Tin box: when the material of your packaging is the real secret weapon that sells

What does it happen when materials are to determine the success of packaging?

To work in the study of a functional packaging for sale – as we conceive it here at Packaging In Italy – could suggest a selection of technical aspects, materials, and, only at a later stage, identifying the main guidelines.

So, do we first sit around a table to reason abstractly and, at the end, we decide technical details of the material to be used?

Not really. In fact, there are cases where the choice of the material is an integral part of the features that make a packaging functional for sales.

That is, selecting a material and modeling the packaging development based on that material. Packaging contributes to the increase in sales.

For many, it is difficult to understand, but according to facts, sales change for the better when the choice of material was conducted in a strategic manner and not as if it was one of the many technical details.

This is the specific case of a tin packaging – technically tin box – a very distinctive material that can be often functional for the use of the product; such as in the case of the can of oil, the classic cans of soda or the common tuna cans.

In these cases, choosing a can also has practical reasons, but there are situations where to develop a can container – despite not having practical reasons – is a winning choice for boosting sales.


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How do we tell if a can could be a driving force for the sales of your product?

The first step is to separate the product from its packaging: let’s get into our heads that packaging, in this case, is not only functional to the product and its use, but it also becomes a product itself and the consumer sees it exactly like that!

It is not an assumption, it is a fact – and I want to prove it in this article. In the case of “tin box”, the packaging itself acquires a value that lives regardless of the product.

For this reason, in trying to identify the needs of the consumer, it will be good to find answers through the choice of packaging.

There are basically THREE aspects that make a tin packaging a success factor:

→ its reusability (I, many time, buy and reuse the packaging for other purposes)

→ its value as a collectable item (I buy and collect the package)

→ 100% recyclable material (determining factor for the environment and in today’s buying reasons)


Specifically, what do I mean?

There are some solutions where packaging is not only seen acting as a product container or as a product exhibitor on the shelf, but it is conceived from the start as a separate object that can be, later, reused for other purposes or just collected. And that is how it acquires immediately its own value that can be added to the value or purpose of the product it contains.

Taking it to an extreme, this concept can turn some choices of packaging into the driving feature for the sale: you buy the product almost exclusively to own the tin packaging that contains it!

A recent and clear – for everyone – example of a “tin box” packaging designed as a collectable item is the Caffé Illy set of cans.

Notwithstanding, there are many less famous examples where the package is immediately identified as a valuable object that contributes to motivate the final purchase.

The festivity sweets industry is certainly suitable. In these cases, the product is often purchased as a gift, the packaging maintains the above mentioned characteristics, such as reusability and collectibility, and it helps to create a stylish image for the gift – very important aspect when selecting a gift – and that’s why it wins its challenge on the shelf.

We buy a gift => we want to make a good impression => “tin box” packaging gives prestige to our choice => we direct our choice towards a valuable solution.

It is evident how, in a situation like this, packaging is the one playing the most important role. At this point, many entrepreneurs, justifiably proud of their products, could not agree, giving all the credit to the quality of the final product. Is it really so?

Let me answer with a question: would you take to a friends’ place, on Christmas day, a great panettone, wrapped in transparent discount-style plastic? Would you do the exercise using a case? The answer is a single “NO!” That kind of gift, nowadays, is given to no one with that presentation. It is a completely different story if the same panettone is packed in a tin packaging.

This choice is not limited to festivity sweets or to food in general. Also in the beauty sector, it is a much exploited choice, specifically when packing beauty products sold in special festivities, but also for continuous sales it proves to be a successful choice



There are also very famous cases where tin packaging became an iconography of the product itself, to the point that changing it would be risky for the company since the customer identifies the product right through the “tin” of its packaging. As an example, the Nivea cream jar.

The material lives behind a purely technical function to acquire a precise meaning. Obviously, you must find a coherent match with the product and it is not said that it will work for every product. But, when studied properly, it is certainly a strong incentive to sales.


Actually, a “tin box” packaging:

– Differentiates the product on the shelf

– Justifies a higher price

– Identifies the product as a high-end solution

– Justifies the purchase thanks to it reusability

– If collectable, becomes the real reason for the purchase

– Expresses a form of respect towards the environment, as the impact on it is reduced to zero


Another advantage, seemingly hidden, is the ability to keep alive the product name or the name of the company brand. Indeed, the presence at home of the “jar” – in our daily lives – is to all intents and purposes the presence of an ad of your product.

Over the past 15 years, I have worked often with tin packaging. Whether it was utilized for festivity products or for current sales, success always arrived.

It is therefore a winning choice, to be integrated with the product marketing strategy, that when conceived correctly it includes a lot of potential.

How could a tin packaging solution fit with your product?

Discover the services of Packaging In Italy. Contact us to find out how we can help you increase your products sales through a variety of functional packaging.




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