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Affordable Packaging

Hold Consumer Interest With Affordable Packaging

If you walk down the aisles of any supermarket and cast your eyes toward the shelving on your left and right you will be astounded by the many different varieties of packaging that can be found covering a wide variety of different goods in South Africa. The packaging is a dual purpose, firstly it has been placed on the products to prevent damage or contamination during storage and transit to the supermarket and secondly it has been designed to allow the product to stand out for competing products on the supermarket shelf. Product manufacturers and specialist marketing advisors design the packaging with specific materials, using a variety of different ways to gain the consumers attention, amongst these the vibrant use of colour and even the shape of the product. The correct balance between high impact and affordable packaging is what most manufacturers are looking for.

Affordable packaging certainly does not equate with cheap packaging. The laws governing the transport and storage of goods ensure that all packaging conforms to certain minimum standards. Manufacturers also want to avoid the consumer viewing their product as inferior to competing products in any way and thus take extra care when they design packaging as well as select the material that the packaging is made from. Affordable packaging can be manufactured from a variety of different materials, including paper and various types of plastic. Materials like styrofoam and polystyrene are increasingly being used in the design of affordable packaging.

In some instances the packaging is part of the product itself and serves some sort of utilitarian value, this is especially true in foodstuffs where convenience is becoming more and more important to the consumer.packagingThere are a number of new packages on the South Africa market where the packaging also serves as a container for the final, prepared foodstuff. A good example of this affordable, yet highly effective packaging can be found in the packaging for instant noodles. Whereas in past years instant noodles have been supplied in plastic packaging and required transfer into another container prior to preparation newer types can be prepared in the container that forms part of the affordable packaging, only requiring the addition of boiling water.

This type of innovation is becoming more prevalent as the South African consumer matures and is exposed to products that are on the global market through the mediums of both television and other media. International concerns regarding the biodegradability and recycling issues have also caused changes in affordable packaging in South Africa. The fast food industry has been quick to change from polystyrene packaging to paper packaging for its products, in part because of the pressure exerted on these retailers by environmentally concerned groups of activists.

As the South African consumer becomes more demanding so packaging will evolve to suit the needs of the consumer. Already international trends are making their presence felt on South African supermarket shelves, in part because of the increasing number of imported products that are reaching the country but also because South African manufacturers are taking their cue from international producers of affordable packaging not only in the foodstuffs market but in almost every consumer facing industry.

The challenge for the South African manufacturer is how to bring attractive products to market using affordable and environmentally friendly packaging while at the same time ensuring that the quality of the product is not compromised in any way. As international manufacturers have found to their detriment in today’s highly fluid market substitution of one product for a competing product in the shopping basket is an ever present threat to their product mix. Quality, not cash has become king. Although South African producers have lagged behind their international competitors in some areas this is a lesson that they are learning extremely quickly.

For more information on affordable packaging options in South Africa, contact us.