Marijuana firms need consistency in products, packaging expert says

Marijuana companies should adhere to the same practices as traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies when it comes to offering products to customers, according to a packaging expert.

Jim Chrzan – vice president of content and brand development at Packaging World Magazine – told MJBizCon attendees this week to imagine going to the breakfast cereal aisle for a box of cornflakes – only to find a grocery worker who says, “We don’t have cornflakes. We have cornflakes crumbs that we can put in a package.”

In addition to offering a more consistent menu of products, Chrzan believes cannabis companies have options for streamlining their packaging as well as saving on money and the use of plastic.

Chrzan pointed to one Oregon-based marijuana company that prints beautiful boxes but leaves room to add digitally printed information in case regulations change and require label updates, as they often do.

Conversely, he singled out an infused beverage maker that was left with “thousands of dollars worth of labels spilling out onto the floor” when state regulators ruled the company’s branding appealed too much to children.

Chrzan also recommended companies choose a color palette and seek out a type of packaging that can be used for multiple product lines, thus creating brand continuity.

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Finally, Chrzan said packaging purchases should be made holistically. “You should never order a package and then try to find a machine for it,” he said.

Rather, buy supplies in tandem so you know they work well together.

Otherwise, it “makes it very hard have any continuity in the product.”

(Video and slides from Chrzan’s presentation will be available to full-conference and digital-only passholders at MJBizCon through the end of 2021.)

– Kate Lavin