Food Packaging 101: Here’s What To Look For
There’s a good chance you’ve spent the last few years or even decades focusing on perfecting your food portfolio. Perhaps in this time, you’ve realised that customers who take away your food are not able to experience the same nuances and sensory igniters that your dine-in customers are accustomed to.
If you were able to capture the unique elements of your brand’s dining experience and translate them to the percentage of your takeaway business; your customer retention, brand awareness and most importantly, your customer’s experience would all improve in tandem. And perhaps the easiest way you could achieve these essentials is to invest in quality food packaging.
So here are some factors that will help you revamp your food packaging to align with both your business’s needs, and that of your customers:
Manufacturers and Distributors
Have a think about this: if you run out of paper bags, boxes, coffee cups or anything in between, how will your customers receive their goods? In bare hands? A plastic bag, perhaps? As you cringe at the thought of such a situation occurring, it highlights the importance of finding a reliable and adaptive supplier or distributor to cater to your business’s exact needs.
In addition to your supplier’s ability to have, and hold stock; some Australian manufacturers and distributors have the added advantage of geographical proximity, which means they can deliver your packaging products quicker with shorter lead times, when compared to an overseas supplier. Local distributors have the added benefit of developing more personalised solutions with exclusive access to a vast array of products.
It is also important to know if your local supplier has, or is in the process of acquiring, a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Certification (HACCP) for Food products to ensure your food is packaged without any harmful bacteria.
Affordability plays an obvious yet pivotal role in selecting the right supplier and one particular aspect you should pay attention to, is the Minimum Order Quantity. It is common to find suppliers with ridiculously high levels of minimum order quantities which in turn, hinders your ability to test the quality of the goods with your customers. If your customers aren’t too happy with it, you’d have invested a lot of money and storage space for something that's just not good enough.
The Packaging Products
The food environment is heating up like never before and your customers’ expectations have sky-rocketed. When it comes down to the food specifically, the details matter. Your burger, for instance, could include cheap bread, flavourless meat patties from the supermarket refrigerator isle and the inclusion of the cheapest tomato sauce. The obvious disapproval would come from your customers, who have the freedom to visit a decent burger venue serving up 100% Grass-fed and well-seasoned Angus beef patties in brioche buns with a house-made relish. What you use to create the final product can make or break your business, and the same analogy applies to the materials used in your food packaging.
Instead of finding the cheapest packaging available, take the time to understand how your food packaging will not only complement your food portfolio, but enhance it. For example, your customers want to be able to enjoy their food without creating a mess. So to help them with this, you’d search for High Wet Strength material or paper products with in-built foil to minimise spillages and crumbs.
Understanding the post-purchase journey of your customers can go a long way to improve overall satisfaction and boost retention rates, particularly if you’re also delivering a package where customers can feel the quality before they taste it.
If you own a food venue, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered a group of Iphone-equipped happy-snappers, taking pre-consumption photographs of your venue’s food or beverages. These individuals are part of a growing breed of social media influencers, known as food bloggers, who showcase their photography across multiple social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. What does this mean for your business? It means you get free, real-time, and highly engaging promotion to attract the masses to your business.
The art of redefining your packaging to extenuate your brand isn’t just about understanding the post-purchase journey of your customer; it also involves encouraging those customers, or food bloggers, to take that extra step and promote your business on Social. One of the best ways to encourage such behaviour is to exercise creativity and include graphics, logos, animations or images whilst illustrating a relevant and eye-catching colour palette. In fact, in a recent study, buyers expressed that the colours on their packaging accounted for 85% of their decision to purchase a product. This means more people will be willing to your share your products online and will therefore influence more people to visit your business.
It's time you re-thought your packaging and stood out amongst the ever-increasing and unstoppable competition present in our growing food industry. The aptitude and reliability of your supplier, the materials and overall quality of your packaging products, and the scope for customisation and personalisation of your packaging products are all crucial factors that need to be considered when it comes to taking your brand and business, further.
Gispac prides itself on its ability to deliver everything your food business needs when it comes to packaging. Give us a call today to see how we can affordably transform your packaging needs in the shortest time possible.