereals, Keo Karpin hair oil and Dettol etc. This is particularly true for food and pharmaceutical products as the information and instructions on the label of the package focuses on important attributes or contents of the product and product application. Package also informs health hazards of using products like cigarettes.

iii. A change in product package design and message considerably facilitates implementation of product/ brand repositioning strategy of a company. This is particularly relevant for regular consumer products like baby powder, toothpaste, soaps, detergent, and shampoo.

iv. Package repeats the selling message printed on it before a consumer when it is repeatedly handled during a series of uses. This encourages repeat and replacement purchases. This is also true for household products and fast moving consumer products like Maggi Noodles, Lifebuoy liquid soap and Mobil car lubricants.

v. It promotes products at the point of purchase and usually helps in the purchase decision process. New brands or products are easily identified by consumers leading to communication with the dealer and may result in ultimate purchase. New products like Philips electric shaver, 7’o clock twin blades, Maggi tomato ketchup are some examples which are easy to see or locate at the point of purchase.

vi. The product display at the dealer’s shop becomes more relevant and useful and consumers are drawn towards products or brands occupying prominent shelf space like Lux, Liril, Lifebuoy soaps, Kellogg’s.

vii. Purchase and marketing functions – At the other end of the chain, packaging is a part of marketing and must be considered at the start of any marketing plan. It will be seen that the packaging function is involved with many other functions within the company. Efficient communications are important because of the diverse disciplines represented in the packaging operation. They include, inter alia, chemistry, physics, engineering, marketing, design, law and accounting.

Two of the major functions of packaging activity are purchasing and marketing. The purchasing function is responsible for all purchased packaging materials and because of this, it needs to be familiar with all work on development projects. Liaison with outside suppliers is also the main responsibility of the purchasing function.

During the initial stages of new product development, the marketing and consumer research functions, together with external designers, work with the packaging team to develop and assess package shape and surface design. Legal experts are called in to advise on the validity of pack copy and on matters affecting trademarks.

On the technical side, development of the product and of the packaging and filling equipment involves liaison with the research and development and engineering functions. It will be seen, therefore, that to operate efficiently, the packaging man needs knowledge of the disciplines and techniques used in the departments with which he is in regular contact.

3. Profit Functions:

Package also performs a profit function in two ways.

i. Consumers assigning relatively higher value to a package are usually prepared to pay higher price for the product’s attribute. As a result, higher contribution to profit flows from the package. Food products, perfumes, cosmetics and other consumer products are packed in different types of packages, depending upon the price of the product and segment of the market to which it caters. The consumers of premium or expensive products prefer relatively expensive packages and such products are priced with higher profit margins.

ii. Effective package cuts cost of handling and transportation and protects product from damage, thereby saving a company from cuts in profits. Products are packed in cartons and are transported safely to their destined markets.

The consumer products are distributed to different territories or warehouses of dealer outlets and needs loading, unloading, transportation and stocking in godowns departmental or retail outlets and loss of material or breakage during handling, transportation and storage result in loss of profit as well dealer and consumer dissatisfaction also, which may affect sale of company’s product. Therefore an effective and good package avoids dilution of profit and customer satisfaction.

4. Marketing Mix Function:

Package is an integral part of the product but good and effective packaging could give an added product or brand value and thereby improve the probability of the product’s sale. The effective package can tie the product to the rest of the marketing strategy. Expensive perfume or a cosmetic product may be packed in crystal or classic designed glass bottle improving its storage appeal.

Sometimes a good package gives a firm more promotional effect than it could do with advertising. The package is seen in stores or retail outlets when customers are actually doing the buying activity. This is very relevant at the point of purchase sale. Therefore, some marketing experts feel packaging should be treated as the fifth ‘P’ of marketing mix and the package can bring in the much desired product differentiation.

Therefore, it can act as an important input into the marketing effort and should be an equally significant element of the marketing mix. A well-designed attractive packaging not only improves marketing appeals but gives positive evaluation of the behaviour of the consumers. This is likely to improve sales turnover and give additional profit margin and may also result in higher market share.


Explain the Functions of Packaging

Some of the functions of packaging are explained below – 

1. Protection of the product:

Package must prevent such problems as spoilage, leakage, breakage etc. while moving from manufacturer to distributor to customer.

2. Protection from contamination of the product during transportation.

3. Identification of the product manufacturer’s label, and brand:

Package must help recognition through identifiable package elements. For example, a bottle of Pepsi can be easily identified and differentiated from that of Coke.

4. Convenience for distributors:

The package should be easy to ship, warehouse, stock and display.

