Today’s consumers love customization and personalization in their products. Receiving something as simple as a bar of soap can suddenly become much more memorable with the right personal touch (or clever branding).
If you as a business owner can capitalize on this trend, you can build trust across your customer base, all while delivering the good or service you’re best known for.
At Trabon Group, we offer custom packaging sleeve printing for branded boxes, as well as Meal Packaging Kits that take your takeout to the next level. Packaging sleeves are an excellent and easy way to brand your product with custom packaging.
What are Packaging Sleeves?
Packaging Sleeves, also known as belly band packaging or box sleeves, have become increasingly popular as a branding and packaging technique.
These are printed paper bands that wrap around a product, such as a box, piece of clothing, ice pack, or another item. Packaging sleeves are often less expensive to print compared to custom-printed boxes because paper bands require less material because they do not fully cover the product.
Don’t that price tag fool you, though. They still provide high-quality and sturdy packages for your product.
When deciding how you want your packing sleeve to look, you can choose full-color packaging sleeves available in several sizes and paper stocks. These often range from gloss coating or matte coating in 80lb to 100lb paper stock or higher. The sleeve packaging can be designed to fit your box size. There are also several options for sealing the band around the box.
You can fit sleeve bands around the box and fix them together by designing a paper notch on one side of the sleeve that connects to an opening on the other side of the sleeve. Alternatively, there are options for ‘peel and seal’ adhesives that firmly secure the packaging sleeve around your product.
Packaging sleeve design and quality
The design of your packaging sleeve will ultimately depend on the size and shape of the box containing your food product. Sometimes the meal kit container is a standard box allowing for a standard packaging sleeve size, also known as a belly band, to be utilized.
Other times custom boxes may be utilized as a marketing tool for your business. Custom boxes may require a little more preparation and attention to consider when choosing the sleeve packaging design. Either way, you can always work with a printing company to ensure the quality and fit of the printed packaging sleeve will suit your standard box or custom box size.
How Our Process Works
Creating your company’s perfect packaging sleeve starts with your design.
If you have a packaging sleeve design already created and tested on your box dimensions, you can send your print files directly to the manufacturer. The print provider will prep the files in prepress for the print process. This approach leads to faster turnaround time because there is no design or testing time required from the print provider.
If you do not have print-ready files for your sleeve packaging, then you will work with our printer to design your sleeve dimensions based on your box size.
When determining the correct size of the belly band or sleeve packaging, our printer will use paper stock to wrap around your custom or standard box.
Where the two ends meet around the box, the printer will mark the location and measure the sleeve length of the paper required to fit snuggly around the box. Then the printer will allow enough overlap of the two sleeve ends so that they can adhere together in the printing process.
What type of paper should I use for my packaging sleeve?
Depending on the product characteristics and the branding, there are several types of paper you can use for the packaging sleeve.
For example, organic products that are packaged individually with paper belly bands are great for the environmentally conscious. These products reduce packaging waste because they are recyclable in nature. This provides a more natural feel to the packaging and helps protect the environment at the same time.
Alternatively, if your packaging sleeves are intended for takeout food orders, you may want to choose a paper stock that displays brighter inks and has a coated finish. These are all decisions you can make when designing your custom packaging.
Creating Meal Kit Packaging with Packaging Sleeves
One of the best ways to utilize packaging sleeves as a restaurant owner is in meal kits. Many of these products go a step further than a simple band. Instead, they are customized boxes that contain your entire meal.
By branding your takeout orders as meal kits, or selling your meals through pre-packed boxes, you can make your take-home meals an extension of your brand.
Benefits of Creating Meal Kit Packaging
Here are some of the ways meal kits can enhance customer satisfaction from your restaurant:
Meal kits are a great branding opportunity
Meal kits are a cost-efficient way to brand your restaurant’s products. This is your opportunity to extend your brand to someone’s home, long after they have left your restaurant.
Each meal kit package offers a select amount of real estate for you to insert company values, fun facts about the meal, or just share a funny joke to make your customers smile.
Set yourself apart from the competition
Meal kit packages are not extremely common in today’s restaurant industry, despite their popularity among young urban consumers. This is especially true of the subscription-based, delivery business model for meal kit companies.
According to Packaged Facts, “Age – between 25 and 44 years old – is the strongest predictor of who uses fresh meal kit subscription services.” This demographic in particular loves the convenience associated with meal kit delivery. For them, the slightly higher costs beat going to the grocery store every week to shop for fresh food themselves.
Even if you are applying your meal kit packaging to something you sell in-store, you are still providing a lot more value than your competition. Consider using meal kits as a way to set yourself apart.
Reduce food waste
When you package your meals together, you can help reduce food waste overall. Since your meal kits will be portioned out correctly, your customer is less likely to order too much for themselves.
Considerations for Meal Kit Packaging
Once you decide you want to create meal kits for your restaurant, there are a few things to consider:
Prepare complete meals
Packaging your takeout into meal kits is a great way to reduce food waste because you can portion things appropriately. Try to ensure your meal kit packs are just that – complete meals.
Use recyclable materials for sustainable packaging
One of the biggest reasons meal kit companies like Blue Apron or HelloFresh can come under scrutiny is that meal kits can often use excessive plastic.
While your meal kits can create less food waste overall, it’s important to consider your recycling and carbon footprint.
Select a meal kit option that uses recyclable and sustainable materials. Not only will this be good for the environment, but you can also call out your commitment to sustainable products on the kit itself.
Sending food home with a customer is a bit different than preparing the meal at home. Depending on how elaborate your meal kit is, you will want to consider what kind of cross-contamination factors you are facilitating.
Pay special attention to certain allergens, such as nuts and gluten. Other ingredients like sauces are probably best off in a separate container altogether.