Thursday, May 20, 2021

Export packaging requires certain special considerations

Export packaging requires certain special considerations

Packaging and labeling may be subject to government regulation in the foreign countries. Some countries have specified packaging standards for certain commodities. The trend toward requiring labeling in a country’s native language is growing. If such regulations are not strictly followed, the goods may be confiscated or may attract some other punitive action.

Buyer’s Specifications: In some cases, buyers like the exporters to give packaging specification. While incorporating such specifications it should also be ensured that packaging satisfies other requirements like the statutory requirements.

Socio-cultural factors: While designing the packaging for a product, socio-cultural factors relating to the important country like customs, traditions, beliefs etc, should also be considered.

Retailing Characteristics: The nature of retail outlets is a very important consideration packaging decision. For instance as pointed out earlier, in some of the foreign markets as a result of the spread of supermarkets and discount houses, a large number of products are sold on a self-service basis. The package has, therefore, to perform many of the sales tasks and hence it must attract attention, describe the productions features, give the consumer confidence and make a favorable overall impression.

As a result of these measures exports have assumed a critical role for the survival of every business and, at the same time, it has been made financially rewarding, not just fashionable, to be involved in exports. Competition within the country is beginning to be felt. The opening up of the skies within for the Satellite TV has enhanced effective communication and its reach. Markets are opening up and so is the awareness among the consumers. Packaging is no more frowned upon as an added cost but its value is beginning to dawn on the decision-maker in the industry and the common consumer, though for different reasons. Specific mention may be made of the advent of the a number of MNCs in the food processing sector for, it has begun to accelerate the velocity of packaging improvements even for domestic sales. As a result one does not need to discuss anymore whether packaging is a necessity, but how to use it effectively to meet the competition in the home market and survive, penetrate sustain and expand one’s presence in the overseas markets. For the Indian exporter the emphasis has begun to shift from cost reduction to value addition using packaging as the tool for the product he exports. Much more than the needs of the product alone, which used to dominate his decision making in the past he has to come to terms with the changing and challenging needs of the markets to which his products are directed. This would mean new efforts at identification and satisfaction of the identified needs of the markets. Experts have maintained the view that it is only when domestic packaging standards reach international levels, competitive exports, because of economies of scale, will be rendered feasible. Dual standards, one for local sales and the other for exports, have never been advocated as a good strategy for growth. That stage is beginning to emerge, at least where large-scale exports are attempted, irrespective of the size of the exporting units. A factor, desirable or otherwise, responsible for the upgradation of packaging for domestic markets has been the lowering cost of packaging in proportion to product costs for many basic food items.

An ideal distribution system makes its products available anywhere in the world, anytime, irrespective of local or otherwise variables. New, exotic products find new consumers in nascent markets where they did not exist earlier. Advanced processing technology and improved methods of preservation add to the shelf-life of foodstuffs and helps in the fight against the problem of food spoilage. All this would be impossible without proper packaging, developed to meet the several requirements of a modern distribution system. Present levels of packaging vary widely for each country and mainly depends on the industrialization within the country. In a simple, agrarian economy, minimum or no packaging is required for foodstuffs as they are consumed, more or less, locally. Urbanization increases the strain on the distribution system in order to supply pre-packed food, and a number of other commodities, in the quantities and qualities needed, as the population starts concentrating in urban centres. In several developing countries, there generally is a scarcity of essential diet items and other day-to-day necessities. In such cases, government intervention is required to secure distribution at controlled, subsidized prices. Such products should be pre-packed, in fixed quantities and according to fixed quality specifications to avoid losses and restrict unfair trade practices in the distribution process. Special variables of the local market, such as income levels, refrigeration and storage facilities at home, etc. have a decisive impact on the consumption pattern and the choice of package sizes, types, etc. In developing countries, packaging for the domestic distribution of goods has to take the scarcity of such factors into consideration.

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