Packaging 101: The Complete Guide

Meet Kyla Moore, the dynamic project coordinator at Arka, who is driven by her passion for sustainable packaging. She is dedicated to assisting businesses.

5 Factors Influencing Packaging Choice

All the types of packaging explained below are good for certain purposes. Because of that, it is essential to know 7 crucial factors that commonly influence the packaging choice of entrepreneurs. They are:

Consumer perception and convenience: The purpose of the package type you decide on is to send a message about your brand. You must ensure that your packaging improves the convenience of your brand. Apart from that, you also need to be aware of consumers' expectations. Doing in-depth research on your target audience or asking for feedback directly can give you some answers.
Brand identity: There are probably many competitors in your field that sell identical products as you. So, why would someone choose your brand? Is lower price a crucial factor? All business owners must boost their brand identity and become recognizable among consumers. One of the ways to do that is to choose the appropriate types of packages and customize them.
Product differentiation: The types of packaging you will choose depend on your products. If you sell products made of different materials or with different shapes, you will need to use different types of custom boxes.
Environmental impact and sustainability: This factor is crucial for two things. First, you will do a wonderful thing for the planet Earth by using sustainable types of packages. Also, you will meet the expectations of your target audience. More than 80% of consumers demand sustainable packages. That raises your chances of improving your brand identity and the value of your products.
Cost-Efficiency: Investments are, indeed, crucial for business success. Yet, why would you not use the opportunity to save money if there is a chance for that? Business owners must analyze the market and determine where and how to get cheaper product packages. For instance, Arka offers better prices for bigger orders, which can be one of the ways to reduce costs. That will ensure better profit margins without harming the quality of the package!

packaging types for brands medino

Credits: Medino Marketing

What are The 4 Types of Packaging?

The general division of the packaging types is - primary, secondary, tertiary, and industry-specific. All these types of packaging come with certain benefits and can be used for a specific purpose. It is something we would like to analyze shortly!

Primary Packaging: Protecting The Product

The purpose of this type of packaging is to protect the product itself. It is the package type that gets in direct touch with the consumable product your brand is selling. That’s why entrepreneurs often call it consumption packaging. The goal is to ensure complete safety and keep the quality of the product from the moment it reaches the box until it gets removed from there.

Highlighting an example of primary packaging is tough. It directly depends on the type of product that needs to be protected. But here are some of the highlights we prepared for you:

• Jar, can, pouch, foil bag, and bottle are primary package forms for fast-moving consumer goods

Cardboard boxes are a great choice for electronics and white goods.

cardboard boxCredits: Christopher Bill

    Secondary Packaging: Ensuring Safety and Convenience

    This packaging type is also known as grouped packaging. Its purpose is to pull together all the primary types of packages that your brand is using. The design of these boxes isn’t quite relevant, but you should not underestimate it. The secondary packaging also aims to explain which types of products are inside. Some good examples of secondary packaging are:

    Custom mailer boxes

    Mailing bags,

    Plastic crates, etc.

    Arka mailer box

      Tertiary Packaging: Efficient Distribution and Transportation

      The connection between tertiary and secondary packages is identical to the secondary and primary ones. Tertiary packaging is used to handle more secondary packages and ensure safe transportation. Entrepreneurs pay attention to this type of packaging because they want to reduce the return rate of products. Examples of tertiary packages are probably well-known to everyone, and they are

      • Shipping containers,

      Plastic pallets, and

      Wooden pallets.

      shipping containers

      Credits: Toby Stodart

        Industry-Specific Packaging

        As the name of this category suggests, the fourth division of packaging types depends on the industry your business is involved. The industrial packages directly participate in all the supply and manufacturing procedures. Some good examples are:

        • Reusable bins,


        Bulk Bags,


        Envelopes, etc.

        macaron box

        Credits: Taylor Vick

          15 Different Packaging Types Commonly Used in Industries

          After explaining all the important information, it is about time to start talking about the most popular types of packaging. We will highlight 15 of them, and you can be sure at least one will suit your business. Let’s go!

          1. Cardboard Boxes

          Without any doubt, cardboard boxes are one of the most popular options among eCommerce owners. They can be used for various purposes depending on their size. Yet, they are mostly used as protection for long-distance deliveries. That’s why it is essential to customize them properly and make them more useful and durable. Arka can help with something like that! We have packaging solutions for any business! You can check our custom shipping boxes or food boxes!

          cardboard boxes

          Credits: EJ Li

          2. Plastic Containers

          Together with cardboard boxes, one of the most popular packaging types is plastic containers. This package type is extremely durable and can be used as a good layer of protection. Apart from that, they can easily be customized and re-shaped if necessary. The biggest benefit is that plastic containers can be reused, which is one of the key ways to support sustainability.

