Looking for a way to enhance your brand appeal and protect your products during shipping? Custom packaging inserts for unit cartons (folding cartons, consumer boxes) and corrugated boxes are a great solution. These unique inserts not only add a touch of professionalism to product packaging but also provide essential protection for your products.

Custom packaging inserts, or box inserts, are designed to fit perfectly inside boxes, creating a secure space for the product. Whether it’s cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, other health and beauty products, candles, pet products, etc., inserts can be tailored to specific needs.

Custom packaging inserts offer an excellent opportunity to showcase a brand. With options like custom printing, embossing, foil stamping, and other folding carton print finishes, it’s easy to incorporate a logo, brand colors, and messaging right on the inserts. This not only reinforces brand recognition but provides important consumer directions and information.

Note: another type of packaging insert is the strictly promotional insert such as thank you cards or small gifts. That will be covered in another article.

Investing in custom packaging inserts is a smart move for any company that wants to elevate their packaging game and enhance the overall brand experience. They’re an effective step up from generic, bland packaging and a proven way to increase revenue.

Reasons to Customize Box Inserts

There are compelling reasons, backed by statistics, for a company to give custom package inserts a serious market test.

☑️ Packaging design and personalization can yield a far greater ROI than normal advertising campaigns. Some brand consultants estimate that effective packaging design can exceed the impact of up to three advertising campaigns and more than eight promotional cycles1.

☑️ Investing in sophisticated, personalized luxury packaging is imperative for businesses in the premium goods market, as their customers value not just product quality but also the packaging experience2.

☑️ Personalization and customization through unique colors, designs, prints and logos on packaging help strengthen brand recall and make products more attractive to consumers2.

☑️ 72% of American consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by packaging design3.

☑️ 71% of consumers are more likely to buy brands that use paper and cardboard packaging3.

☑️ Advanced personalization efforts can drive over 200% ROI for brands according to a study by KO Marketing4.


Types of Custom Packaging Inserts & Their Benefits

There are several types of packaging inserts to choose from based on specific product needs and the type of packaging. These are some of the most popular options.

Paperboard Inserts

Sleeve box with custom tray insert

Paperboard inserts are usually made from the same material as the outer box. They are engineered to support the product, reduce movement, and minimize the risk of damage during handling and transit.

Paperboard inserts can also be printed to showcase the brand and create a more memorable unboxing experience. Of all the custom inserts, these have the most flexibility regarding printing and print finishes. Nearly anything that’s being printed on the outer box can be done on the insert.

Corrugated Inserts

Corrugated packaging insert for bottle

Corrugated inserts are a popular choice for heavier products that need more substantial protection than the lighter paperboard provide. They are made from sturdy corrugated cardboard, which provides protection and considerable structural support to the products.

Corrugated weights range from micro-flutes, to A, B, C, E and F-flute single wall to double-wall and triple-wall cartons. Depending on the type of corrugated, inserts can be customized with printing, allowing you to incorporate your branding elements directly onto the insert.

Corrugated can be printed in one, two or three spot colors. Process colors can print directly on white or Kraft corrugated. This not only reinforces your brand identity but also creates a cohesive and professional look for your packaging.

One of the advantages of both paperboard and corrugated inserts is their versatility. They can be designed in various shapes, such as trays, dividers, or partitions, depending on your specific product requirements. Whether you need to protect fragile glass bottles or organize different components of an electronic device, corrugated or paperboard inserts can be customized to meet specific product needs.

Another advantage of these two types of packaging inserts is their sustainability. Inserts can be made from a wide range of recycled or recyclable boards and corrugated.

Foam Inserts

Foam packaging insret

Foam inserts are one of the most versatile options for custom packaging inserts. They are made from polyurethane foam, which can be easily shaped and cut to fit the contours of nearly any product. Foam inserts provide excellent cushioning and protection against impacts, making them ideal for delicate items like electronics or glassware.

These inserts can be customized to have cutouts that perfectly hold products in place, preventing movement during transit. The foam can be die-cut to create recesses for individual items or compartments for multiple products. This ensures that products stay secure and protected, even if the box is jostled or dropped from a height, such as the back of a delivery truck.

Foam inserts also offer a high-end look and feel to a brand’s packaging. Foam inserts give companies the ability to choose from different foam densities and colors. Inserts can be customized with hot stamping or screen printing to align with a brand’s image and marketing messages.

When customers receive a package with custom inserts of any type, it conveys a sense of professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that the brand invests in creating a positive brand experience from the moment the package is opened.

Inserts ensure that products arrive at their destination in pristine condition. They boost customer satisfaction, increase brand loyalty, and reduce the number of returns or exchanges.

