Back to articles

Why Benchmarking Your Package Matters

Do you have a section in your packaging brief that talks about competitive landscape? How well do you know the competitions’ package? How well do you know your own package?

Whether it be a new innovation, cost reduction, or ongoing continuous improvement initiatives within your organization, knowing your packaging specifications and competitors can be one of the most important, yet overlooked exercises. The truth is, a lot can be gained from taking a few extra steps to understand your current and future product quality and how it stands up to others.

There are many reasons an organization skips this exercise, whether it be time, lack of budget or resources to investigate. However, you may find a bit of up-front legwork can yield ROI for your company.

What’s to gain with a benchmarking exercise?

Grow Market Share or Prevent Unforeseen Market Share Loss

Have you seen a brand lead in the industry for years, only to be taken over by a competitor? Get to know your competition – especially when you are on top! What materials are others using? Are there emerging formats or materials that can deliver your same product or elevate your offering? Could a new delivery system in the market in another product segment enable a new channel for you?

Hidden Opportunities

Routine benchmarking sheds a lot of light on cost savings or continuous improvement potential. Perhaps your competition is using less material but achieving the same barrier properties? Have they invested in newer converting equipment that reduces the footprint of their finished package or reduced energy usage?

Benchmarking Against Yourself

Benchmarking is synonymous with “standard,” “grade,” and “measure.” Are you getting what you specified? Do you and your supplier have the tools to measure your specification? What do you need to implement in order to improve your product standards? Did your efficiencies or defect rates improve this year compared to last?

Specific to a polymer package, consider some of these key attributes:

Flexible Packaging

  • Moisture and oxygen barrier transmission rates
  • Light transmittance
  • Layer identification
  • Seal integrity & strength
  • Graphic quality
  • Shelf life analysis

Rigid Polymer Packaging

  • Moisture and oxygen barrier transmission rates
  • Removal and application torque
  • Container Compression
  • Material distribution & light weighting or “right” weighting.
  • Functionality, such as squeezability, product dispensing of closure/Package
  • Barrier & additive identification.
  • Label barrier properties.

In summary, anything measurable within your organization deserves routine benchmarking.  Data is power!



Manager – Technical Account

Jen Hambell is a technical leader with 20 years of experience in packaging materials and operations. Jen began her career as a Packaging Engineer and worked her way up through Operations, Director and Material Scientist roles. She has a proven track record in consumer goods packaging initiatives both within organizations and consulting roles. Her ability to work across marketing suppliers and operation functions results in the best quality package that fits with the right brand deliverables. Jen has a Bachelors of Science in Packaging, with Honors, from Michigan State University.