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With the increase in inflation pressure this year we have come up with 7 tips on how you can reduce your packaging costs that won’t compromise your brand’s identity whilst saving you money, increasing your profit margin and keeping your product competitively priced.

1. Can your product be packaged with a sleeve instead of a full box?

How to reduce your packaging costs with Newton Print This swap works particularly well for food products. Does your product come in a sealed container, tub or tray? Instead of surrounding the whole product with a cardboard box you could opt for a sleeve. This reduces packaging cost as the sleeve simply wraps around the product, which can be quickly applied by automated applicator or by hand. A sleeve can be visually more enticing for consumers because they can see the product they are buying. It also looks good on the shelf and inside retail fridges and freezers.

Sleeves have many benefits including:

  • Multiple printing and embellishment options,
  • Less storage space needed,
  • 100% recyclable (kerbside)
  • Low unit cost and
  • Uses less materials.

2. If you use sleeves, can you reduce your sleeve width?

By reducing your sleeve width, even by a fraction, a higher multiple can be printed on one sheet, increasing the number of sleeves that can be printed using the same amount of raw material. This reduces the unit cost of each sleeve and can make a significant difference to your margin. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a big difference in width either – sometimes just a few millimetres will do the trick.

3. Increase your packaging order volume

Increasing your order volume is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce your packaging unit costs. Once printed packaging production is past the setup stage and you’re into the actual print run, the unit cost comes down incrementally as you increase the order. Therefore, if you can store (or find a packaging printer who offers this) and afford a larger print run, you will reduce your unit costs.

4. Does your packaging need to be printed with different versions?

7 ways you can reduce your packaging costs Can your products be packaged in generically printed packaging where you can customise it for each unique product using custom printed labels or an overprint option? Maybe you can print just the biggest selling lines as individual artworks, and have a generic sleeve/carton plus overlabelling option for the rest?

Alternatively, are you a startup or trialling a new product? To reduce the initial costs you could purchase off-the-shelf packaging, such as our Varipak range, that you can customise by using bespoke stickers/labels instead of investing in printing on the packaging to begin with.

Off-the-shelf packaging that is tailored to be unique to each product by using printed labels is a great way to to get your products ready for retail quickly and for launching a new product before you invest in bespoke packaging. Generic packaging is also an effective storage solution where only one type of packaging needs to be stored.

5. Can your product be made to fit the large letter size?

If you’re in the D2C retail model, can your product fit within the dimensions and weight allowance of the large letter postage size? Can your product be condensed into a smaller bottle or flexible packaging that can fit within the 25mm height dimensions?

Investing in clever packaging that enables your product to get sent in a large letter size means you can drastically reduce your delivery costs. Please get in touch if you would like some advice on how you can create effective packaging that also looks great.

6. Custom packaging with cut outs to prevent extra packaging and stuffing

How to reduce packaging costs Custom packaging that has been designed to fit your product(s) reduces the need for void fill and extra packaging. Clever cut-out inserts ensure your products fit securely within the packaging so there is little to no movement.

This keeps your products safe during transit and storage so they arrive to the consumer in perfect condition. It is also a great environmentally-friendly solution because it is fully recyclable and reduces the need for glue, extra packaging and plastics.

Bespoke packaging looks great on the shelf and makes your brand look instantly professional because you have taken the time and effort to create packaging bespoke to your products.

This method of packaging can sometimes have little impact on the unit costs as it can sometimes be as simple as strategic die cuts that fold and combine to make effective and unique packaging. Ask our packaging experts about how they can create packaging to fit your products.

7. Quality multi-use packaging reduces the chances of returns

By investing time in creating packaging that fits your product perfectly will ensure your product is kept safe and protected thus reducing the chance of returns due to damages. This may mean you pay more for your individual packaging units, but overall it reduces your costs as less returns from damaged goods will occur. In addition, good packaging increases the chances of repeat purchase because the items will arrive in perfect condition.

Luxury brands have created packaging that is not only functional but also multi-use. For example, the ceramic bottles Dunnet Bay Distillery’s Rose Rock Gin comes in can be re-used for future uses. Whilst this isn’t a cheap option it is a great way to create brand loyalty and decrease wastage especially if you are a luxury brand.

Our team of specialists can create your unique packaging that is not only eye-catching but is functional and cost-effective so you can keep your profit margins healthy.

Looking for inspiration? View our case studies


How to reduce your packaging costs


Custom printed sleeves are ideal for postal boxes, ready meals, deli pots and much more.

7 ways to reduce packaging costs


Create luxury packaging that is truly unique and special with bespoke die cutting.

How to reduce your packaging costs


Our Varipak retail packaging range has been created to help food, drinks and FMCG brands get their products ready for retail fast.

Naomi Brown

Author Naomi Brown

Naomi has worked with Newton Print for many years creating new content, developing the website and writing about the latest drinks and food packaging ideas.

More posts by Naomi Brown