% of cost for packaging

In a product with a high perceived value what % of the wholesale cost do you think the creation of the packaging should be?

not sure the question. Do you mean the design of the packaging or the % of the cost in relation to the total cost of product + pkg? Also don’t understand what you mean wholesale? Normally the packaging is included in the wholesale price. Do you mean % of total FOB costs?


That really depends on the industry and commodity (material) of the packaging. For food and beverage it can be upwards of 50% or more on COGS. I’m sure for electronics and other industries it can be a much smaller percentage.

total cost to retailer

again, still not clear. If you are selling wholesale, the packaging is part of the wholesale price of the product. There is no breakdown, so they don’t have a cost of the packaging as a %.


Zippy: Wow, that is really unclear question. It all depends on the product. Perfume packaging costs 10 x the cost of the product. Food packaging takes up a big percent of the total cost. However, an electronic device is probably 5% cost for packaging. Can you clarify?

doing a spread sheet, trying to figure out how much $ to put into the package design and construction. This is a consumer level consumable (not durable) with high perceived value (we hope) so as a % of projected retail price how much should be the bloody package?

Food product, new type (my coffee thing).

It all depends on price point and category. Can you give that info? This is what normal determines packaging cost.

Example a $0.99 value food item my only have less than %10 of their cost for packaging where as a $50 bottle of wine may have upwards of %30 to %40 of packaging cost.

I’d look at it another way.

Figure out what your product cost is. Probably similar to competitors or a bit higher if premium. Figure out how much above the competitors you can sell at and go from there. % is pretty irrelevant, esp. when you take things like volumes (ie. you making low volume vs. costs at high volumes) into account.

For example -

If average competitor sells for $20

Your product you feel is 20% better, so you can sell for $20 + 20% = $24. Back out of that your margin and cost of goods and you have what is left for packaging.

Unless you can bring something totally different via packaging, in which case you can demand more, say it’s $20, but comes in a reusable tin.

It’s more a function of your margins and costs than %s. Generally the higher premium level the product, the higher % in costs the packaging is…


No the wine bottle example is flawed, the variable cost is only in the label after all both 2 buck chuck and a 50 buck bottle of Merlot have the same bottle etc. Think in terms of say canned salmon or better domestic caviar, the former just has a label the latter a beauty box.

Canned salmon or caviar could also come in a stock tin or jar with a label. How about fine spirits with a custom bottle. Is that a better example? What I am getting at is the higher you price point and perceived value you have more money to spend on pkg.

It is all about price. How much does your raw product cost, what are conversion costs, how much do you plan to sell it for, and what are you profit margins. All of this should be able to tell you how much you have to spend on pkg.

Oh I understand, the question is HOW much more? This is not a grocery store shelf item yet, comes by ups etc and lives in your pantry until use.

or you book that extra money in your bottom line…ie profit.

If it really is premium, it’s more than just numbers. it’s how much value does the packaging add. Does it make the consumer think more highly of the brand/product, tell other people, purchase again, purchase even though the price is higher?

Premium brands require more than bottom line thinking.

If you look at Apple, they obviously spend a lot on packaging. Could you put a iphone in brown cardboard box with a 2 color stick and off the shelf packing peanuts? Sure. Would the same number of people buy it? Probably. But the custom packaging adds a lot of emotional value that increase minshare as well as marketshare, so it’s worth it.


It’s better expressed in terms of COG rather than wholesale price- we don’t know your margins, and it’s irrelevant in this context anyway.

The cost depends a lot on whether this is retail packaging (4 color, glossy, etc.), or just shipping packaging. Stating it as a percentage depends so much on what’s going inside, and how many you’re making. I can tell you our packaging cost is about 10% of our total product cost (this is for low volume, mid-high priced furniture). That’s for a high quality carton, with 100% paper based cushioning materials. But no custom printing, and it’s not something you would put on a retail shelf.

If you just need a wild ass guess, 10% is probably a good starting point.



the first go’s into something like the second, then the first go’s into a machine and makes the third. The box will have a lot of information on the back panel.
estee box.jpg

What on the can thing? What kind of lid does it have? What kind of box you got? Any pamphlet insert in it?

It you were doing something premium, I’d expect a super nice label on the can, a really cool lid, maybe all vac sealed for security, a mini brochure in the box, a high quality box with a unique way of opening it, full 4 color printing, spot UV, emboss, foils, some sort of seal, etc. etc.

Graphics are key. There’s a lot of really cool graphics and branding in the coffee industry…

That help?


No printing on the can itself (can gets real hot so any printing turns to smoke and gasses) and the lid is a easy open one like on a can of peaches. The back of the box has all the info on the where, how, and what to do.

Sure there must be a way to print on the can, and have a nicer lid. Otherwise, it’s like opening a nice tube of Scotch and getting a refilled PET plastic water bottle with no label… doesn’t say premium and even moreso I think is a huge let down from the outside package.

Maybe you’d need to rethink the packaging to work with the barebones can. Brown cardboard with shredded paper stuffing like an artifact and sell it as “eco”.

Or at least maybe make the can chrome!