When it comes to food packaging, choosing the right food packaging supplier is key.
Think about it: you might have the most delicious, nutritious, marketable food product to take to consumers. But with the wrong packaging, or a supplier that’s not equipped to produce high-quality, reliable and food-safe packaging, the success of your product may be at risk.
The critical role of food packaging suppliers
Food packaging obviously needs to look good—but the story doesn’t end there.
Food packaging is a crucial part of branding, protecting the product and most importantly, ensuring food safety and freshness.
But how do you know what makes a “good” food packaging supplier? And what factors should you consider when you assess potential suppliers to work with?
Assessing supplier qualifications
Choosing a reputable food packaging supplier, like Rawson Print & Packaging, helps ensure that food products are not only protected but also presented attractively and safely to consumers. When you’re choosing your next food packaging supplier, we recommend asking about a few key areas.
A history of successfully delivering quality food packaging
The team at Rawson has a combined 400+ years of print and packaging expertise, so we know packaging!
A supplier’s track record is a testament to their reliability. It signifies expertise, trust and client satisfaction. If they’re not already on the supplier’s website, ask for testimonials from other clients, and arrange to inspect the packaging facility and meet their team.
Certification and food safety standards
Australia has strict food safety standards and regulations to ensure that the foods we buy and consume are produced and stored safely.
These rules extend to food product packaging. Food packaging suppliers must meet stringent Food Safety Standards issued by Food Standards Australia New Zealand to prevent contamination and maintain product integrity. This means using materials that are fit-for-purpose with the specific products they’ll store, such as being: moisture, grease or heat resistant; tamper-proof and protected for transport; and suitable for use in the fridge, microwave, freezer or oven. Poor food storage safety can lead to severe reputational and legal penalties.
Ask packaging suppliers about the certifications and food safety standards they adhere to. If they don’t meet the standards required to guarantee your product’s safety and freshness, look elsewhere.
Tailored and product-specific packaging solutions
No two products are the same, so it makes sense that their packaging shouldn’t be either.
Consider whether the supplier can deliver food packaging solutions customised to your requirements. Food packaging can take many forms, such as custom-printed, pre-formed and eco-friendly boxes, trays, tubes, tucks and sleeves.
Packaging also needs to be functional, practical, display key nutritional information and reflect your brand identity so customers take notice when they browse the shelves.
At Rawson we specialise in fibre-based, folding carton packaging used across many sectors, including food storage.
Samples and mock-ups
A reputable supplier should offer you samples, mock-ups or prototypes of their packaging. These help you physically assess the materials, designs, durability and functionality of potential packaging so you can pick suitable options for your product. At Rawson, we assist in structural design services, including construction design, mock-ups and sampling.
Cost considerations: finding value without compromising quality
Balancing value and quality is a tight-rope walk. “Cheap” doesn’t always equal good value, and “expensive” doesn’t always equal good quality. When you look at your budget for packaging costs, you should look at finding cost-efficiency without sacrificing the integrity of your products or brand image.
Trusted suppliers are able to balance cost-effectiveness and quality assurance and provide options that align with your budget and product standards. This helps protect your brand’s reputation and customer satisfaction.
Scalability of production
If you plan to grow your product with greater volume and distribution, choose a supplier that’s capable of scaling production as your business expands.
Minimum order quantities
The quantity of packaging you need can impact your bottom line. Evaluate minimum order quantities (MOQs) and ensure they align with your demand. Lower MOQs are great for containing costs when you start out small, but if you plan to scale up your product quantities, you’ll want to work with a supplier that offers flexible MOQs; larger MOQs usually mean a lower cost per unit when you grow your offer.
Supplier location and logistics
Location, location, location!
Where possible, you should aim to work with a food packaging supplier that’s strategically located to maximise efficient supply chain management and minimise transportation and distribution costs. A reliable supply chain also translates into consistent and timely deliveries, reduces the risk of delays and stockouts, maintains your production schedule and boosts client satisfaction.
At Rawson our Sydney-based warehouse is conveniently located in Macquarie Park near the M2 Hills Motorway, which makes it easy for us to transport finished products to their next destination, be it your own business site or various distribution points around the city.
Looking to the future: building a long-term partnership
Building a strong and long-term partnership with your food packaging supplier is invaluable for your brand’s success.
When you set out to work with a new supplier, you should think about the long-term partnership as well as the immediate needs of your business or product. It’s also important to find a supplier that understands your business and your goals, and whose values align with yours. Take the time to do your research: investing in good food packaging is a time-consuming financial commitment, so finding the right partner to work with from the start will give you the best opportunity for long-term success.
At Rawson, over 45-plus years in the business we’ve built longstanding relationships with businesses and brands of all sizes because of our commitment to delivering high-quality, functional and food-safe packaging. If you’d like to discuss your next food packaging project, get in touch with our friendly team.