          plastic containers

          Credits: Syed Hussaini

          3. Glass Bottles

          Bottles, in general, are popular types of packages in different industries and for different products. Despite those made from glass, some businesses use those made of plastic. Yet, glass is the most convenient, especially if you work with liquids and similar items.

          glass bottles packaging

          Credits: Thomas Park

          4. Corrugated Boxes

          As you probably know, cardboard is actually a packaging type made of multiple layers of paper. Yet, the corrugated part makes this packaging even more convenient and diverse. It adds a level of insulation, protection, and strength. That allows eCommerce entrepreneurs to use them for different purposes. They are quite inexpensive, sustainable, and easily customizable. It can come with various finishes such as embossed, varnish, gloss laminate, etc.

          corrugated box

          Credits: CURVD®

          5. Folding Cartons

          If you strive to support sustainability, custom folding carton boxes are the right choice! The structure of this package type does not contain plastic or any other harmful material. It is affordable and easily customizable, which can benefit all businesses.

          arka custom folding carton boxes

          6. Bubble Wrap

          Bubble wraps are also considered one of the most popular types of packaging in various industries. They may not be flexible as some other packaging types from this list. However, they are a perfect solution for businesses that work with smaller items. The insulation and protection they provide are excellent for clothing, gadgets, and even some computer components.

          bubble wraps for packaging

          Credits: Wander Fleur

          7. Poly Mailers

          There are multiple reasons entrepreneurs decide on custom poly mailers. Despite their affordability, people like their simplicity. They can easily be used and customized for different purposes. As a result, they ensure more space in the truck which ensures lower shipping fees. They can also save more space in warehouses. custom poly mailers by Arka

          8. Shrink Wrap

          Shrink wrap is perfect protection from any form of external elements that can harm the quality of the product. Some of them are dirt, dust, and weather-related elements. They are also quite durable because of LDPE which they contain. It can be used for various goods such as medicines, cosmetics, pet products, etc.

          shrink wrap

          Credits: Stream Peak

          9. Bubble Mailers

          Just like bubble wraps, bubble mailers are types of packaging adequate for smaller items. They can provide a high level of protection. They are also made of eco-friendly materials and can easily be recycled and reusable (but this depends on their design).

          bubble mailer by Arka

          10. Labels and Stickers

          Labels and custom stickers are essential parts of different packaging types. They have the purpose of providing all the relevant information to potential buyers. Apart from that, they make the entire process of transportation much easier. Entrepreneurs often use them as a tool that will help them boost their reputation and brand identity.

          custom stickers by arka

          11. Custom Inserts

          Custom inserts can also protect the product as part of different product packaging types. Yet, eCommerce businesses also use them to boost the design of their packages. That way, they want to ensure a better unboxing experience and boost the value of their price/brand. They can be made out of foam, fungi, cardboard, and many other eco-friendly materials.

          custom inserts by Arka

          12. Paperboard

          If thick papers seem like adequate types of packaging, paperboard is the right choice for you. Their usage is limited and only adequate for the smallest items. Entrepreneurs can use them for fast food packaging and similar purposes. They are made of wood pulp which makes them 100% sustainable.

          paperboard package

          Credits: Jess @ Harper Sunday

          13. Eco-Friendly Packaging

          When discussing the most popular packaging types, it is essential to mention eco-friendly materials. A large number of options we mentioned on this page are sustainable. You will not harm the planet in any way, and you will grab the sympathies of many potential consumers. Collaboration with Arka will allow you to pack your products in sustainable and customized packages.

          sustainable packaging

          Credits: Sticker Mule

          14. Cans and Tubes

          Tubes and cans are perfect for food and beverage businesses. They are mostly made of steel and aluminum. Thanks to the structure of these packaging types, they are hermetically sealed and stackable. Also, they represent perfect protection from any form of insect or rodent.

          cans and tubes

          Credits: Nick Fewings

          15. Flexible Pouches

          Flexible pouches are biodegradable, which puts them at the top of the list of favorite types of packaging. Believe it or not, they need only a year and a half to be degraded. You can customize them differently, print logos or other images, etc.

          flexible pouches

          Credits: swisspac ph

          Choosing The Ideal Packaging Type for Your Product

          Now that you know the best types of packaging, things are probably much easier. The only thing left is to consider certain things before making the final choice. They are:

          • Requirements and expectations of your target audience;

          The type of product and its size;

          The design ideas and branding strategy you have for the future;

          Functional requirements;

          Environmental impact of your products and their sustainable structure.

            Based on these five things as well as the explanations we provided above, you can determine the best types of packages for your needs.

            Final Thoughts

            All the types of packaging mentioned on this page are adequate for a particular industry, purpose, and product. The goal is to ensure packaging that will allow you to boost your brand awareness, make you different, and protect your products.

            Carefully analyze all the essential factors before making the last decision. For any additional assistance, contact Arka, and we will gladly answer your questions and turn your ideas into reality!

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