15 fundamentals packaging pros should know: Page 2 of 2


5. 3 steps to developing a successful packaging strategy

Packaging leaders typically do just fine setting departmental goals and handling day-to-day operations. However, according to Adept Packaging director David Foster, they may fall short in making sure they’ve put in place a solid strategy that supports the larger organization’s goals.

To succeed, packaging pros need to pinpoint what matters most to the overall company and figure out what resources and systems can be used to meet long-term goals. Establishing an effective packaging strategy, says Foster, requires three basic steps:

Discovery: This includes finding out the goals of the organization, understanding the industry the company is operating in, learning the strength of forces at play and grasping the goals of stakeholders within the organization.

Statement of goals: After determining the goals and priorities of the overall company, packaging leaders can craft their own goals around things like business processes, resources, engineering services and technology.

Determine objectives to achieve the goals: These are more refined steps and activities set to move toward packaging goals.

Setting a solid packaging strategy is crucial because it enables prioritization of meeting long-term goals and supports the success of the organization.


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4. History of BPA

Since bisphenol-A (BPA) was first synthesized by chemists back in 1891, the substance has had a notable history. Its journey really became relevant in the 1950s when the plastics industry took off and the material proved itself highly useful in injection molding and other processes.

Recently, however, BPA’s reputation has taken a hit, thanks to reports from various corners claiming the material poses a threat to human health. Countries such as Turkey, Canada, Denmark and others have banned the substance in various packaging products, citing concerns that use of BPA in food and beverage packaging could lead from everything from unhealthy hormone levels to fetal development.

Debates rage on about what BPA’s true threat, if any, to human health might be. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has weighed in, stating the agency “supports the industry's actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market, along with facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans.”



3. What does a packaging engineer do?

The important functions that a packaging engineer play are fairly similar across industries. Whether the products they’re creating containers for are foods, beverages, electronics or other goods, the steps an engineer takes on the road to producing a package more or less look the same:

• New product development: Packaging professionals often team up with stakeholders from other areas to help make sure the packaging supports key criteria.

• Value engineering: After a product has hit the market, packaging engineers often take another look at the packaging to pinpoint opportunities to increase cost effectiveness, dial back overpackaging or introduce other improvements.

• Damage control: Engineers address a range of problems like equipment downtime, jammed packaging lines and communication with vendors and other stakeholders.

Overall, packaging engineers help tackle a variety of opportunities and challenges in the life of a product. Their role stands to positively impact a company across the entire supply chain.



2. 10 hottest careers in the consumer packaging industry

Myriad job opportunities exist for packaging pros. Consumer packaging is a $400 billion industry, and while other fields are shrinking, packaging shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. What’s more, it touches nearly every aspect of the average citizen’s life—food, beverage, electronics, health products and countless other fields.

If you or someone you know is interested in entering a field with significant growth potential, these top 10 consumer packaging jobs are worth consideration:

1. Packaging engineer.

2. Package designer.

3. Consumer behavior analyst.

4. Packaging specialist.

5. Packaging operator.

6. Product tester.

7. Food scientist.

8. Assembly line worker.

9. Compliance manager.

10. Packaging buyer.

With consumer packaging going strong, odds are the industry will continue to need hard-working, creative and capable talent.



1. You know you’re a packaging engineer if + More ‘packaging engineer’ quips

Packaging engineers have a unique way of looking at things—especially when they’re looking at boxes, bottles, cartons and other packaging. They notice things that a civilian never would, and they cringe at quirks and flaws that the average person wouldn’t even spot.

Packaging Digest first invited packaging engineers in 2018 to offer their singular insights in a survey asking them to complete the sentence “You know you’re a packaging engineer if…” The response was so strong that answers filled not one, but two posts.

Here are some of the highlights:

• …you spend countless hours in stores picking up items only to look at the packaging.

• …you find yourself outraged when a “civilian” tears apart a package with a reclose feature.

• …you can tell the thickness of a film in microns by handfeel.

• …you examine random consumer packaging and think “I could have done this better.”

• …you are more excited about unboxing a product just to have a look at the packaging inside rather than the product.

• …you buy the package and throw the product away.

How do you know if you’re a packaging engineer? If you’ve got your own reply, share it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PkgEng

We’ll continue to add new entries periodically as we receive them.


WestPack-2020  WestPack 2020: Ideas. Education. New Partners. Feb. 11-13

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with more than two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.

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