Blog

What Are Primary And Secondary Packaging?


In the world of branding and packaging, there’s a stark and definite difference between primary and secondary packaging. Do you know what these differences are? Are you at the point where you need to start thinking about your packaging?

Chipboard Packaging

Whether you’re launching a new product that’s almost ready to go to market, or you’re revamping and rebranding an old one, there’s no denying… packaging matters

Differences Between Primary and Secondary Packaging

The main difference between the two is that primary packaging is what’s used to enclose a product. It’s packaging that comes in direct contact with a product (think: a soda can). Secondary packaging, then, is what’s used with the intention of branding, or for shipping, protection or consolidation purposes (think: the chipboard box around a 12 pack of soda). 

Which To Use?

If you’re curious about what type of packaging is best to use, it helps to first understand the purpose of each type. 

Primary packaging is important for protecting or preserving a product. For example, some products require seals and are specially prepared in their primary packaging to preserve the freshness or the integrity of the product.

In contrast, the biggest consideration with secondary packaging is the purpose of the packaging itself. 

Secondary packaging isn’t always necessary, particularly when it comes to single items (think: large bottles of vitamins). However, some manufacturers still choose to add secondary packaging to individual items for added protection together (sometimes a bottle of vitamins or pain relievers will be sold inside a cardboard package. In some cases, secondary packaging is used to put multiple primary containers into one package (think: multiple foil pack sheets of allergy pills or cold and flu gel tabs inside a box).

Wondering how important secondary packaging for primary packages actually is? In some cases, the deciding factor needs to be based on how much protection the primary packaging offers. Other considerations may include quantity measurements, ease of handling or other factors. If secondary packaging is for individual items or bulk packages of an item, it’s important to design packaging with consumers’ needs in mind. Of course, if it’s purpose is simply to enclose multiple units of primary packages, it still needs to be designed with the consumer in mind. At the end of the day, your consumer is who’ll be opening any packaging…primary or secondary, so your goal is to make it as easy and convenient as possible, while keeping safety, freshness and quality control in mind.

If you’re searching for primary packaging or secondary packaging, Creative Displays Now is here to answer all your questions and give you the expertise and guidance you’ve been looking for. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you solve your packaging concerns.

Posted in Display and Packaging Design, Packaging Examples