If your company supplies to club stores like Costco, you’re likely familiar with their stringent packaging requirements, intended to ensure products are in a presentable, shelf-ready state.
Of course, you also want your products to arrive at stores in peak condition and avoid retailer refusal or costly chargebacks.
When it’s time to automate or expand the case forming portion of your line, these Costco requirements may be helpful considerations even if you supply to other retailers, or as a guide when working with corrugate suppliers to determine which display boxes are best suited to your products.
Costco Packaging Requirements
Product packaging and pallet displays must maintain their integrity during handling by Costco members and employees. And don’t forget the long, rigorous transport to the store – your cases should be engineered to protect your products to arrive in the same condition they left your facility in. They will be handled by forklifts and pallet jacks and should be able to withstand side compression from mechanical layer clamping.
If your products are large and vertically unstable, center support dividers are required for reinforcement, and will also keep your products securely in place.
Cases must also have superior stacking strength – enough for double-stacking on inbound shipments to optimize freight efficiencies. Design features like reinforced corners or wide shoulder stacking surfaces can prevent buckling and keep upper cases from nesting into the cases below. Cases with rolled over edges or double wall construction are recommended.
Time is money, which is why club stores don’t want employees to spend any more time than necessary preparing your pallets of product to be “shoppable” by customers. Your palletized products should not require labor beyond removing the stretch-wrap and placing it in its proper location.
Ideally, pallets should be shoppable from all sides. This provides pallet flexibility to stand alone, be placed on a bottom shelving unit, or in an end cap orientation, allowing shoppers to easily see and grab the products from any angle.
Display boxes must not bend, bow, or lose their shape, and not be susceptible to developing visual defects while on display over time. Cases are expected to be sized to fit within the constraints of a standard pallet, and should not be misaligned.
Why Bliss Boxes Fit the Bill
Knowing the expectations of Costco and similar club outlets is one thing, but understanding the general benefits of bliss box styles can help you be more confident that your products are being adequately protected once they leave your facility.
3-piece bliss box styles are much sturdier than traditional RSCs, in part because the corrugate flutes run vertically, rather than horizontally. The single-piece bottom and laminated corners also contribute to their innate durability.
A body wrap forms the bottom and two sides of the box, and hot melt glue is applied to the external flanges, allowing the body wrap to be secured to the end panels (or H-divider). Internal flanges also secured to the body wrap. Display windows on 1-4 sides can be accommodated, along with internal divider options.
What Sets Pearson Bliss Formers Apart
Pearson Bliss Formers are some of the most efficient (in terms of high output and low scrap rate) on the market, and can produce many of the most common display-style cases you find at Costco today. The BF30 model is designed to handle larger cases that are perfectly suited to hold heavy, bulk, or vertical – often unstable- products, including stand-up bags.
A gravity fed body wrap magazine and two powered end-panel magazines with following paddles ensure the corrugate blanks are presented in the proper orientation for pick-off. An active forming section wraps the box components, applies glue, and establishes consistent compression, resulting in cases that are securely formed and square: critical components of a sturdy pallet stack.
The machine has an ergonomic magazine height for loading from ground level, and an optional high-capacity automatic stack transfer system for higher-speed (up to 30cpm) applications, or to mitigate the frequency of panel restocking for users.
Want to learn more about Pearson bliss capabilities and equipment?