Definition: The wrapping material around a consumer item that serves to contain, identify, describe, protect, display, promote and otherwise make the product marketable and keep it clean .
Packaging is more than just your product's pretty face. Your package design may affect everything from breakage rates in shipment to whether stores will be willing to stock it. For example, "displayability" is an important concern. The original slanted-roof metal container used for Log Cabin Syrup was changed to a design that was easier to stack after grocers became reluctant to devote the necessary amounts of shelf space to the awkward packages. Other distribution-related packaging considerations include:
Labeling. You may be required to include certain information on the label of your product when it is distributed in specific ways. For example, labels of food products sold in retail outlets must contain information about their ingredients and nutritional value.
Opening. If your product is one that will be distributed in such a way that customers will want to--and should be able to--sample or examine it before buying, your packaging will have to be easy to open and to reclose. If, on the other hand, your product should not be opened by anyone other than the purchaser--an over-the-counter medication, for instance--then the packaging will have to be designed to resist and reveal tampering.
Size. If your product must be shipped a long distance to its distribution point, then bulky or heavy packaging may add too much to transportation costs.
Durability. Many products endure rough handling between their production point and their ultimate consumer. If your distribution system can't be relied upon to protect your product, your packaging will have to do the job.