Exploring the Three Levels of Packaging

As a business, your product’s packaging communicates your brand’s values and quality, creates appeal for your target audience, and helps your product stand out from the competition. A successful packaging strategy will accomplish these goals while being cost-effective and protecting products in transit.

To achieve consistent brand messaging and effective marketing while ensuring your products safely reach their destination, your company’s approach to packaging should consider all levels. Known as primary, secondary, and tertiary, these three main levels serve as different layers of protection and branding as your product is being transported and displayed.

Primary Packaging
Also called retail or consumer packaging, primary packaging most closely touches a product. Its main goals are to attract customers and protect products from damage and elements while in transit. It also preserves products and makes them easier to handle for storage or transport. Well-designed and creative primary packaging identifies products, clearly communicates their purpose, and indicates their quality.

Examples of primary packaging include soda cans, perfume bottles, or many of the products that we provide (zipper bags, header bags, laminated pouches, etc.).

Secondary Packaging
The main purpose of secondary packaging is to protect products as they move through the supply chain. Largely used for the display and branding of products, secondary packaging looks appealing but is also stackable for efficient storage and transportation. In some cases, primary packaging and secondary packaging may be the same. Examples of secondary packaging include the box for a 12-pack of soda, a display stand for Blu-Ray movies, or a paperboard tray and shrink wrap holding bottles together.

Tertiary Packaging
Typically not seen by consumers, tertiary packaging is most often used by warehouses for shipping large quantities of items. This level of packaging aims to protect products during transport, so its visual appeal is not prioritized. Secondary and tertiary packaging may overlap; for instance, when a company ships a packaged product without any extra packaging. Examples of tertiary packaging include pallets and crates for bulk shipments, packing peanuts, and large shipping containers.

A product can be damaged in many potential ways: during shipping, during stocking, or even by the consumer as it is brought home. As such, it is critical to find a balance amongst the levels of packaging to keep your product looking great while also properly protected.

At Fredman Bag, we understand packaging, particularly with a high standard of sustainability, and we’re ready to chat with you about the options we provide. Get in touch with us today!