In today’s super competitive consumer market, it’s not enough to just make a great product. You also have to present that product in a way that makes it stand out from the rest of the products on the shelf. Product package marketing is a huge part of any brand’s success.
Trying to figure out a way to show off your product without leaving it exposed on the shelf? Shrink wrap is the answer to your prayers! Read on to learn everything you need to know about this versatile packaging product!
What Is Shrink Wrap?
If you aren’t familiar with shrink wrap, you might be wondering what it is. Shrink wrap is a plastic film that wraps around products of varying shapes and then heated and sealed. It doesn’t require any type of adhesive or special seals, and it appears as if a single sheet of plastic has been perfectly fitted to your product.
Shrink wrap has been around since the 1960s, but it came to prominence in the 1980s. There’s some controversy as to the exact origins of shrink wrap’s invention, but it was developed at WR Grace and later refined for usage and put to use by Global Wrap.
Shrink wrap is a purely American invention, too!
Are There Different Types?
Yes! There are a few different types of shrink wrap on the market, but all are forms of plastic.
The most common forms of shrink wrap are made out of plastic polymers like low-density polyethylene (PE) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Another form of shrink wrap is made from polyolefin (POF).
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) has a low mass to volume ratio, and it is prized for its resistance to moisture and impact. LDPE is mostly used for larger items and items that require a stronger form of shrink wrap, like large packages of water bottles. The only downside is that it has a lower shrink rate, approximately 20%, and it isn’t as clear.
PVC shrink wrap is the winner when it comes to versatility and affordability. For these reasons, it has historically been much more popular than LDPE and POF shrink wraps. It doesn’t come without its issues, though.
PVC is not as ideal as LDPE when you’re shrink wrapping multiple items because it is more brittle once it has been shrunk. It is also not a great material for environmentally-conscious companies to work with. It contains carbon, chlorine, and hydrogen that create harmful odors once the product is heated.
PVC should only be used in factories with great ventilation. If you’re shipping outside of the US, you might also check on international laws as it has been banned in some countries.
Like PVC, POF is a versatile and affordable form of shrink wrap that can be used on a number of different machines. It is great for any size product because on products of any size. It is commonly used for toys, books, and even food!
Some forms of POF film require small perforations in order to completely seal and wrap the product. For that reason, many manufacturers of POF shrink wrap create it with perforations already added.
If you’re worried about your product’s appearance on the shelf, then POF is the best option. It has high clarity and is also super glossy on the shelf.
How Does Shrink Wrap Work?
So how does shrink wrap transform from a giant shrink wrap roll to a beautifully packaged product? The answer in all instances is heat! When heat is applied to shrink wrap, the molecules in the plastic rearrange themselves so they occupy a smaller volume, therefore causing the wrap to shrink up to 50 percent.
There are a number of different sources of heat you can use to activate the shrink wrap. The most common are heat guns and conveyor heat tunnels. Conveyor heat tunnels are great because they ensure that heat is evenly applied, which in turn causes even shrinkage.
If you’re using a heat gun, be sure to move it around the item at an even rate to ensure even application. Once the shrink wrap is tight, allow it to cool before moving or shipping the product.
What Are the Benefits?
The benefits of shrink wrap are pretty endless! It really is the ultimate material for product packaging.
One of the biggest benefits of shrink wrap is that it does a great job of protecting the product inside of it. It creates a tight seal and helps keep moisture, dirt, and other unwanted things out of the package. Some forms of shrink wrap even offer UV protection!
Shrink wrap is also super durable, meaning that it won’t loosen up over time. You have to intentionally be trying to break through the wrap to get to the items inside. For this reason, it also helps people spot products that have been tampered with.
Interested in learning about some more great benefits of shrink wrap? Go here to read all about why businesses are opting to ship their products in shrink wrap!
Can It Be Recycled?
If you’re environmentally conscious, you might worry about using a ton of plastic to wrap your products in. The good news is that some forms of shrink wrap can be recycled by the end consumer.
LDPE forms of shrink wrap are easily recycled. POF shrink wrap can also be recycled. Simply place the used wrap in the recycling bin and you’re good to go.
The only form of shrink wrap that is not recyclable is PVC.
Shake Up Your Product Packaging with Shrink Wrap!
You don’t have to be a science nerd to appreciate how wonderful and versatile shrink wrap is for displaying and selling products. With shrink wrap, you don’t have to worry about bulky, excessive packaging. Plus, it’s functional for so many products that you don’t have to worry about finding an alternative packaging material for your other products!
No matter if you are a business veteran or still wet behind the ears, you’re bound to need business advice here and there. Check out the rest of our blog for tons of tips and tricks that’ll help you make your business a massive success.