While packaging design is a key consideration, the safety, efficacy, and durability are just as important. To make these determinations, our packaging solutions must undergo rigorous testing. Labs will use both qualitative and quantitative approaches for this.
Qualitative approaches will be observable, and often closely related to the consumer experience. This might take place with focus groups. Meanwhile, quantitative testing often takes place in a lab and addresses important considerations like chemical safety. What it all adds up to is a package that does what it’s supposed to – protect your business, the consumer who buys it, and the environment.
1. Consumables must meet different standards
Liquids, supplements, foods, and anything else that might meet a customer’s lips requires special packaging. Good packaging must first adequately protect the product and help inhibit contamination or spoilage.
But the package also cannot contain chemicals or materials that leach into the consumable item. This would not only impact factors like taste and texture but compromise the safety of the product. Food has an entire set of regulations, while anything considered pharmaceutical or medical must meet different conditions.
The packaging must be sterile and resistant to tampering. All packages containing consumables have to be able to resist moisture and keep the smallest particles out. Ultimately, a nonporous package is essential, which immediately cancels out materials like paper.
2. Safety first, but also sustainability
Every consumer should bear in mind that packaging doesn’t just disappear after it is discarded. Like a plastic packaging company will tell you, sustainability should be at or very near the top of the list when producing the right package.
Testing may involve exposing that package to various chemical and environmental factors to see how it reacts, as well as determining or replicating what occurs during its entire lifecycle. Labs may apply heat, expose it to different levels of humidity, and much more.
3. Human testing
A lot of package testing does require a laboratory, machines, chemicals, professionals, and other instruments you think of when we think of formal scientific testing. However, many important tests involve average consumers.
Think of child-safe packaging, for example. It makes sense that children in a controlled environment would have tested the packaging before it was deemed safe. Adults participate also, to give their impressions of the package and to assess how easy or difficult it is to open.
4. Every packaging test is important
Even if your product isn’t subject to various regulations, extensive testing is an investment you should always opt to make. Package testing mitigates many risks we take when we work hard getting a product to market.
After all, testing is the only way to be sure that your product will be protected as it travels out into the world. Damaged items and packaging that frustrates consumers can put a serious dent in your bottom line.
Does your package design entice customers? That’s a great start, but the love affair will end quickly if you don’t make safety and stability a huge packaging priority. A lot of product packaging has to comply with a whole slew of regulations, so if you want to stay on the shelf, ensure your packaging is tested to the absolute limit.