Folding Carton Packaging Applications for 10 Popular Industries

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Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Packoi Team

The folding carton packaging market is a growing industry that’s expected to reach a value of $186 billion in 2028. The main reasons for its growth in the global market are versatility and sustainability.

With consumers showing a preference for eco-friendly alternatives, using sustainable packaging like environmentally friendly paperboard boxes or folding cartons seems more practical compared to plastic packaging. Also, the versatility of this packaging solution makes it an ideal option for various industries.

In this article, you’ll discover the different industries that use folding cartons and how they differ from each other. You’ll also learn what elements of the folding carton design are influenced by the specific purpose that it’s made for.

10 Industries that Use Folding Cartons Extensively

folding cartons

Several industries benefit from the versatility of folding cartons. It also helps that the folding carton packaging market is continuously coming up with innovative ways to improve. This makes it easy for various industries to develop a folding carton style that specifically represents their brand.

If you’re wondering if you can use this packaging material, take a look at these 10 industries. Admittedly, this isn’t the whole list, but these are the ones known to use cardboard cartons extensively.

1. Retail and Accessories Industry

One of the biggest industries that benefits from the folding carton market is the retail and accessories industry. This involves a huge array of products. You have apparel and clothing brands. There are also bags, jewelry, watches, and footwear products.

All these items use folding cartons as their packaging solutions. The size, style, and structure of the carton would depend on what’s inside the box.

For instance, shoe box styles look different compared to those that carry bags. The box for bags is often thicker and bigger. The one for shoes uses a thinner material. The design would also vary when you compare different types of jewelry.

If this is your industry, you have a lot of room to develop your packaging style. You can make windows of unique shapes and sizes. As long as it can fit your product and protect it while it’s in transit, you can create whatever packaging design best reflects your brand.

2. Toys and Games Industry

toy folding cartons

The folding carton packaging industry also caters to businesses that sell toys and games. The requirements for toys and games are quite significant.

First of all, the folding cartons have to be visually appealing. Use creative and colorful designs as the premise for the fun and excitement that customers (including kids) can get from the product. Second, it has to be informative. Although the product is mainly for kids, parents should be provided with instructions on how to use the toys.

Third, the folding carton should protect the product. Put a die-cut design or window so the product can be seen, but it still has to protect it from damage.

3. Food and Beverage Industry

Folding cartons meant for the food and beverage industry requires a bit more precaution compared to the retail industry. After all, the products are meant to be consumed. The packaging should do more than just keep the packaged food safe from damage. It should also protect the integrity of food and beverages.

For instance, if you’re shipping frozen snacks, the folding carton should be reinforced with materials that can keep the food in its frozen state. There are times when you can still use paperboard packaging for this. But you have to laminate it so the food stays cool while it’s being delivered. Or you can use plastic packaging, but it has to be eco-friendly. Look for bio-based plastic packaging so it won’t harm the environment.

food folding cartons

If you’re selling beverages, ensure the carton is durable enough to protect them, especially if they are in glass containers. For instance, wine boxes should be made to fit long bottles with thick enough walls to protect them from breaking.

When it comes to design, this is where you can unleash your creativity. Feel free to use the colors, patterns, and die-cut styles that will add personality to your food and beverage products.

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4. Hospitality Industry

This industry is a broad category that involves several service-related businesses. It’s divided into 4 major categories: food and beverages, tourism and travel, recreation, and lodging. All these categories use folding cartons as their packaging material.

Of all these businesses, it’s probably the restaurants or any food and beverage business that has to be careful when it comes to their use of folding carton packaging. Packaged food has to be designed well to comply with industry standards to ensure the safety of the product and the customers who will consume it.

One thing that you have to consider when using a folding carton is how to make it leak-proof. Customers like the use of paper-based containers for environmental reasons. But you have to make sure it won’t leave a mess for the customers. Use eco-friendly lamination to deal with any leaks and messes. Don’t forget to provide the customer with a guide on how to store the packaging, especially if the food is to be consumed at a later date.

5. Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry

The folding cartons used in the cosmetics and personal care industries should also be compliant with strict regulations. There has to be space for property labeling and product ingredients so customers will know if the product is safe for them to use.

But apart from that, the paperboard cartons have to consider both product presentation and visual appeal. Why? Because the competition is fierce. Whether it’s for skincare, haircare, makeup, fragrances, etc., some people have no problem going from one brand to another.

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You need to create a cosmetic packaging design that attracts the attention of your customers, even if your product is displayed among other products.

The good news is, that folding cartons are versatile materials. You can easily print any color or design on it. As long as you’re compliant with industry regulations, you can use any design that resonates with your target market.

6. Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry

This is another industry that has to be careful with how they use folding cartons for packaging medicines, healthcare products, and other medical devices.

The folding carton has to be properly labeled and should use suitable materials to protect its contents, specifically the devices.

The pharmaceutical industry, which uses paperboard packaging for its medicines, should comply with very strict rules and regulations. The primary purpose is for product safety and tamper-free packaging. Cardboard is an effective material that will ensure protection from light and moisture. It also provides a lot of space to print instructions and product descriptions.

