Going for the cheapest price might seem to be the obvious solution, but it might not be the right thing to do.

Nov. 30, 2019

Why is the Cheapest Packaging, not the Best Packaging?

Updated On: Nov. 30, 2019

Many new businesses tend to go for the lowest price. The lowest price means the most inferior quality will be used to make packaging materials.

The low-quality packaging will reflect poorly to the customers and might not be appreciated.

As the new startup cafe, you have invested a lot in the cafe but not in the packaging. The low-quality paper box might do the job but leaves the terrible image on the customers since the paper box will get soggy and flimsy during delivery.

What to keep in mind while comparing packaging quotations?

Check for the exact specification, such as the quality, size, etc. In the packaging industry, it's common for the manufacturers to not mention some of the specifications in the quotation. Ask for all the specifications in the quote.

Compare the minimum order quantity mentioned in the quote. In the packaging industry, the pricing varies with the quantity. If one packaging supplier has raised the quote for a thousand pieces and the second supplier raised the quote for 5,000 pieces, then it'll be unfair to compare pricing for different MOQ's.


Check the delivery date mentioned in the quote. What if one manufacturer will deliver the packaging material within five working days and another supplier will take two weeks.

For logo printing, its essential to know what type of printing the manufacturer will use. The offset printing will come out way better than screen printing. The offset printing might be cheaper but requires higher MOQ.

Do check if the packaging quotation is for the food-grade paper bag, paper box.

Beware of the Malpractices

The packaging suppliers keep the count lower than the quantity mentioned on the outer cover. The cover might say 100 tissue paper, but inside there might be 80 paper tissues only.

To keep up with the competition, many suppliers remove a few pieces from the bundle to keep the price down. It's difficult for the customer to open every box and check count.

The supplier might show the premium paper box before placing the order, and you'll receive a low-quality paper box. The box shown to you earlier is food grade, and the delivered box is made from the recycled paper which is not food grade.

The vendor promised you five days' delivery, but it been two weeks and you haven't received the order.

The paper box you order was 5 inch X 5 inch X 3 inch, but the size of the box delivered to you is 4.5 inch X 4.5 inch X 3 inch. The vendor might keep the box slightly small to keep the price low and increase margins.

The vendor might try to sell you the single-use plastic, which are banned in the major states like Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra. The vendors do this to make the quick sale or to sell their remaining stock of the single-use plastics.


If the order amount is large, then see if you can make the partial payment. It'll help you cut losses of delivered the wrong packaging material.

Ask for the proper quotation with all the specifications mentioned in it. It's common for the supplier to mention only the paper box name and its size in the quote. It's better if the suppliers mention other details like paper type, paper quality in the quote. You can read more on the type of paper and its quality here.

Instead of going for the lowest price, go with what vendor or manufacturer is recommending. I'd suggest going with the online packaging suppliers.

Check what quality your competitors are using, and what's working in the real world. You can take your competitor's paper box to the suppliers and ask for the quote on the same quality with your packaging design.

Ask for the Mockup is possible. For the packaging items such as paper boxes, paper bags, you might get the Mockup before manufacturing the boxes in bulk. The Mockup will be 80% close to the actual product.

Try not to go for the disposable plastic containers, as it's banned and not biodegradable. If you have to go for single-use plastic, then try not to buy a large quantity of it.

Online vs. Offline

These days the new business owners can order their packaging online. It's quick and easy.
With the traditional offline suppliers, someone has to visit some of the suppliers in person and ask for the quotation.
If you're ordering online, then all the details are mentioned online, and you can get the quotation online.
In general, online suppliers are on time and delivers as per the specifications and care for the good reviews.

Competitors are Important

Having a competition might help you here. The competitor might have tried and tested different types of packaging. You can pick and choose the best out of all the packaging out there.
While planning your packaging, collect the packaging your competitors are using and ask for the quotation on it.

Invest in the Packaging

With the growing competition among the food delivery services, the packaging is the only thing except for the food, which leaves a long-lasting impression on the customer.
The excellent food and good packaging works well and leaves the right impression on the customer's mind. The excellent food, along with the branded packaging, leaves an impressive, long-lasting impact in the customer's mind, and he/she will order again from you.
The excellent food and low-quality packaging ruin the experience, and the customer might not ever order from your cafe, cloud kitchen again.

Go for the Alternatives

Instead of going for the cheap, low-quality packaging, go for the alternative packaging solutions. For example, if the cafe owner feels the branded paper roll box is expensive, then they can go for the butter paper to wrap the roll and the branded paper bag for the deliveries.
It's best to go for the excellent quality cheaper alternatives than getting the inferior packaging materials.