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Choosing Agricultural Packaging: Balancing Quality and Cost

Delivering a fresh product in attractive packaging speaks boldly about your brand. Allowing packing materials to be an afterthought to producing a quality product negatively impacts your bottom line. But how do you strike the perfect balance between quality and cost?

agricultural packagingUnderspending on packaging puts you at risk for delivering unattractive, spoiled or damaged goods. Overspending keeps your precious dollar from other important investments while impacting your profit. Both result in waste. Let’s look at the factors in choosing agricultural packaging for both quality and cost.

Considering Quality

Building integrity with your customers means delivering fresh, appealing products. Quality packaging does just that. Superior materials keep foods fresh through transport and storage. They also move your goods to the store free from damage and without unnecessary delays.

When choosing agricultural packaging, quality dictates that you consider product freshness, shelf appeal and the message you desire to send. The choice is personal to your product and your brand. What works for the farm in the next county may not work for you.

Considering Cost

Unfortunately, expense proves a significant factor in choosing agricultural packaging as well. Budgets fail to stretch to include all limits. If you desire woven polypropylene bags but your budget only allows for multi-wall paper bags, you need to make adjustments elsewhere or opt for paper.

The most expensive option is not always the best. If you are paying for more material features than you need, the extra dollars are wasted. The least expensive option adds to your cost if it proves inappropriate for your application. Damaged, spilled or spoiled product impacts your spending.

Tips for Melding Quality and Cost

So, how do you combine factors of quality with cost to make wise agricultural packaging choices? If it’s not all about quality, and value alone fails to dictate the answer, what strikes the ideal balance? Check out the following tips.

Stamp Your Brand

The packaging you choose represents your product and your brand. Going with an inexpensive outer package when you produce a premium product does not say “high-quality” to consumers. On the other hand, expensive, non-environmentally-friendly bags fail to represent your organic products well. These mistakes cost you in the spread of your message and customers.

Whether BOPP or paper bags, wood or plastic pallets, the materials you choose to deliver your goods tell your story. Be sure to communicate your market position, purpose and values well.

– What message does your packaging send?

– Does your brand stand out consistently?

– Do premium or economical materials best represent your brand?

– Do your material choices tell consumers you care about the environment?

– Is your labeling high-quality and damage resistant?

– Is all printing clear and attractive?

Study Your Buyer

Saving money on packaging misses the mark if it does not speak to consumers. Studying your target market allows you to choose options which get their attention. The functionality and visual appeal of packaging choices are worth considering, both in the store and the home pantry.

Your buyer is drawn to how the packages appear on the shelf and the look of the product when opened at home. Succeeding at both brings return customers.

– Is your product too bulky or does it fit comfortably on the store shelf?

– Does your packaging hog shelf space?

– Is your product the right or wrong shape?

– Does the packaging choice appeal to your target buyers in quality?

– Is the packaging easy to open and use?

– Does your product look good coming out of the package?

Ensure Durability Over the Long Haul

Damaged, spilled or spoiled products cost you money. In fact, the hit to your bottom line is greater when replacing damaged goods than investing in quality packing materials from the start. To maintain product integrity, consider the journey of your product from farm to table, transport, delivery, and storage.

– Do your shipping materials protect your product from contaminants or pests?

– Are your shipping materials keeping your products sealed and fresh?

– Does your choice of bags resist tearing or other shipping risks?

– Is moisture a threat and does your packaging address it?

– Are there any specific shipping or storage conditions to consider?

Avoid Driving Transport Costs

Using packaging which fits transport vehicles, storage facilities and delivery keeps transport costs low. Opting for standard sizes is one way to make this happen. This choice offers flexibility on pallets and in warehouses. Plus, standard pallets more readily fit transport vehicles. Packaging which does not fit equipment risks costly damage or return.

Furthermore, bulky, heavier packaging costs more to transport. Lightweight and compact packaged products decrease transport costs as well as storage requirements.

– Does your packaging material meet industry specifications?

– Is your packaging bulky or heavy?

– Can you minimize packaging while maintaining product value and appeal?

Answer the above questions to focus your thoughts on the agricultural packaging. Time and money to pre-determine your best choices in both cost and quality are wise investments.

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