Packaging and labelling

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A sealed pack of diced pork from Tesco. It shows the cooking time, number of servings, 'display until' date, 'use by' date, weight in kg, price, price to weight ratio in both £/kg and £/lb, freezing and storage instructions. It says 'Less than 3% Fat' and 'No Carbs per serving' and includes a barcode. The Union Flag, British Farm Standard tractor logo, and British Meat Quailty Standard logo imply that it is British pork.

Packaging is the enclosing of a physical object, typically a product that will be offered for sale. Labelling (labeling American English) refers to any written or graphic communications on the packaging or on a separate label.


The purpose of packaging and labels

Packaging and labeling have five objectives:

  • Physical protection of the object - The objects enclosed in the package can be protected from damage caused by physical force, rain, heat, sunlight, cold, pressure, airborne contamination, and automated handling devices.
  • Agglomeration - Small objects are typically grouped together in one one package for reasons of efficiency. For example, a single box of 1000 pencils requires less physical handling than 1000 single pencils. Alternatively, bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households.
  • Information transmission - Information on how to use, transport, or dispose of the product is often contained on the package or label. An example is pharmaceutical products, where some types of information are required by governments.
  • Marketing - The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product.
  • Reducing theft - Some packages are made larger than they need to be so as to make theft more difficult. An example is software packages that typically contain only a single disc even though they are large enough to contain dozens of discs.

Packaging materials

Commonly used packaging materials include:

The type of material chosen depends on: the sensitivity of the product; the types of damage that are likely; the value of the product; the size of the product; the weight of the product; the length of time the product will be packaged; and the method of shipping being used.

Packaging types

The above materials are fashioned into different types of packages and containers such as:

See also

es:Embalaje fr:Emballage nl:Verpakking sv:Förpackning


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