5. Convenience of consumers:

Packages should be easy to open, use, and reuse. Some products are packaged only to maximise customer convenience like tea bags.

6. Attractiveness in store and customer’s home.

7. Promotion and communication of the product:

Packages have been referred to as “silent salesmen” and “little billboards” because they are the manufacturers last chance to deliver the selling message at the point of purchase. Even after purchase, characters, logos, and slogans on the package can reinforce the brand’s advertisement. The package can also convey the brand image and help position the product.

8. Provision of consumer information:

In some product categories law requires information like ingredients, weight, and disclaimers or warnings. It also gives the manufactures an opportunity to tell the customer about the product features, where the product was made, product usage suggestions, date of manufacturing, best before date etc.

9. Safety of use:

Some manufacturers have started avoiding tin packages due to the risk of getting hurt while using the product. Similarly others have come up with “childproof’ packs. There are instances of “tamper resistant” packaging especially in case of eatables and drugs.


Functions of Package Design

The growth of self-service stores and the importance of gaining distribution, shelf space and display have made packaging decisions in the field of consumer goods a highly important area of decision in regard to product policy and planning. Even in the marketing of industrial goods packaging is taking on increasing significance and extending beyond the obvious necessity of providing for production, transportation and storage.

The demand for packaging has led to an enormous increase in the range of packaging equipment and materials available. There has been a spectacular increase in the use of flexible packaging involving special papers, plastics and aluminium foil. New printing methods have been developed, e.g. flexography, by which process it is possible relatively inexpensively to reproduce photographs or artwork in a wide range of colours on a wide range of materials.

Packaging design is influenced by the cultural, social and political environment. In the USA, for example, the housewife buys approximately 90% of her weekly purchases from supermarkets and self-service shops in one day. In the UK the percentage of food purchase from self-service outlets is much lower and there is still a great deal of daily shopping. In Latin countries pre-packed foods are rather slow in sales growth. Attitudes to colour differ; white is symbolic of mourning in many far Eastern countries as opposed to purple in Latin countries.

A package should be designed to perform many functions:

1. Provide Protection:

At any stage in the distribution process and ultimately in the home or factory of the user or consumer (e.g. against product damage, contamination, evaporation, chemical change, pilferage) – For example, surface treatment of packaging avoids deterioration of appearance after transit and/or storage.

2. Offer Convenience:

This covers handling, storage and opening of packages at all stages of distribution, and frequently in eventual use.

(a) Convenience of Storage in Warehouse, Shop and House:

In designing the package there must be a consideration of the economics of stocking large quantities of bulky, slow-moving low unit profit- margin products, and the difficulties of stacking certain carton shapes.

(b) Convenience in Use:

There must be a consideration of the development of new materials and functional designs —aerosol containers, vacuum cans for vegetables, flip-top cigarette packets. New packaging ideas may lead to new products or product formulation, e.g. hair sprays, cheese spreads. Safety features should also be considered, as in the design of easy-opening cans eliminating the possibility of cuts and finger nail damage.

3. Reduce Transport Costs: 

This is achieved by the use of lightweight yet adequately strong materials, especially important when goods have to be transported by air.

4. Provide Opportunities for Reuse: 

The package may be deliberately designed so that it can be used for the storage of other items once the original product is consumed, e.g. plastic and aluminium containers. On the other hand, some packages are designed so that refills may be bought. The design may be so differentiated that only refills of the same product can be used in the original container.

5. Create a Favourable Product Image:

The package has to represent the product symbolically —to convey its buying advantages. The packaging “image” will be reinforced if there is a close tie-in with advertising and promotion.

6. Establish Product Differences:

The package is often the major way in which narrowly differentiated products are distinguished. The difference may be in the art design, the shape or the materials used. A package can be used to convey an impression of quality differences. Gift packs are a good example of extending the range through packaging.

7. Establish Corporate Identity:

 Some companies aim at promoting individual products in their own right. Others deliberately aim at creating a company rather than product loyalty, e.g. Heinz baby foods.

8. Gain Display at Retail Level:

The package must be easy to arrange on shelves or racks and at the same time should attack the potential customer. Developments in print techniques, e.g. flexography, combined with newer packaging materials, e.g. polyethylene film, have significance in this connection.

Functions of Packaging a Product

As an important peripheral attribute of product, a package has the following functions to perform:

1. Utilitarian Function:

Package performs a utilitarian function by retaining and enhancing the product value of consumers in the following ways:

  1. Package protects products from deterioration, spilling, spoilage and evaporation during its transit from manufacturer to consumer.
  2. It enhances product use convenience by keeping it clean and undisturbed.
  3. It helps easy brand identification.
  4. It makes product handling easier and safe on the retail store shelves.

