Packaging can make or break a product. From the primary packaging that wraps your product to the secondary packaging that keeps it safe in shipping, quality paper-based packaging can both entice and protect. 

Recent studies commissioned by the Paper and Packaging Board (PPB) show that consumers overwhelmingly prefer paper and cardboard packaging.

Paper has a great sustainability story 

Paper packaging is a sustainable, renewable resource that comes from trees. Some 96 percent of corrugated packaging in the U.S. is recovered, and almost all of it is recycled to make new boxes and other paper products. More than six in ten people surveyed would purchase products packaged in paper or cardboard so they can reuse the packaging. Seventy-eight percent of respondents to a recent Paper and Packaging survey conducted by Ipsos said they are more likely to buy products packaged in paper and cardboard because they are better for the environment.

Paper-based packaging wins high marks from consumers

Paper and cardboard are consumers’ clear favorites when it comes to selecting a product based on its packaging. In fact, the same study found that for two-thirds of consumers, paper and cardboard packaging makes a product more attractive than other packaging materials. PPB’s 2018 survey found 71 percent of consumers said they were more likely to buy brands that package their products in paper or cardboard.

Paper packaging is a top-shelf solution 

Packaging has a massive impact on buying decisions. When shopping at grocery stores, 70 percent of purchasing choices are made at the point of purchase. Paper-based packaging’s on-the-shelf advantages include the ease with which products can showcase their distinctive packaging and graphics to tell a brand’s story, its superior product protection, and the fact that it’s easy to stack. 

Paper packaging is innovative 

There are few limits to what you can do with paper and cardboard packaging. Retail products can now be shipped in corrugated packaging that transforms into a point-of-purchase display. Molded pulp inserts can protect delicate electronics or fragile, fresh fruit from being damaged in shipping. Specially coated cardboards and packages made to hold coolants keep vegetables fresh in transit. 

Cardboard can even be made waterproof: pulp can be molded into reusable, recyclable, and bio-degradable drink coolers that can survive several trips to the beach. For example, the company Ecologic Brands has developed and sold packaging where molded cardboard wraps around a very thin waterproof lining, resulting in packaging for liquids that is lighter to transport and easier to recycle. 

Paper-based boxes create their own user experience 

One of the hotter recent social-media trends is the unboxing video, where consumers film themselves unpacking a new product and sharing the wonder of surprise. These videos have garnered billions of views each year. In fact, one channel alone has garnered nearly 35 billion views.

Packaging, and the unboxing experience, can be a boon to online sales, replacing some of the “touch points” that consumers have when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. A memorable unboxing experience can help replace the good feelings and sales boost that come with a positive in-store shopping experience.