•  Distinguishing Stock Packaging from Custom Packaging
Distinguishing Stock Packaging from Custom Packaging

Product Introduction

Distinguishing Stock Packaging from Custom Packaging

When it comes to packaging a product, there are typically two choices available: stock packaging and custom packaging. But what sets these two options apart?
Stock packaging primarily refers to "pre-made, generic packaging" that can easily accommodate a label. This type of packaging is manufactured inexpensively in large quantities and often comes in standardized sizes and designs. Many companies exclusively opt for stock packaging as customizing their packaging may not be financially viable. Retail stores frequently showcase examples of stock packaging with personalized labels on items such as bottles of sauces, nutrition jars, protein powders, and canned foods. Large corporations like Johnson and Johnson might be exceptions, choosing to have custom-designed bottles.

On the other hand, custom packaging is tailor-made specifically to suit a particular product, whether for storage, transportation, or display. Crafted by a packaging structural engineer, this type of packaging requires specially designed tooling, which acts as a kind of "packaging DNA" in the manufacturing machinery. Examples of such tooling include cutting dies and printing plates.

Despite its advantages, custom packaging comes at a higher cost compared to stock packaging. The process involves significant upfront planning and design work, including the creation and approval of a prototype, production set-up expenses, and the aforementioned tooling. For more insights on the manufacturing process, refer to this article on how a box is created.

In addition to the higher cost, custom packaging offers a superior level of customer service at every stage of the purchasing process compared to stock packaging. Custom packaging companies often impose a "minimum start-up cost," requiring a fee to initiate machinery, even for a single packaging unit. This fee may also include a minimum volume requirement, making the entire process economically feasible for all parties involved. For instance, a packaging manufacturer might set a start-up cost of $2500, covering a minimum order of 1000 units of packaging.

Most packaging types, including folding cartons, rigid boxes, stand-up pouches, and poly bags, offer both custom and stock options. Notably, items like bottles, tins, jars, and containers are well-suited for retail usage, making stock packaging a recognized and cost-effective alternative that gets the job done, albeit with a more generic fit.

Typically, businesses opt for stock packaging for temporary or time-sensitive packaging needs, especially when dealing with smaller volumes. This pragmatic approach allows for economical packaging that more or less meets the product's requirements.

In conclusion, the choice between stock and custom packaging depends on various factors, such as budget constraints, product uniqueness, and the desired level of customization. Evaluating these considerations helps businesses determine the most suitable and cost-effective packaging solution for their specific needs.