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If your packaging could talk, what one question do you think it would ask?  The answer is certainly debatable, but I think your packaging would ask…“Does this packaging make me look big?”  After a brief moment of looking up and down your packaging, afraid to give your product the answer, you may have to answer, “Yes.”

This is exactly what Hasbro, one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers concluded earlier this year.  After reviewing the packaging of some of their major brands, they realized that there was room for improvement and set a goal to reduce their product-to-package ratio by 15% by the end of 2013.

When we talk about improving the product-to-package ratio, creativity must be at the top of the list.  Several companies search for the best packaging design, hoping that their competitor doesn’t find it first.  Some companies set the standard, while some try to live up to it.

Take a look at the pictures to the right.  Shakespeare and Shimano are both manufacturers of fishing reels.  As I walked down the aisle in my local department store, I couldn’t help but notice that one company (Shakespeare) had figured out how to pack their product with 60% less plastic and paper board than their #1 competitor, and it looks great!  Two companies selling the same product, but in this case, it’s clear that Shakespeare found a way to package their product for a fraction of the cost of their competitor.  Could this be one of the reasons Shimano once produced golf supplies and snowboarding equipment, but then later abandoned those markets claiming they were unprofitable?

Here are 5 reasons why you should pay attention to your product-to-package ratio.

  1. Better product visibility
  2. Reduced packaging costs
  3. Lower carbon footprint
  4. Ability to try product in the store
  5. Decreased shipping costs

As a manufacturer of thermoformed and printed packaging, we almost always suggest a new design that would provide most of the benefits listed above.  New packaging designs are constantly being developed that ignite consumer attention.

Is it time to take a look at your existing packaging?

For more information on how you can improve your product-to-package ratio, contact Brian Pankratz at Mercury Plastics, Inc. (bpankratz@mercuryplasticsinc.com)

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