Corrugated boxes are great marketers
Transport packaging of fruits and vegetables shifted from wooden boxes to corrugated boxes in the 1950s and later they established a firm position in logistics. Now they have fully developed as shipping boxes and their market is mature. Will corrugated boxes as regular slotted containers be able to move out of the price competition and make profits?
This time, I visited a box making company in England. It was founded in 2001, and now has about 80 employees. This newcomer has put great efforts into “printing”. The first machines they installed were a one-color screen printing press and a high-performance flexographic printing press for high added-value boxes. In order to differentiate from competing companies that made brown boxes, they decided to create colorful boxes.
This strategy has actually paid off. They don’t get orders for ordinary carton boxes, but rather suggest unique boxes to customers that can help their promotional activities.
For more and more corrugated box manufacturers shipping boxes are thought of as a sales promotion tool. Consequently, it leads to an increasing number of value-added corrugated boxes with multi-color printing.
According to FEFCO (The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers), high-performance flexographic printing was seen only in 3.3% of the total flexographic printing in 1998. However, in 2011 it became about 20% and has been thought to be a growing business field.
Usually simple T-liner corrugated boxes are used only to transport products to warehouses. However, colorful and beautifully printed hexahedral boxes, that are bigger than small packing boxes, can be used as an effective advertising tool at customer’s stores (see the photo).
Many examples that such boxes have made products unique and led to an increase in sales have been reported. The box makers have proudly stated that “Boxes that can increase sales should be valued and expensive”. Boxes that lead consumers to buy products on impulse are needed nowadays since product consumption is not growing as expected.