Your Guide On The Three Levels of Product Packaging

Updated: Feb 28


The world today heavily relies on the packaging. Good packaging heavily influences buying decisions. Here are a few statistics that highlight the criticality of packaging strategy:


· 72% of American consumers are of an opinion that a product’s packaging design has a large influence on their decision to buy.

· 40% of consumers share that they post photos of products they perceive to have attractive, unique, and appealing packaging.


Depending on the function of packaging, there are essentially three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Here’s the lowdown on what each level uniquely represents and what kinds of packaging supplies are classified into each category.



1. Primary Packaging

Primary packaging is quite easily identifiable as the products are in direct physical contact with it. Primary packaging is also sometimes known as a consumer unit. Protection remains the prime purpose of primary packaging considering that it remains the last line of defense against any form of contamination or any other element that is likely to cause damage to a product.


In addition, primary packaging also serves the purpose of providing any marketing or informational method. It is often intended to make it easier for consumers to handle products. So, quite often a customer is likely to find brand logos and product usage information. A few of the examples of primary packaging are cream jars, lotion tubes and soda cans.



2. Secondary Packaging

For most people, secondary packaging is what comes to mind when they think about packaging. The appearance of the secondary packaging plays a pivotal role in how consumers handle and view a product. Secondary packaging enables you to intrigue a customer who may not have selected your brand initially. It’s an excellent way to reinforce your brand and enhance product visibility in a crowded marketplace. Apart from making it easier for retailers to handle and stock the products, secondary packaging acts as a marketing tool for adding an appeal to the product.


Secondary packaging is also intended to protect not only the product but also the primary packaging of a product. Products can be grouped and therefore tracked more easily. Not only is secondary packaging critical for protection but it’s also important for branding during transit.


Some examples of secondary packaging include the box itself, cartons, and a small cardboard box that contains multiple blister packs of an over-the-counter medicine in a chemist store.



3. Tertiary Packaging

For a product to remain safe during movement or transportation, tertiary packaging remains highly essential. Likely, an end-user may not see any of the tertiary packaging materials, but they provide protection while moving through the supply chain without damage. The final classification of the three levels of packaging is tertiary packaging. Ideally, there are two core purposes for tertiary packaging. First, such a form of packaging facilitates easy handling by combining a significant number of products (which already are wrapped within the other two levels of packaging) into one single, larger unit. Second, the third level of packaging protects products and the other two levels during the process of transportation and storage.


For products that are fragile or their high-quality requires maintenance, tertiary packaging remains essential. For example, tertiary packaging may include wood pallets on which products are placed before and during shipment, the stretch wrap used to unitize those same products onto the pallet, or the corner-board pallet protectors required to keep the products upright and in position, so they don’t topple during transportation. Such a form of packaging may not seem appealing, but it certainly ensures that a particular product reaches its destination as a single piece.


Summing up

A company engaged in manufacturing or selling any kind of product should ideally be well-versed with the difference between each of these packaging levels, which remains the core differentiating factor in ensuring that the goods can be transported safely to their destination. Ideally, a packaging strategy needs to be devised which considers all the products and matches each of these products as per the essential level of required packaging. In the long run, this would prove immensely beneficial as it will prevent piling up of damaged inventory and ensure the clients and end-users receive their products most conveniently.


Want to Learn More About Packaging?

There’s a lot that goes into product packaging and design, as you can see here. Hopefully, this packaging guide can set your product off to a smart start!

Working with professionals can be a big help if you are looking for affordable, high-quality, custom packaging. Speaking of that, we have a wide range of product packaging options and a team of experienced experts ready to work with you on your projects.

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