Primary and Secondary Packaging from Custom Boxes Now

Many items require multiple layers of packaging, from televisions to shoes and food. These items usually ship in plain brown boxes called transportation packaging. Primary packaging holds the product, while stores set up display packaging to showcase goods.

Understanding the differences between these packages can help you invest in the best boxes and containers for your products.

What Is Primary Packaging?

Primary packaging, also known as retail or consumer packaging, is what customers typically take home from a store. It protects the item and presents relevant information the buyer needs to know. The customer opens this box when they are ready to use the product.

A cereal box is a good example of primary packaging. It keeps the contents fresh and organized in a customer’s home, provides nutritional information and dispenses the cereal into a bowl.

Other examples of primary packaging include orange juice cartons, candy wrappers and toothpaste tubes. In all cases, this packaging features a scannable code and other information that may be necessary to comply with regulations. For example, food has a best-before date stamped on the package. Similarly, medication may require an ingredient list.

Primary packaging is vital because it stays with customers the longest. Choosing high-quality primary packaging is one way to uphold your brand standards and demonstrate your commitment to excellence. In some cases, poor primary packaging can adversely affect the products they contain. For example, faulty soda cans can make the drink flat and unsafe for customers.

What Is Secondary Packaging?

Secondary packaging is primarily for logistical or display reasons. A group of identical or complementary products may come in secondary packaging, indicating that they are a set. Retail stores may also use secondary packaging to display a specific product. Examples of secondary packaging include:

  • Shelf-ready packaging
  • Retail-ready packaging
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes
  • Cardboard trays and crates
  • Chipboard boxes
  • Shrink wraps
  • Paperboard cartons

Secondary packaging should be appealing and attractive to customers. It usually features cardboard treated to create a glossy or polished shine. This type of packaging may also include eye-catching graphics.

Secondary Packaging Uses

Secondary packaging often has a practical purpose, too. It can hold several units of a product together for bulk sale. For example, imagine a case of soda containing 24 cans. Secondary packaging could include a box with a handle that helps customers carry their purchase home. It might even dispense one can at a time.

Some secondary packaging is also ideal for transport. For example, some shelf-ready packaging or countertop display units ship multiple items to a store. At the store, workers can open the package along its perforations to reveal a display they can use.

The box keeps the primary packaging safe and in good condition, but the secondary packaging also helps stores by showcasing products. Some types of secondary packaging, such as pallet or floor bin displays, help retail stores display products without taking up limited shelf space.

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How Primary and Secondary Packaging Work Together

Primary and secondary packaging work together to create a comprehensive customer experience. Secondary packaging can capture a customer’s attention first and make a product stand out. For example, Creative Displays Now creates compelling floor and other displays that make customers stop and read more. Secondary packaging gives retailers additional ways to promote a product, while primary packaging reinforces the brand message and provides more information, further encouraging them to buy.

At Custom Boxes Now, we have expertly made primary and secondary packaging work together for numerous clients, including Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, Cooper’s Coffee and Storybook Cosmetics, among many others.

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters

We jumped at the chance to design boxes for Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters. The Brooklyn-based cold-brew coffee roasters have some of the best beans in New York, and we wanted our custom box designs to reflect their commitment to quality and sustainability — which we could also reinforce by using our eco-friendly, 100% recyclable boxes. Working with a professional graphic designer, we created a sleek-looking box that would appeal to customers while keeping the cold brews in place.

In this design, the cold brew used primary packaging, while the regular slotted container we developed was the secondary packaging. We printed outlines of the cold-brew bottles on the box to connect the two types of packaging visually while simultaneously impressing our client.

Cooper’s Coffee

We couldn’t have been more thrilled to create custom packaging for Cooper’s Coffee — the creators of a clean, simple coffee with an unforgettably rich flavor profile. Cooper’s Coffee has a unique production method that involves barrel aging, and the product contains no added sugars, syrups or potentially dangerous chemicals.

Working with a designer, we created durable packaging that reflected Cooper’s classic branding. In this example, which wowed the client and their customers, the coffee bag is the primary packaging and the C-series mailer is the secondary packaging. The box prevents damage while highlighting the coffee’s unique selling points.

Storybook Cosmetics

We loved working with Storybook Cosmetics — a beauty brand started by three identical triplets. With positive write-ups in Allure, Refinery 29 and more, the quality of their products is undeniable.

We designed packaging for Storybook Cosmetics lipsticks. The company’s logo has beautiful, calligraphy-based lettering, allowing us to showcase our printing qualities. Here, the primary packaging holds the lipstick, while our C-series self-locking box provides the secondary packaging that perfectly showcases the brand and product. Of course, the box is also durable enough to protect the delicate cosmetics inside. 

Get Made-to-Order Packaging Solutions From Custom Boxes Now

When done correctly, primary and secondary packaging combine to enforce a brand image, feel and colors. Creating beautiful primary and secondary packaging for your product leaves a positive impression on customers and influences their buying decisions — doubling your chances to make a sale! Together, these packages also help you protect, store and ship your products. 

If you’re searching for packaging solutions, Custom Boxes Now is here to answer all your questions with our helpful expertise. We work alongside you to create custom secondary packaging solutions that will reflect your brand, protect your products and leave an impression on your customers. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you fulfill your packaging needs.

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