There’s an old culinary proverb that says, “You eat first with your eyes.” This means that before you even taste a dish, your opinion on a certain product is mostly shaped by how it looks. In the case of food, the more delish and appetizing the packaging is, the more likely that it will be consumed.
This was the hub of the topic of Mr. Emmanuel C. Reyes, corporate secretary of the Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. (CocoaPhil), during a seminar organized by the Bureau of Agricultural Research.
Mr. Reyes, also an import and export business veteran, in his introduction explained that if you want to be noticed and to be remembered, you have to be unique in your own way. That principle is also applied in doing proper packaging and labelling.
Defining packaging and labelling
Packaging is defined as the art and science and technology of bringing goods from its source to place to place of consumption at the minimum cost possible. It creates a link between producers and target market consumers through quality goods.
According to Ms. Ray Anne Grace M. Garalde of the Packaging and Technology Division of Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), there are different package classifications: primary, secondary, shipping or tertiary, consumer and institutional package. Primary package comes in contact with the food itself. The product in the primary container may be used for retail sale. The material that protects the primary package and appears on the product shelf for retail sale is the secondary package. Shipping or tertiary package, on the other hand, refers to the package used for storage, identification and transport. Consumer packs are intended in a retail outlet while institutional packs are usually packaged in bulk for manufacturers, restaurants, fast food chains, etc. Types of packaging materials may vary from glass, metal, plastics, paper or paper board and composites. Numerous forms of packaging materials are also used like bottles, pouch, tubes, galloon, sachet, jars, tray, cups, etc.
On the other hand, labelling refers to any written printed or graphic matter upon any article or any of its container or wrappers or accompanying the packaged food. According to DOST-ITDI, the mandatory labelling information in the Philippines include: 1) brand name or the trade name, 2) product identity/name, a precise description of the product which distinguish it from others of the same type, 3) net content declaration, expression of the weight, measure or numerical count or a combination of numerical count and weight of the product inside the package, 4) information panel, which contains the ingredient list, the name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor, country of origin (e.g. Product of the Philippines) and nutrition facts (optional), 5) lot identification code, 6) open-date marking, also known as the expiration dateand, and 7) bar code.
Why improve packaging and labelling?
The basic functions of packaging and labelling are to contain the product itself, to protect the product from various hazards and other environmental factors for increased shelf-life, to facilitate handling for storage, to transport packing, and most especially to inform the consumers about the product. However, packaging and labelling has greater importance because of its huge impact to the target consumers.
Mr. Reyes during his seminar talk cited that, packaging is an effective marketing tool by utilizing catchy and distinct presentation of the product. “If you talk about packaging, it should be impressive, (your packaging) should stand out,” he explained.
Further, a product with good packaging captures the attention of consumers even when you place it among hundreds of similar products over the shelves of a supermarket. Mr.Reyes used the term “eating with your eyes,” which means that the consumers must be enticed to buy the product.
In fast food chains for instance, they are using images showing their delicious and mouth-watering meals so that more customers will buy their products. Also, packaging must comply with the local and international requirements so that more consumers and other businessmen will buy and invest on the products.
Aside from the packaging and labelling requirements, Mr. Reyes emphasized that product quality and safety should always be the top priority. An effective management system of plants/ factories which comprises of prompt employees practicing good sanitary measures and utilizing high quality raw materials are the right formula in establishing a successful business related to consumer/food products. So in order to cast the purchasing power over the consumers, businessmen should come up with the best quality products with exceptional and unique packaging and labelling.
In his concluding statement, Mr.Reyes encouraged his participants to be as unique and as creative in packaging and labelling their products. He said, “Hindi puwede ang puwede na, dapat puwedeng, puwedeng, puwede na!” ### (Liza Angelica D. Barral)
Mr. Emmanuel “Ojie” C. Reyes Corporate Secretary
Cocoa Foundation Philippines Inc. (CocoaPhil)
Landline: (632) 722- 8959
CP: 09209525294, 09228035294
Source and image: bar.gov.ph