News - June 2019

Does your product need Retail Ready or Shelf Ready Packaging?

by Admin

Does your product need Retail Ready or Shelf Ready Packaging?

If you are looking to source Retail Ready Packaging (RRP) or Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP), Packaging Supplies have an experience team that can walk you through the process.  Here you can find out what qualifies as RRP or SRP and what you need to think about when considering this type of packaging for your retail product.

Retail ready packaging (RRP) or Shelf ready packaging (SRP) is often the secondary packaging for retail consumer products. It forms the outer transit/display box containing the products for sale and is placed directly onto the supermarket or shop shelf.  The aim of RRP and SRP packaging is to ensure the products can be displayed without the need to fully unpack them and to ensure ease of movement through the supply chain.  The packaging is further optimised through print, promoting brand recognition and product advertising, encouraging sales uplift.

To qualify as Shelf Ready Packaging or Retail Ready Packaging and successfully move your products through the supply chain, the packaging must adhere to the following:

Easy to identify – Product and brand recognised quickly via print and graphics

Easy to open – Perforated for clean opening without damage, clear opening instructions, opening points easy to locate

Easy to replenish – Transferable to the shelf in one step, no tertiary packaging or secondary handling

Easy to shop – Product description clearly visible, customer can remove and return products easily,

Easy to dispose of – Easy separation of materials to allow for maximum recycling, flat pack after use

When designing your SRP or RRP, Packaging Supplies can help ensure these requirements are met.

Printing Retail Ready & Shelf Ready Packaging

The printing of an SRP or RRP is used to identify the product and promote or advertise the brand to both the consumer and retailer.  Images, symbols, text, numbers and barcodes can all be shown.

The branding on an SRP or RRP is particularly important, and when used effectively, will maximize visual impact to capture the attention of the shopper and create sales uplift.

Material & board grade

When designing your SRP or RRP, it is essential to ensure that the packaging is “fit for purpose” and effectively protects the stock whilst in transit from damage, it should also be stable when being transferred to the retail shelf.  Any defects with the packaging can cause costly delays within the supply chain.

Special considerations should be given if the SRP is going through an automated supply chain and if the temperature conditions required for the product are for it to be chilled or frozen.

Retail Ready Packaging and Shelf Ready Packaging can be made from different packaging materials, including both corrugated and carton board.  The material choices will depend on the product, its size, weight and the graphics required.

Packaging Supplies have an experienced team that will be able to advise on the correct materials for your SRP or RRP. Samples will always be supplied prior to the manufactured production run, for you to test fully through the supply chain network.

Shelf Ready & Retail Ready Packaging types

Shelf Ready Packaging and Retail Ready Packaging can take several structural forms, depending upon your product.  Designs includes trays with cardboard lids, trays that are shrink wrapped and perforated tear off lid cartons.

Shelf Ready & Retail Ready Packaging Size

There is no standardisation with regards to size, which can cause problems with the speed of re-stocking and how the on-shelf space is utilised.  It will be important to check with the intended retailer of any restrictions in pack height, width and depth they may have. Some even have a standard structural design format also. With all this information, we can then design your SRP to fit your products, maximise both the shipping and storage, comply with any specific sizing requirements and make sure your product stands out in their retail environment.

Circular Economy Package - What does it mean for the future of Packaging Design?

by Admin

  •   June 13, 2019
  •   News

In 2018 the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy Package was established, to make the transition to a more sustainable economy by closing material and product cycles for packaging.  It includes provisions for enhancing circular approaches to raw materials at a European level and aims to substantially increase recycling rates of all packaging materials.

Circular Packaging Design

The University of Applied Sciences Vienna (FH Campus Wein), together with Packforce Austria, (the Austrian member of World Packaging Organisation WPO) and Circular Analytics, have developed and issued the Circular Packaging Design Guideline, which is essentially design recommendations for sustainable, recyclable packaging.  It covers the entire supply chain of the packaging industry and focuses on sustainable packaging design, as well as the recyclable design of packaging systems for all contributors along the chain.  It’s a document that will evolve and update in accordance with future sorting and recycling technologies and packaging material developments.