Design Considerations for Custom Packaging Inserts

When designing custom packaging inserts, there are several factors to consider to ensure that they meet a company’s specific requirements. Here are some key design considerations.

Product Dimensions and Weight

The first step in designing custom packaging inserts is understanding the dimensions and weight of your products. This information will help determine the size and thickness of the inserts, ensuring a snug fit and adequate protection.

Products need to be measured accurately, considering their length, width, height, and any irregularities in shape. Also, the product’s weight will determine the best type of insert material and cushioning required.

Type of Packaging

The type of packaging used, whether it’s folding cartons or corrugated boxes, will influence the design of custom inserts. Folding cartons are typically made from paperboard and are commonly used for retail packaging, while corrugated boxes are made from a combination of linerboard and corrugated medium, offering more durability and strength for shipping purposes.

Consider the structural properties of your packaging and design the inserts accordingly. Folding cartons may require inserts that provide more protection against movement and compression, while corrugated boxes may need inserts that offer greater shock absorption and stacking strength.

Material Selection

The materials used will, of course, affect the design of every component of the product package. Those choices should be made prior to finalizing a design.

How to Choose the Right Materials for Product Package Inserts

Design and material choice go hand-in-hand when designing a carton with inserts. Here are some factors to consider when selecting materials.

Product Fragility

Consider the fragility of the products and the level of protection they require. Delicate or fragile items will likely need foam inserts that offer excellent cushioning and shock absorption. On the other hand, less fragile items may be adequately protected with cardboard or molded pulp inserts.

It always pays to have samples constructed and tested to determine the best insert option.

Shipping Method and Destination

The shipping method and destination play a role in determining the level of protection required. If your products are shipped internationally or through multiple distribution centers, they may be subjected to longer transit times, more handling, or other supply chain issues. In such cases, inserts with higher shock absorption properties, like foam, may be necessary.

If your products are shipped locally or through a reliable carrier with shorter transit times, you may have more flexibility in choosing the type of insert material.

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of the packaging materials you choose for your custom packaging inserts. If sustainability is a priority for your business, opt for materials like cardboard or molded pulp, which are recyclable and biodegradable.

Using eco-friendly materials can also align with your brand values and resonate with environmentally conscious customers. It shows that you are committed to reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a greener future.

Branding Opportunities

Another factor to consider when choosing materials is the branding opportunities they offer. Foam inserts can be customized with printing, embossing, or foil stamping, allowing you to incorporate your logo, brand colors, and messaging directly onto the insert.

Corrugated or paperboard inserts can also be printed with your branding elements, creating a cohesive and professional look for your packaging. Molded pulp inserts, although limited in printing options, can be customized with labels or tags to add your logo or messaging.

Consider how each material can enhance your brand appeal and choose accordingly.

More Examples of Paperboard Packaging Inserts

Below are a few more examples of the various types of package inserts.

1-piece box with a built-in insert

Product box with 1-piece built-in insert

Folding tray insert, 2 pieces

folding tray insert with support

Tray insert with sleeve

Packaging tray insert with sleeve

Slide box with several insert components

Slide box with insert components

Key Points on Custom Inserts for Product Packaging

Custom product packaging inserts offer many benefits for companies that want to enhance their brand appeal and better protect their products during shipping. By carefully considering factors such as product dimensions, packaging type, material selection, branding opportunities, and environmental impact, companies can design inserts that not only meet their specific needs but also elevate the overall customer experience. With the ability to customize inserts using various materials and printing techniques, businesses can create a cohesive and professional look that reinforces their brand identity and sets them apart from competitors. Ultimately, investing in custom packaging inserts is a strategic decision that can yield significant returns in terms of customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and revenue growth.

Where to Get Custom Packaging Inserts

Clear Print, with over 43 years of print packaging experience and industry awards, can help with the design and printing of your custom product packaging and inserts. They’re well known for innovation, efficiency, and their the #1 On-Time Delivery Record.

For brands that want to boost revenue with product packaging that truly stands out, Clear Print is here to assist. They invite potential clients to get in touch, discuss their requirements, and receive a personalized quote.

You can send project specifications here to get a fast quote.

Or you call to discuss a project at 818-709-1220.

They can also be reached at info@clearprint.com or through the Contact Us page.

Have Clear Print produce and handle your entire packaging project, start-to-finish. Minimum hassles. Maximum results.


1. Packaging Design and Return on Investment

2. Luxury Packaging Market by Material, Product Type, End Use & Region

3. Most Americans Say That the Design of a Product’s Packaging Often Influences Their Purchase Decisions

4. 10 Personalization Statistics You Need to Know: Why Personalized Marketing is the Way to Go

Published On: May 7th, 2024 / Categories: Folding Cartons /