The increasing internationalisation and globalisation of business has forced many firms to reconsider what contributes to their competitive advantage. Despite the importance of packaging it is rather anonymous and has received little or marginal research. The purpose of this paper is to study how packaging can contribute to competitive advantage.
Aspects of the packing industry and market are reviewed. Five case studies covering different packages in the supply chain are presented and analysed.
Structural changes within the European food industry are reinforcing a need for competitiveness where packaging can make the difference for many consumer products. The findings from the case studies and the literature review underscore the importance of packaging and packaging design for fulfilling multi‐functions in relation to logistics and marketing in the supply chain from filler to end consumer. New demands due to changes in consumption patterns and habits are requiring innovative packaging solutions in retail outlets.
The main implications for management is to understand and take advantage of packaging as a strategic weapon and marketing tool for the entire business, especially within a highly competitive food industry. This is important in every stage of the supply chain either for the transport packaging or as a consumer package in the supermarket.
This paper fulfils an identified need for recognising the importance of packaging in business strategy.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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