Future challenges for product & packaging design

Because of the circular economy and this holistic approach to the packaging process, new challenges are presented for product design and packaging conception.  Considerations not only for the main materials used but also the use of printing inks, adhesives, labels, films and additional small parts such as openers or closures are all covered in the Circular Packaging Design Guideline.  Packaging will need to meet multifarious requirements including the balance of maximum functionality and protection of goods with minimal ecological impacts. 

Below are extracts from the guidelines as to how these fundamentals are to be achieved:

Effective - Packaging needs to be fit for purpose and add as much value as possible with regards to both the consumer and the product (e.g. retain shelf life).  In order to asses effectiveness, detailed knowledge about the properties of the packaged goods is required.  The packaging must provide adequate protection against adverse environmental influences such as mechanical stress, oxygen, humidity or light.  In addition, the packaging must ensure easy handling by the final consumer to the greatest possible extent.  Finally, it can be empirically established that the packaging has an influence on product loss.

Efficient - The use of raw materials, emissions, energy, and the generation of waste need to be minimised throughout the entire life cycle.  Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is the standard instrument for assessing the efficiency and thus the ecological sustainability of packaging.  It takes into account the environmental impact of the packaging over its entire life cycle.  The life cycles start with raw material extraction and end with the full disposal of the packaging.  The amount of CO2 equivalents that are emitted throughout the entire life cycle is a well-known parameter for assessing the ecological impact of the packaging.

Safe - Safe packaging is designed to minimize health and safety risks to human beings and ecosystems throughout its life cycle.  Regarding admissibility for food contact, the applicable legal requirements need to be met, and additional aspects such as consumer safety, environmental protection and tamper evidence need to be considered.

Cyclic - Cyclic packaging is designed to maximise the recovery of materials used.  This is aimed at longevity of the life cycle, full substitution for virgin materials of the same type (closed-loop recycling) or use of renewable materials.  Circular packaging design refers to the principle of cyclic approaches.  Products should be designed and produced in a way which, after the period of use, permits the recovery, to a high degree, of the raw materials to be employed as secondary raw materials, the reuse of the packaging, or the manufacture of the packaging from renewable raw materials.

International Development of Packaging

Packforce will target the European market first, with special issues of the guidelines developed for Northern Europe, Central Eastern Europe and Western Europe.  The recyclability of a packaging system will depend greatly on the technical capabilities of a given country, therefore Packforce are looking for cooperation partners in the respective countries, that will be able to contribute to a first step information regarding the collections systems and recycling infrastructures available. 

For International consumer goods companies and retailers, additional information will be required on the recycling infrastructure on a Global level.

The challenges of e-commerce packaging

by Admin

The challenges of e-commerce packaging

A few months ago, we blogged about the massive growth within the e-commerce sector and while this has brought many opportunities to businesses both new and existing, this growth has generated new challenges for packaging buyers, so we thought we would explore some of these.


The more popular ecommerce becomes, the more brands are having to try harder to stand out from the competition and be remembered.  This has resulted in more personalised packaging with well thought out and eye-catching artwork.  Bland or non-personalised packaging can give the impression of a brand being too generic or even cheap.

Environmental perception

We know that more consumers are looking to purchase sustainable products supplied in sustainable packaging.  As a result of this, e-commerce packaging is constantly coming under more and more scrutiny from the public.  The biggest challenge here is making sure you have enough packaging to protect the product to negate damage in transit, whilst avoiding excessive or "over” packaging your product.  As an experienced packaging supplier, we will be able to advise on just the right amount and type of packaging required to do the job.

Design trends

The needs and desires of the consumer are always changing, and the packaging design must reflect these.  No-one wants out-dated or dull packaging and keeping on top of current market trends is important. Producing the right artwork for your packaging can also be a challenge, getting a good marketing agency on board early on can really help with promoting your product to the audience it’s intended for.

Postal costs

Using the right sized postal packaging for your product not only alleviates any negative customer responses to excess packaging, but also helps to keep your shipping and distribution costs to a minimum.  The challenge here is not to be tempted to cut back too much.  Quite often internal protective packaging is scaled back to reduce the overall size of the package to be posted.  Unfortunately, this can often be a false economy with damaged product creating an increase in customer returns.

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