2. Profit Function:

Package also performs a profit function in the following two ways:

  1. Consumers assigning relatively higher value to packages are usually prepared to pay a higher price for this product attribute. As a result, higher contribution to profit flows from the package.
  2. Effective packaging cuts costs of handling and transportation and protects product from damage, thereby, saving a company from cuts in profits.

3. Communication Function:

Package performs a communication function by becoming an important adjunct to the components of the communication-mix, namely, advertising and sales promotion.

It performs this function in the following ways:

  1. It promotes products at the point of purchase and triggers impulse buying.
  2. Package repeats the selling message imprinted on it before consumers when it is repeatedly handled during a series of uses. This encourages repeat and replacement purchases.
  3. A change in product package design and message considerably facilitates implementation of product brand repositioning strategy of a company.
  4. Package features communicate product message and motivate consumer’s product message and motivate consumers to buy.
  5. It makes product identification and differentiation both easy and effective. In a competitive market when differences in the tangible product attributes are not conspicuous, it is the package whose unique presentation makes products look different from the competing brands.

Functions of Packaging Materials

We can classify functions of packaging materials  in three categories, these are:

i. Primary packaging is the material that first envelops the product and holds it. This usually is the smallest unit of distribution or use and is the package which is in direct contact with the contents.

ii. Secondary packaging is outside the primary packaging, perhaps used to group primary packages together.

iii. Tertiary packaging is used for bulk handling, warehouse storage and transport shipping. The most common form is a palletized unit load that packs tightly into containers.

1. Physical Protection:

The objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, shock, vibration, compression, temperature, etc. A basic function of a package is to protect and preserve the contents during transit from the manufacturer to the ultimate consumer. It is the protection during transport and distribution; from climatic effects (heat and cold, moisture, drying atmospheres); from hazardous substances and contaminants; and from infestation.

Protection is required against transportation hazards spillage, dirt, ingress and egress of moisture, insect infection, contamination by foreign material, tampering pilferage etc. A package should preserve the contents in ‘Factory Fresh’ condition during the period of storage and transportation, ensuring protection from bacteriological attacks, chemical reaction etc.

2. Barrier Protection:

A barrier from oxygen, water vapour, dust, etc., is often required. Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or Oxygen absorbers to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, sterile and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function.

3. Containment or Agglomeration:

Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. For example, a single box of 1000 pencils requires less physical handling than 1000 single pencils. Liquids, powders, and granular materials need containment. Most products must be contained before they can be moved from one place to another. To function successfully, the package must contain the product.

This containment function of packaging makes a huge contribution to protecting the environment. A better packaging helps to maintain the quality of the product and reach the ability of the product in the consumer’s hand without spillages. It gives a better image to the organisation.

4. Information Transmission:

Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticals, food, medical, and chemical products, some types of information are required by governments. Some packages and labels also are used for track and trace purposes. A major function of packaging is the communication of the product. A package must communicate what it sells. When international trade is involved and different languages are spoken, the use of unambiguous, readily understood symbols on the distribution package is essential.

It is the interest further that to get appropriate communication to the consumer about the product, how to use it and other utility information. Packaging protects the interests of consumers. Information includes- quantity, price, inventory levels, lot number; distribution routes, size, elapsed time since packaging, colour, and merchandising and premium data.

5. Marketing:

The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package graphic design and physical design have been an important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display.

6. Security:

Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage- Some package constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilfered indicating seals.

Packages may include authentication seals and use security printing to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit. Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dye-packs, RFID tags, or electronic article surveillance tags that can be activated or detected by devices at exit points and require specialised tools to deactivate. Using packaging in this way is a means of loss prevention.

7. Convenience:

Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, dispensing, and reuse.

8. Portion Control:

Single serving or single dosage packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households. It also aids the control of inventory- selling sealed one-litre-bottles of milk, rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves.


What are the 7 Functions of Packaging

1. Packaging as a Sales Tool:

It identifies the maker as well as the product and carries the brand name. The package label informs the buyer about inner contents and how to use them. It is the biggest advertising medium. It moves the product at the point of purchase. It encourages impulse buying. It establishes a product image. It identifies the product with advertising.

2. Protection:

This is the fundamental function of packaging. The product demands protection until it is used or consumed. Package prevents damage or loss during transportation and warehousing. Foreign trade without sound packaging is impossible. Airtight package protects the quality of inner contents. Package can prevent the disappearance of volatile or gaseous articles, e.g., spirit, acid, gas etc.

3. Dependable:

Truthfulness and honest representation is the most important function and quality of the packaging consumers rely on the package itself for the quality of the product inside the packaging.