7. Stationery and Paper Products

stationery folding carton

Folding cartons are also used in packaging stationery and paper products. These aren’t always as fragile as other products, but you do have to package them in a neat and organized way. This will ensure that the products, especially the paper, won’t have creases on them.

The folding carton boxes will still require a certain level of durability. Usually, when the stationery and paper products are packaged, the boxes are stacked on top of each other. Make sure you consider the weight. Use thick paperboard packaging to ensure the box won’t succumb to the weight on top of it.

8. Home and Decor Industry

Another industry that favors the use of folding cartons is home and decor. Whether the products are small home accessories, fragile decorative items, or bulky furnishings, they commonly use folding carton packaging.

The thing about this industry is that they use folding cartons more for their functionality than for their visual appeal. A folding carton can be produced in different shapes and sizes. It uses corrugated material, making it durable enough for shipping and protecting the product from damage while in transit.

Folding cartons can be designed with inserts, so you can package different products in one box. They won’t be jostled or scraped against each other even while the packaging is being moved.

When packaging home and decor products, it’s important to use the right fillers and cushioning materials to ensure complete protection.

9. Electronics Industry

The folding cartons used in the electronics industry have to be durable, informative, and trustworthy. Among the products packaged in paperboard cartons are smartphones, tablets, earphones, headphones, and other gadget accessories.

electronic folding cartons

Most of these items are handy and can be carried in various ways. But the important feature that you have to focus on is durability. The folding carton packaging market usually includes customized inserts so the different parts of the product won’t get lost or damaged.

Not only that, the packaging should be able to display the important features of the product—to keep customers from needing to open the product before they’re sure that they want to purchase it. This protects the electronic products from possible handling damages.

10. Automotive and Hardware Industry

This industry mostly sells industrial and automotive parts. It also includes hardware, tools, and various equipment. For these products, the paperboard cartons will have to be thick – especially if the product is heavy. It should also be labeled properly so that people will know what’s inside.

If not for the die-cut window, you can put an image that depicts the product inside. Make sure it’s still visually appealing to ensure that people buying it in stores will pick it up over other brands.

Since cardboard materials can be printed on, you can provide customers with the information that they need to use the product correctly.

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Folding Carton Elements Influenced by Their Purpose

When you’re designing folding cartons, it’s important to understand the specific needs of the industry where they will be used. Admittedly, the list is practically the same. The folding cartons have to protect the product. It should also be visually appealing, so customers will want to buy the product. These packaging materials are also required to be informative.

Every industry requires folding cartons to fulfill all these roles. But the difference lies in how important they are compared to each other.

For instance, both the retail and food industries use folding carton packaging solutions to package important products. But you’ll find that it’s more important in the latter. At the same time, the visual appeal of the product boxes in the pharmaceutical industry won’t be as crucial as in the cosmetics and personal care industries.

folding cartons

This is an important consideration when you’re finalizing your design before folding carton production.

Here are other elements that would change depending on the purpose of the folding cartons.

1. Shape and Size

The shape and size of the folding cartons are usually dependent on the product that you’ll use them for. Choose a folding carton packaging size that’s just right—not too big that the product will move around and not too small that it won’t fit.

For the shape, you can choose a unique shape to make your product box eye-catching. As long as it fits your product and won’t be prone to scratches or damage, you can be as creative as you want with the folding carton design.

2. Structure

If you plan to use the folding cartons as shipping boxes, it requires a structure that’s thick and sturdy to withstand the rigors of travel. But if it’s only meant as a product box, you can use thin paperboard cartons. It won’t be flimsy, but it doesn’t need to be too thick and bulky.

Of course, the folding carton structure goes beyond the thickness of the box. Do you want to use a folding carton that has dust flaps? Or do you want it to be a two-piece box?

When you’re thinking about the structure, make sure you consider the unboxing experience. It contributes to the overall experience, so make sure the structure is as memorable as it can be.

3. Color and Design

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The color and design of your paperboard packaging will be based on two things. The first is your products, and the other is your brand. After all, your folding carton packaging will be a reflection of your brand. It can be used as an extension of your marketing and advertising efforts. While you want an attractive packaging solution, you also want something that can be associated with your brand.

Create a folding carton that provides a preview of your product while staying true to your brand image. 

4. Labeling

Finally, the labels of the folding cartons will depend on industry regulations and what the customers need to know about the product before they make a buying decision.

This is something that you need to be careful with because a folding carton that has the wrong label could lead to damage or misuse of your product. You’ll be held liable if something happens to the customer because of your product.

Choose Sustainable Options for Your Folding Carton. Packoi Printing Is Here!

If you’re looking for the best folding carton packaging solution, it’s better to choose a sustainable alternative to impress your customers. No matter what industry you’re in, using environmentally friendly packaging brings a lot of benefits to your brand.

This is something that Packoi Printing understands perfectly. This is why we work hard to maintain our FSC certification to provide our clients with eco-friendly paperboard carton materials from responsibly managed forests.

If you’re ready, let’s talk about your packaging needs. Call us so we can discuss your unique folding carton requirements. We’ll get back to you with a fair quote for your order as soon as possible.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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