The most common mistakes on consumer packaging and how to avoid them

mistakes to avoid

We all know that packaging is one of the most important components of your product. Packaging not only protects the product during transport and storage. It’s also the perfect place to show off your brand to the consumer. Besides branding, the information on the packaging is also bound to legal requirements.

Unfortunately, it may occur that a product has to be removed from the shelves. According to the NVWA there are a few common mistakes:

  • Not stating allergens (correctly),
  • Erroneous list of ingredients,
  • Incorrect expiration date,
  • Packaging does not align with the content.

Next to mistakes on the packaging, there could also be something wrong with the product itself. For example, the product could contain metal or plastic, or could be contaminated with salmonella.

The packaging itself could sometimes also need a bit of improvement. A print specialist with a trained eye, would encounter many mistakes when he/ she visits a store. This could have multiple reasons:

  • The design doesn’t align with the brand messaging
  • Printing is crooked, therefore texts and/ or barcodes are not readable,
  • Colours aren’t printed well on top of each other,
  • There’s a colour difference within different batches of production,
  • The design doesn’t fit the packaging, as a result the folds are strange or texts are cut of.

All these mistakes/ improvement possibilities cost money. Retrieving products and destroying them is a waste of labour and resources. It could also mean that consumers won’t buy your brand again. Moreover, a mistake suchlike that in store would mean a derogation of your brand.

You want to avoid stalling production and just reach your set planning goals. It speaks for itself that a recall must be avoided at all times.

How do you avoid these kind of mistakes?

1. Always use the latest version of the artwork

Maybe it’s stating the obvious, but image if the latest version isn’t used in production. Even though you did ament the packaging.

2. Work from one source

The chance of making mistakes will decrease when everyone works from one source. It’s easier to see feedback and you always have the latest version.

3. The right people (quality, production, marketing etc.) have to check the artwork

When multiple people have seen and checked the latest version, the chance of a mistake is less big.

4. Adjust the artwork with a lithographer and/ or printer

Packaging is an expression of your brand to consumers. Therefore it’s important to check if your creative idea would actually work in print. You need the right specialist to have a look at the artwork, before it’s in production.

5. Take a print specialist with you to the (1st) important print to adjust colours

Months of hard work have been done on the design of your packaging. By taking a specialist with you, you are able to adjust the artwork at the press to get the best result for your brand.

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