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Custom Cannabis Packaging vs. Stock Packaging

Custom Cannabis Packaging vs. Stock Packaging

Packaging says a lot about your product. It’s the first thing your new customers see, and for some products, such as pre-rolls, it’s the only distinguishing factor between your product and its competitors. So, you probably want high-end custom cannabis packaging to show off your wares… or do you?

Custom packaging can be a huge advantage but it’s not always the best choice. Though you want to stand out, you also want to be time- and cost-effective. And there may be other ways you can convey that high-end look while you’re building your brand — even before it’s time to go full-custom.

How is Custom Packaging Different from Stock Packaging?

Packaging suppliers may define stock packaging differently. Stock packaging is an inventory item that is available and ready to ship. It’s produced in large quantities, and its price point reflects its economy of scale.

Stock packaging is a popular choice for start-ups as well as established brands because the minimum order quantity (MOQ) is much lower than custom packaging. Manufacturers simply apply a label to a standard bottle and they’re ready for market. Stock packaging can also take the form of pouches, boxes, tins, and other containers — any unlabeled package that doesn’t require special printing or design and decorating services.

Stock packaging for cannabis is great for small-scale producers or those testing new small-batch runs of product. Custom packaging, however, requires an upfront investment to modify production equipment regardless of whether the order is for 100 units or 100,000. Stock packaging is quick, too. Customization takes time but stock packaging ships within days. Speed-to-market is an important factor in emerging cannabis markets, so stock packaging is a good choice for many new companies.

At AssurPack, you can get a wide variety of stock cannabis packaging that’s CPSC-certified for compliance in your jurisdiction. It’s a great choice for smaller companies who need to meet regulations but don’t yet have the demand, storage, or budget for a custom-branded order. 

Custom Cannabis Packaging

Custom packaging expresses your brand like stock packaging can’t. It shows consumers that you care about your product, and it creates a more interesting brand experience. In effect, it makes consumers more likely to buy your product (and more likely to pay more for it).

When large consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies like Procter and Gamble bring a product to market — even a mundane product such as dish soap — they make sure to leverage custom packaging for enhanced branding. Fortune 500 CPG giants know that distinctive packaging is critical for standing out in the marketplace — and well worth the upfront costs, especially for higher production quantities.

It takes time and money to configure equipment to make custom-shaped cannabis packaging. The systems must be tooled with appropriately shaped cutting dies that are customized to the size of your products. Furthermore, it takes a good deal of design work and engineering expertise. A qualified package engineer will need to assist you with ideation (an assessment of what’s possible and what’s cost-effective) and work with software programs to devise a manufacturing technique. He or she will need to ensure the design’s manufacturability, structural integrity, and that the design meets pre-existing child-resistance standards.

And the production setup and prototyping incurs costs that don’t scale with the size of the production run; they’re fixed and must be absorbed upfront. That’s why you’ll see a minimum volume requirement for custom packaging and why there’s a startup cost. All the extra effort is worth it though, as brand recognition creates more demand for your product. Custom packaging can also reduce shipping costs because the packaging better fits the product, and it can help protect your product better, too, by protecting its freshness and reducing breakage.

Semi-Custom Packaging

Some packaging strikes a balance between stock and custom. It saves money — particularly the capital expenditures of tooling — while still giving a more customized look. Even companies who have the budget may opt for stock packaging if it’s semi-customized.

Custom-printing your stock-sized packages — rather than labeling them — can greatly enhance their shelf appeal. All that’s needed is specialized printing. High-end inks can create matte or gloss finishes. And, if you want to go one step further, there’s embossing and foil-stamping

Patented child-resistant mechanisms offer semi-customization too. Unique closure functionalities on in-stock products give your brand a bespoke touch without added expense. The AssurPack SecurSlide® and AssurClam® are great examples. The closure mechanism is sleek and unique though no custom engineering is necessary. You simply custom-print a label or printed paperboard sleeve or carton and you’re ready for market.

Custom or Stock Packaging for Cannabis?Ready for custom edible packaging? Looking for a quick-to-market vape cartridge packaging solution? Let’s talk. An AssurPack representative can help you assess what type of packaging will be best for your brand and budget. Contact us today.