Creating a product is often just the beginning of the work that must go into marketing and selling. For many businesses, the next step is to tackle the complex topic of package design. You need to decide on the look and form as well as branding elements to tie together an appealing final product. However, creative aspects like these are actually the final step—first, the proper package type must be determined. How to choose the right packaging material for your business depends greatly on the needs of the business, expectations of customers, and the nature of the goods being packaged.
When it comes to consumable goods, glass is a very safe packaging choice. The nature of the material is nonreactive by default, so it can contain almost any liquid. Glass never leaches chemicals like certain grades of plastic do, so if the closure is also made from an appropriate material, you can rest easy knowing your goods will stay fresh and delicious.
Glass also appeals strongly to older, more traditional demographics due to its old-fashioned look. Younger people also appreciate the green element of glass, as it’s generally considered more sustainable. The only downside to glass is that it’s often heavier than plastic and can be quite fragile.
Plastic has become something of a standard in packaging. It’s difficult for other materials to compete with its malleability and low cost. If your business needs a custom form and isn’t interested in appealing to collectors, plastic is the affordable choice. Additionally, plastic tends to be much lighter than glass, making it cheaper to ship.
In terms of its willingness to take a form, virtually anything can be made from plastic. Whether you need a pouch, tin, jar, or anything else, plastic can do it. Furthermore, plastic ranges from paper-like flexibility to nearly indestructible. However, its commonness works against it in that it’s not popular with any particular demographic, and many people dislike it due to the environmental impact. As such, plastic is more of a practical choice than a marketing decision.
Special Cases of Each
How to choose the right packaging material for your business ultimately comes down to the packing specifications for each product. For many items, there are further considerations that make plastic or glass impractical. Other times, the grades of one material can be on par with the other. For starters, there are highly resistant grades of plastic that are used to store even mildly caustic materials normally reserved for glass.
Materials made from mixtures of glass, plastic, resin, and such also confer added stability for very specific storage requirements. To reveal the best option, take into consideration traditional packaging expectations and the fine details of your product. Many liquids, such as adult beverages and essential oils, are sensitive to types of light and require a nonreactive dark material such as amber glass. While either product can be stored in a plastic variety, the average customer is likely more accustomed to glass.