Retail Ready/Shelf Ready Packaging Trends

Retail Ready Packaging (aka Shelf Ready Packaging) Trends

Large retailers, such as Walmart and Aldi, are encouraging suppliers to use retail ready packaging (RRP). The requirements of large retailers such as these two, are playing a big part in the growing trend of RRP within secondary packaging solutions.

What is Retail Ready Packaging (RRP)?

Retail ready packaging, also known as shelf ready packaging, is ready-to-sell secondary packaging. Primary packaging contains the product and secondary packaging protects the primary packaging. RRP is placed directly onto the shelf without the need for unpacking the inner contents. The shelf ready packaging market is fairly new, having started in the UK around 2006. There are many different types of RRP in the market today. Examples include pallet displays such as stacking trays and bins, sidekicks, end cap displays, as well as trays that sit on a shelf or counter. Retail ready packaging solutions which can be placed on the shelf are predominantly made of corrugated cardboard. Corrugated boxes, which represent more than 50 percent of total demand, will provide the strongest opportunities. In addition to corrugated cardboard, there are also plastic, reusable solutions.

Advantages of RRP

The top advantages of RRP can be summarized with one word: easy.
Easy to Open
Shelf ready packaging solutions are designed to open easily without any tools such as box cutters. They are also are engineered to be strong enough to hold up during transport without damage. After opening the packaging, it’s essential that the quality, integrity and appearance of the products are not affected.
Easy Shelf Placement
Product, content, versions, product barcode and expiration dates are printed to be clearly visible to provide for easy handling. Easy identification reduces placement error while stocking shelves. Handles integrated into the packaging can help store employees with shelf placement.
Easy to Replenish on the Shelf
Easy identification of product allows for a faster and more efficient stocking process. To be efficient, two shelf ready packages can be placed in-line on one shelf to maximize the space available and to avoid situations where products are out-of-stock. Since these packages are easier to open, it allows for easier and quicker replenishment when stock dwindles.
Easy Shop
To make it easy for both the retailer and the end consumer, the front panel typically represents the products included in the packaging and offers visibility of the manufacturer’s logo, thus improving product identification. Shelf ready packaging, in most cases, is designed brightly to attract the attention of customers. To create an easy shopping experience, the customer can easily remove the product from the packaging and it remains stable and visually appealing for the next set of customers, even in a half-empty state. The customer also can easily place the product back in the packaging if they don’t want it, without disrupting the shelf-appeal of the other products.

Disadvantages of RRP

When there are advantages, there are always disadvantages. A couple of disadvantages to shelf ready packaging include package stability and cost.
Package Stability
The more people that handle a package, the more likely it is to show wear and possibly break down. Package design and stability are very important considerations for packaging so it can withstand contact with multiple consumers. Extra time may be needed to design a package that can hold its original shape.
Package Costs
The cost of manufacturing a package that is displayed on a shelf is higher than packaging that isn’t customer facing. Brand owners must invest in presenting their brand to consumers. Four-color printing, with vibrant graphics, will compete for consumer attention, and will usually show a return on the investment. It is important to note that while retailers often drive packaging specifications, they most often are not the ones absorbing the cost. Brand owners are often left to absorb the cost increase for package innovation.

Retail Ready Packaging Trends

Eco-Friendly Packaging
Eco-friendly materials can make production less expensive and more efficient, and will also appeal to environmentally-conscious customers. This type of packaging uses minimal material and can be recycled.
Short-term Package Designs
The number of products in stores is growing and packaging is being updated more frequently than ever before. In a competitive marketplace, brand owners are fighting for their package design to be noticed. Research indicates that consumer’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. This data is critical for brand owners and retailers, driving many innovations in marketing.
Market Growth
According to a study conducted by Smithers Pira, the market for retail ready packaging continues to increase and is expected to grow on average by about 4% annually until 2021. Shelf ready packaging is expected to reach $82 billion globally in 2021.  

Secondary Packaging from Douglas Machine Inc.

With the ever-changing and fast moving trends of retail ready packaging, retailers can look to Douglas Machine to find their secondary packaging solutions. Our mission to enrich lives by providing differentiated packaging automation and services, is the foundation of our drive for innovation and the principle behind our hard work and dedication to provide solutions to meet industry needs and trends. To start, our TriVex RL & RLi is the most versatile top load system in the industry and the TriVex SL & SLi is the simplest retail ready case packer on the market … and that’s only the beginning. Contact us today to learn more.