Bulk Flexible Packaging That Lets Gravity Do all the Work!

March 1, 2005
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Bulk Flexible Packaging That Lets Gravity Do all the Work!
By Rob Croft
It wasn’t that long ago that bulk packaging was considered a marginal force in consumer retail—however, more and more households are making purchases in club stores and the sizes of many supermarket packages are steadily increasing. Marketers have to create bulk packaging that combines “value” with smart product delivery, which is often seen as the ultimate impulse purchase motivator.
In hardware depots, the practice of selling in bulk has been addressed through the adoption of industrial-style packaging. Most home improvement, garden and club stores contain an ocean of sacks, cartons, tubs and multi-pack bundles. These “professional grade” packages meet the required cost and volume targets, but they are often difficult to handle, awkward to store and they lack the strength to protect the product for a life of multiple uses. Given the strong competition that exists between brands in all categories, it is somewhat surprising to see minimal attention paid to such consumer packaging.
The flexible packaging design in the illustration represents a packaging solution for a line of gravity-feed garden products. The tough, transparent polypropylene bags have integral handles/hang-holes that allow them to be hung in the shed. Welded into the third panel is a large screw cap opening with built-in primary seal, which provides a stable base that allows the package to stand. Removing the cap and replacing it with a simple two-part, injection-molded, pushbutton closure enables the consumer to easily release the desired amount of product without having to lift and pour the bag, maintaining a truly proportional control over the product flow at all times. The replaceable closure can be re-used on subsequent packages and greatly encourages brand loyalty and return purchases.
The concept can also be tailored to offer relevance to a particular brand or category. The platform offers packaging solutions for a host of gravity feed products outside the hardware category, such as pet products and condiments.
By considering bulk packaging as a respectable SKU, rather than a second rate offering, brand managers could extend their product lines into these expanding markets without compromising their brand identity. By analyzing how consumers store and use larger products, brand owners can create packages that have real resonance with shoppers, encouraging a bulk purchase for more than just cost savings. BP
The author, Robert Croft, is Managing Partner of Swerve Inc., specialists in 3-D brand design.
Contact him at 212.742.9560 or rob@swerveinc.com.

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