It is time to think about the box!
Your outer packaging says something about your wine before your customers taste the wine!
Look around your winery and see what your customers see. Are there plain cases of wine sitting in plain sight of your visitors? The corrugated boxes your wine bottles are packaged in should be considered almost as important as the primary bottle you fill. Boxes have prime marketing space and can be artfully paired with your product, your message, and your brand. Fortunately, Waterloo Container offers many ways to enhance your outer package
Secondary packaging needs to be part of the plan.
The Packaging used to ship products is referred to as secondary packaging. The main goal of secondary packaging is to protect the products and provide branding during shipping. It can also be used as display packaging in a storefront or tasting room. Just like glass bottles, corrugated packaging (which is often the secondary packaging) has been affected by supply chain issues during the pandemic. It is critical to implement forecasting processes that include corrugated as well as your bottles. Basic corrugated packaging is taking as long as 20 business days (with current supply chain issues) for standard orders, while custom printed boxes can take up to 6 weeks. Boxes need to be sized correctly to fit your bottle safely (ensuring stackability and shipping stability) and partitions need to fit snugly and provide support for your filled bottle. All that said, it is critical to strike a balance between the levels of packaging to keep your product safe, looking great, and properly protected while sending the message you want to send.
Box Form and Function
Before you customize your outer packaging, it is important to ask yourself some important questions; Will you be shipping filled or empty product in your boxes? Will you be stacking your cased goods in your warehouse? Can your box withstand the weight of a filled product stacked on top of it? Is your box for display (perforated) or strictly for storage? When designed as regular slotted containers, all flaps are same distance from the score. If something more customized is required, boxes are die cut to exact specifications to display or fit specific contents.
After deciding upon design, you must consider the sturdiness of the packaging. Boxes are constructed with layers in the walls and may contain one (single) or two (double) layers of corrugated. The “S” shaped arched of corrugated board help determine its strength and are referred to as flutes. Larger flutes like A&B provide more strength, while D&E provide better printability and foldability. Box strength should be discussed with your corrugated team to determine the best combination of flute and construction to fit your project.
Certification stamps indicating box strength and ratings can often be found on the base flaps. Edge Crush Test (ECT) indications are included in the certification stamps and reference the maximum load the box can tolerate. Mail carriers and shipping services have specific design and strength requirements for all boxes that you will need to meet.
Plain White, Kraft or Printed?
Corrugated boxes, referred to as content boxes, may be covered in plain white paper, or basic brown “kraft” paper. Otherwise, the box is a marketing canvas just waiting for your creative touch!
Custom Print Methods
Industrial Ink Jet Box Print – With our industrial ink jet print services, we can create basic imagery and text related to marketing or sales. Barcodes, dates, and product information can be printed while the box is moving down the line during repack or added after packing prior to palletization. Logos and basic graphics can be achieved within a defined printable space to create a more customized look. Add your logo or message to a standard 2.5inch high space and print on the major panel up to 2 inches from the edge.
If you are looking to enhance your outer box in a cost-effective way, you should consider ink jet print design. Waterloo Container offers this money and time saving service with or without re-pack. Industrial ink jet printed boxes can show off your brand logo or simple one-color designs to create a more custom look without the time and cost often associated with custom (full color) print or litho boxes. Box jet print services typically cost less than 50 cents per box (added to case or repack cost) yet create a custom look that is shelf and floor worthy.
Direct Print is used for most outer case projects to achieve more colors, or complex graphics, the outer board must be printed on a press or inks added through screen cutouts. Custom tooling is required for these processes. Colors (up to 4) are screen printed or layered with custom dies on a press and may require multiple passes of the corrugated. As these techniques require the creation of plates or screens and careful attention to image registration, they are more costly than basic print processes. Customizing your boxes this way can add as much as 2-3$ per box with repack into the printed box.
Custom Boxes can also be achieved using Digital print methods which laydown of ink and image directly onto the box. This is best suited to short runs.
Litho Print Processes create imagery on top sheets which are then laminated on the box. This process may offer more color options and often results in a high-end appearance, but the multi-step process adds substantially to cost.
Cost for standard box print customization is typically based on:
- Quantity of Boxes ordered
- Number of Colors in the Design
- Amount of Ink coverage on the box
- Tooling Requirements
- Complexity of the Artwork
- Over the Score Ink laydown
- Cost of corrugated at the time of the print
Outer Box Innovations
The world of packaging constantly changes with advances in materials and technology, and outer boxes are no exception. With increases in direct-to-consumer shipping and mail order living, boxes need to make a statement every step of the way. New techniques include printing inside of the box (to preserve a clean look during shipping) and elevation boxes (which push the product up toward the customer upon opening). The “un-boxing” experience has become part of more marketing plans and is a new consumer expectation.
Planning is Key!
As you can see, there are multiple variables affecting the overall cost of the outer package. Determining how you want your brand to be seen in the tasting room, on the sales floor, or at your customer’s door is a key step in evaluating the value of an outer package upgrade! It is important to work with your packaging team to determine the best combination of package components to bring your total package within your price expectations.
Check out industrial ink jet box printing at Waterloo Container and all our helpful package enhancing services at https://www.waterloocontainer.com/videos/. To explore other custom box possibilities, contact our team at 315-539-3922!
One color and 3 color direct print examples are shown here with permission.