07 Dec 2017 Packaging Sustainability in E-commerce – How to fix it!

e-commerce packaging, Salazar PackagingPackaging Sustainability in E-commerce – How to fix it!

I think we all agree that as consumers, we LOVE e-commerce. How can we not appreciate the incredible variety and selection of products now, almost instantly available to us with a few clicks on our favorite internet linked device?

Companies are so focused on efficiency that quite often it is accomplished at the expense of sustainability. As we approach that busiest time of the e-commerce year, fulfillment companies scramble to fill orders quickly and they become even less careful about what they ship out or its impact on the environment.

An example of terrible packaging

The photo above is a great example. The wireless keyboard we ordered measures 18” X 8” X 2-3/4” or 396 cubic inches. Unfortunately, it was shipped in a box that is 23” X 14” X 7-1/2” high or a whopping 2,415 cubic inches. That means this product shipped in a box that was over SIX times larger than it really required. The only way to correct this mismatch was to add more packaging, in this case eighteen feet of an inflatable void fill product. Some might look at the cushioning material and say, “at least it is a green, recyclable, void fill product”. I am not going to debate its environmental merits at this time, and I am not going to question the wisdom of shipping such an oversized box in the days of dimensional shipping rates. I will however call it what it is – totally unnecessary packaging!

Smart e-commerce companies do the right thing in terms of sustainability!

Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingCompare that photo to the one on the left for a similar size set of the Misen knives. Check them out at It is an excellent company, and while they care about packing and shipping efficiency, they are also concerned about presentation and packaging sustainability as well as shipping economics. The box looks great, and it is perfectly sized, so it does an excellent job of protecting the product being shipped without additional cushioning or void fill material. For all the benefits of their packaging choices, you might think they are spending more, but the fact is the opposite is true. They recognized the value of sustainable packaging and the positive impact it has on every aspect of their business, including the “unboxing experience” they want their customers to have and remember.

Sustainability is complicated, perhaps more than it needs to be. Some companies try to dazzle with details and science. Years ago, we coined a term that still applies: “common sense sustainability” and it begins with using the minimal and right packaging product for each application. There is no one size fits all solution and there are many variables, so we always suggest discussing your specific needs with someone who understands sustainability, as much as they understand e-commerce.

Please contact us via our Salazar Packaging web site or call us at 630-551-1700 to discuss your project with one of our experienced, trained branded-packaging advisors. I am confident we will be able to help you create an attractive, eco-friendly, e-commerce package design at minimal cost.

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24 Oct 2017 E-commerce boxes for beauty, health and personal care products

beauty, health and personal care packaging, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingE-commerce boxes for beauty, health and personal care products

We all want to look better and for some like me it may prove to be too late. However, for the vast majority of people out there, there are a number of excellent beauty and personal health care products that can help make a person feel better and look younger.

The types of products differ greatly but they all require packaging that is consistent with the marketing approach and branding. Products can be modern and glitzy, or relatively simple and natural by design. The packaging we have created for this market includes paperboard rigid boxes, litho labeled shipper boxes, as well as digitally printed, and of course, flexographic printed boxes.

What is the best printing method for your box?

As we improve and increase our digital printing capabilities, that question occurs more often. While flexographic continues to be the printing of choice for most people (low, 1,000 MOQ, lowest cost), digital printing offers some unique advantages. (see this page on SPI web site) Some companies have short run digital equipment and are able to run small orders as low as 50 boxes. We have high speed digital capability only, so in most cases our MOQ will be at least 1,000 boxes.

Litho label has the design printed on high quality litho paper and then laminated to the corrugated board. It is always an option for people who want or need something special and are willing to pay for it. The minimum tends to be higher (3,000 to 5,000 depending on size) but the quality is remarkable.

After reviewing the many other factors including cost and order quantity, a quick look at your graphic design will enable us to help you make a good decision that will serve your needs now and as your company grows.

beauty, health and personal care packaging, Salazar Packaging, e-commerce packagingWhat about internal, protective packaging?

Many personal care, beauty and health products come in kits or product combinations and assortments. This means that presentation (unboxing experience) is increasingly important as is product containment to make sure there is no product to product, internal damage.

