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Do you really know how to buy food packaging.

Tips on getting the best price for your food packaging


Locking Tray with Lid

style of the box is a Locking Tray with Lid and there are many companies that produce this

National Carton
Eflute Packaging

There are different types of corrugated and you will need E Flute… a very thin single wall flute applicable for high quality printing.

Success in the Food Business Requires Practical Passion

Your passion for "the food" is one critical driver to your success.  Far too many food entrepreneurs fail because they are stuck in the kitchen. That means meaning they are all about the food and don't spend the time thinking about the "business of food".

I started The Foodpreneur to take my 35 years of experience to help food entrepreneurs learn that success comes from understanding “the business of food”… essentially eveloping Practical Passion.

The food entrepreneur journey is… Getting out of the Kitchen, to Getting on the Shelf and Getting on the Consumers Plate.

Client Meeting

So Jeff has started a specialty food subscription service. People sign up for a deliver either 4 times per year or 12 times per year for a box of pre-selected specialty, organic and natural foods they can use for meals or snacking.

Jeff is ready to buy packaging so here is a peek into our client meeting.

As you probably surmised, packaging requires a great deal of time in design and carton sourcing… I know this from personal experience managing a $3 Million packaging budget. Packaging is a critical component in brand positioning.

Regarding the box you saw at a specialty retailer and given the pricing of your gift box at $20 plus, a $5/box seems reasonable in the initial phase of product launch. When I have several bill f materials, I can determine the maximum inclusive packaging costs.


Various Packaging Types to Consider

Locking Tray with Lid

The style of the box is a Locking Tray with Lid  and there are many companies that produce this. Here is a link to National Carton and a picture of a blank box.  You will need a box made from heavy duty stock vs. some of the lighter stock boxes you have as samples. The point is we should have multiple suppliers…

I noted that National Carton has numerous standard cartons. It appears to be constructed from SBS(Solid Bleached Sulphate) Board.


E Flute Packaging

You can also consider a corrugated box that does double duty, acts as a shipper as well as a branded box. There are different types of corrugated and you will need E Flute… a very thin single wall flute applicable for high quality printing. This can also be used as a chipboard alternative. This picture is from Bates Container and is an example of an E Flute box.


Preliminary Packaging  Specs and Pricing

Client Recommendations

Contact 3 to 5 suppliers and pose the following questions:

Does the supplier make boxes for another brand that may be applicable for your brand. Many times a company pays for the dies and has exclusivity on the exact box form factor. Dies are tools that cut the shape of a box after it is printed. Boxes are printed flat and the supplier glues the packaging flat together.

Do they make, or can they make this box in different sizes?

What is the minimum order? This is important since you don’t want to have a warehouse full of packaging only to find out that you need to make changes. You would be throwing away good money.

If the box you found costs$5, does the supplier sell it in price break quantities… which should be the case. Price breaks are simply discounts for purchasing larger quantities. The purpose here is to have a forecast of packaging costs as you scale larger

If the supplier you contact can't or won't supply you, then can they give you a few recommendations?


Arriving at a Box Size


Client Recommendations

Regarding box size, it is time to start the process of determining what goes in a box to estimate the box size. Although it seems a bit unsophisticated you need the products in house and determine different internal product configurations. This will give you a "rough size" that can be given to a supplier to start the quote process.

Many suppliers have standard dies so you will probably get a box somewhat larger than required and that will require some "filler" to keeps the interior product tight.

More Articles on Food Packaging

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Selecting the Right Food Packaging Products
With so many food packaging companies specializing in flexible packaging, folding cartons, shrink packaging and the like how do you select the right food package? It is a delicate balance between packaging functionality and food package design. Entrepreneurs starting a food business will find this article from GSC Packaging helpful to understand...

How to Select a Contract Packer
Do we want someone else to assemble your food products? GSC's business is assembly of a finished product. Foods that are best for contract packers are the kinds that can be sent in as bulk. Snack foods and frozen foods are not applicable.

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Visual Marketing at the Retail Shelf requires designing effective In Store Point of Sale, otherwise your product will not be noticed in the crowded supermarket shelf environment.

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