Why we package products

This page explains how the packaging process works for the complete beginner. If you're already familiar with these points, go straight to our search section to look for informational resources.

Cheese for saleCheese for saleBefore you can start to consider the packaging for a product you must understand why it is needed, what is required and what happens to it during and after its useful life.

The concept of individual packages for mass-produced items really only started in the late 19th century, and until the mid-20th century many commodities still travelled in bulk all the way to the point of sale, where they were dispensed into containers for the customer. Shop assistants were the prime source of product information and could give the customer the quantity or measure they requested.
Developments in retailing and the rise of supermarkets led to more products being packed in standard quantities in packages the customer could self-select. This revolution in packaging, together with the rise of new product categories such as ready meals, has driven both the importance and the technological development of packaging.

Now read What is packaging for?

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