Some people prefer loose filler such as wood shavings or shredded paper products and for some people it makes sense. However, how the product looks when you ship it out is not nearly as important as how it looks when it arrives to your customer. Controlled ship testing will usually show that loose fill tends to shift and clump in transit. This not only looks bad, it can also result in product damage.

Our ability to design customized but low-cost inserts is extremely important because as we often say, lots of people make boxes, some of them even know how to print them well, but very few know how to design and manufacture good internal packaging.

Our branding packaging consultants are standing by and ready to help you select the best product, the best size and the best printing method. Give us a call at 630-551-1700 or contact us at Salazar

We would love to help you take your beauty, health or personal care products to market with beautiful, effective e-commerce packaging.

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22 Aug 2017 Packaging for E-commerce Snacks, Candy and Treats

Packaging for Candy and NutsPackaging for E-commerce Snacks, Candy and Treats

One of the fastest growing areas of e-commerce is snacks, ranging from health-conscious options to some that are just delicious and do not claim any health benefit at all. In either case, they taste good and satisfy a need with a product that thanks to ecommerce and subscription programs, can be conveniently delivered to your mailbox.

What’s hot? E-Doughble! 

e-commerce packaging for candy and snacks, Salazar PackagingLiterally everything including nuts, candy, and pastries is selling. One of our most unusual and recent success stories is our friends at Check out their website to see the delicious flavors and box assortments they offer of their edible cookie dough products.

It was the variety of gift pack options that made their packaging a challenge. Different size containers, different counts, with and without flavor packs. You can see just a few of their most popular combinations from the attached photo.

We reviewed all of their products and combinations, and helped them create a packaging design that uses only two different size boxes and six different inserts to minimize the number of packaging SKU’s and reduce their overall packaging costs. Branding and efficiency was the goal, and the end results speak for themselves.

Packaging that Communicates, Literally from Soup to Nuts

e-commerce packaging for candy and snacks, Salazar PackagingThe products we have helped to create packaging for include various types of domestic and imported candy, nuts of every type and size, nutrition bars, and chocolate in every size and shape.

If you need to create a package design that is going to be protective as well as eye catching, please call us at 630-551-1700 or email us at Salazar Packaging. We know how to maximize the unboxing experience for your customers while minimizing the overall e-commerce and subscription packaging cost for you.

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05 Dec 2016 Owl Crate Jr. Delivers the WOW factor to an Even Younger Children’s Book Market

Owlcrate, flexographic printing, custom printing, e-commerce, subscription packagingWhoever said the digital media explosion would result in the ultimate demise of printed paper books obviously did not realize the only thing that is really changing is the way books are purchased and delivered. I admit I have been surprised by the number of subscription book boxes that we have helped launch successfully. Books for different demographics, different ages, and different genres are all unique and growing in popularity.

Owl Crate Now Serves 8-12 year old readers   

One of our favorite book selling customers is Owl Crate and we have been grateful to produce their standard black on Kraft “young adult” printed boxes. When they decided to launch a program aimed at 8-12 year olds, they wisely decided that their new box not only had to be different dimensionally, it should also have a little more “pop” in graphics while still maintaining their brand identity.

Owl Crate Jr.e-commerce, custom printed shipping boxes, subscription packaing is born

As I have often written, we are not graphic artists, but after printing hundreds and hundreds of boxes, we certainly know what works and what will not. We also know how to get the most for your money, minimizing box and pre-press costs like cutting dies and print plates.

Surprisingly, this experienced, knowledgeable graphics guidance we offer is free to you and your graphic artist. BTW if you don’t have one, we can refer you to one that understands the advantages and limitations of a good graphic design for flexographic corrugated printing.

We worked with our friends at Owl Crate and helped them come up with a great, flexographic printable design that is one color flood coat over white board inside and blue and white ink over Kraft board on the outside. The end result is a beautiful, eye catching print with only three print plates.

If you need a holiday gift idea for that young book worm on your gift list, check out their holiday offering at: If you want to talk to someone about creating a wonderful customer experience with your e-commerce packaging, contact us via email at Salazar Packaging or call us at 630-551-1700.

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