4. Handling:

Modern packaging facilitates easy handling and movement during the process of distribution.

5. Identification:

Identification is an important function of packaging, following close protection and ease in handling the product can be identified by a consumer from the rival’s because packaging creates individuality and helps quick identifications. The product gains special and separate existence due to branding and packaging.

6. Convenience:

Convenience in packaging is not simply a matter of customer service. Middle men, wholesalers, retailers and warehouse keepers, i.e., all agencies in the machinery of distribution demand convenience. The size and shape of the package will determine the function of convenience viz., adaptability.

7. Attractiveness:

Attractiveness is a major consideration in modern packaging. The design and the label on the package, printed matter, picture layout or get up of the package, colour combination, all these are special aspects of the package and act as selling points. Package must have an artistic appeal. Picture on the package adds to the attraction value by drawing and holding the onlooker’s eye to it.

Prominent, clear and attractive advertising messages given on the package label plays the role of a silent salesperson performing the functions of a salesman – attracting attractive arousing interest; creating desire and gaining action. Promotional potency of packaging is also tremendous.


The Six Functions of Packaging

The following are the important six functions of packaging:

1. Safetiness:

This is a function of packing. The product demands safety until it is used or consumed. Package prevents damage or loss during transport and warehousing. Foreign trade without sound packing is impossible. Air tight package protects the quality of inner contents. Package can prevent the disappearance of gaseous articles. Example – Spirit, Acid, Gas etc.

2. Good Quality:

Truthful representation is the most important function and quality of packing consumers rely on the package itself for the quality of the product inside the packing.

3. Easy Carrying:

Modern packing facilitates easy carrying and movement during the process of distribution.

4. Differentiation:

Various brands of detergents, which are almost identical in content, can be easily differentiated most effectively on the basis of differences in consumer packaging.

5. Identification:

This is an important function of packing, following close protection and case handling.

6. Good Looking:

It is a major consideration in modern packing. The design of the label on the package, printed matter, picture, layout or get up of the package colour combination all these are special aspects to the package and act as selling points of the package.


Functions of Product Packaging

Product Packaging performs a number of functions.

They are:

1. Protection from Various Kinds of Damages:

The basic function of any packaging is to protect its contents in transit, during storage and in use. Every product needs protection until it is used or consumed. Packaging provides protection against various types of damages, such as damage by mechanical handling, product loss (in the case of oil, petroleum, powder, etc.), when it remains exposed, pilferage, contamination by dirt or dust (in the case of clothing), moisture gain or loss (in the case of cement, sugar, etc.), chemical change, e.g., metal corrosion, insect attack, etc.

2. Convenience:

Convenience is not just a matter of customer service. Middlemen, such as wholesalers, retailers, warehouses, etc. also demand convenience in packaging because properly packaged goods require less space, and are more convenient.

Modern packaging facilitates convenience. It makes it convenient for handling and movement during the process of distribution.

It provides storage convenience in warehouses or in shops. It also provides convenience in use.

3. Economy:

Good packaging contributes to various types of economies. For instance, it prevents loss in quantity, and thereby, avoids monetary loss. It provides opportunity for re-use, and thereby, results in an economy in packaging cost. It creates an opportunity to communicate with the customers.

4. Promotional Functions:

Packaging performs certain promotional functions.

They are:

a. Self-Service:

A good package attracts the attention of consumers towards the product of the firm. It describes all the features of the product and the necessary information about the product.

b. Projecting Qualities:

A good package of a product projects the different qualities of the product and the producer. In fact, the popularity of a package is regarded as the popularity of the producer himself. Thus, a good package maintains the prestige of the product and the producer.

c. Integrated Marketing Concept (i.e., Popularising the Brand Name):

A good package helps in making the brand name of a product popular. (The brand name is popularised through various media of advertisement and sales promotion methods.) In fact, it is the packaging of a product which makes its brand popular among its consumers.

d. Provides Innovational Opportunities:

A good package is helpful in not only increasing the demand for the product and making the brand of the product popular, but also in innovation of the product. Every producer wants to attract more and more new customers to his products, and to achieve this objective, he presents his products in new packages. So, a good package provides innovative opportunities to the producer.

5. Other Functions:

The other functions of packaging are:

  1. Packaging is helpful in assembling and arranging the contents in the desired form.
  2. Packaging provides a suitable product mix, including sizes, weights, packages, grades and prices.
  3. Packaging provides opportunity and space for advertising.
  4. It facilitates retailers’ functions. That is, retailers can store and sell the goods easily where the packaging is good.
  5. It facilitates transportation, storing and handling.
  6. Packaging helps in complying with legal requirements.

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