Product Testing and Sampling

SKS advises that you test our packaging with your products, especially before purchasing large quantities. What does that mean exactly? SKS wants to make sure the packaging that you choose works to the level of excellence you deserve.

Testing Your Products With Our Packaging

As a distributor, SKS does not perform any product testing. Our products come from many different manufacturers who have documentation on their products that may include MSDS, C of C and more. Manufacturers are not able to provide information regarding compatibility of their items with other manufacturers' products. For example, jars from one source may or may not be compatible with caps from another. Another key reason that we suggest thorough testing is that each of our customers products are unique, with different qualities and packaging requirements. For the most comprehensive testing process, we recommend conducting both short and long term tests, tailored specifically to your products.

While the internet is a vast source of useful information, some resources may be unverified or based on opinion. In addition to online research, testing can provide the most accurate results. This may seem like a time consuming and expensive step when re-branding or starting a new product line, but in the end it can save money and ensure customer satisfaction. With proper testing there will be fewer unhappy customers, less product waste due to improper packaging, faster and efficient processing and an all-around more satisfying experience.

After you have decided on the size, material, shape, color and dispensing type you would like in your packaging, the next step is testing. Here are a few things to keep in mind while testing:

  • How will your products be stored initially and over time?
  • Are the products able to be dispensed as intended?
  • How is the product designed to be transported and stored?
  • Do the products need barriers against common factors such as oxygen, UV rays and moisture?
  • Is there a different color or shape that may look better aesthetically with your products and label?

Many customers test their products from start to finish from the perspectives of the end users. They ship the products to themselves, use the products for the length intended and store them as suggested on the label. Through this process, they can see where there is room for improvement and if anything should be altered in terms of their products or how they are packaged.

Another useful testing method is stress testing. Stress testing is experimentation with products in extreme scenarios that may not typically happen during regular use. Stress testing can include leaving the container in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, submerging it in water, shaking or dropping.

Once testing is complete, you may ask yourself if there are any factors of your packaging that you would like to change.

  • How are your products stored initially and over time?
    Did you notice that the chemical composition of your product seemed to react with the plastic? This could be resolved by trying a different plastic type or glass containers in some cases.
  • Are the products able to be dispensed as intended?
    Did you test with a fine mist sprayer, but the product seems too thick and isn't producing a mist? Try a pump or disc top cap, or maybe the product is better with a screw cap, poured into the hand or directly onto a surface.
  • How is the product designed to be transported and stored?
    Were the products affected by shipment and storage? Choosing a different shape or size of container or cap style could help alleviate these problems.
  • Do the products need barriers against common factors such as oxygen, UV rays and moisture?
    Choosing a different type of plastic or switching to glass, or selecting a different liner can provide better chemical resistance and barrier properties. For example, darker colored materials tend to provide a stronger barrier against UV rays, so switching from a clear PET bottle to an amber PET bottle could make a difference.
  • Is there a different color or shape that may look better aesthetically with your products and label?
    After packaging and testing, everything may work exceptionally with your products, but you just want a different look. That\'s no problem, with the extensive inventory SKS has to offer you can customize your packaging to meet your specific needs and achieve the unique look you are going for.

The FDA and Product Testing

Depending on the industry your products fall within, the FDA may have packaging and labeling requirements and guidelines. Being aware of current and possible future regulations can assist in making sure you have chosen to package within the FDA parameters for testing, helping to reduce the need for packaging revisions in the future. Unscheduled packaging changes could lead to gaps in production, sales and possible business advancement.

The FDA may suggest or require sterilization and cleaning practices to be completed while packaging in your industry, and you may also have your own preferences. Testing these methods are important in the accurate and smooth filling of your packaging choices. While SKS does not clean or sterilize packaging before shipping to our customers, we do have high standards for cleanliness in each warehouse, and when products must be touched, latex free disposable gloves are worn. After receiving your packaging, it is your choice if and how you'd like to clean the packaging before filling. Different types of plastic, glass and liners have different suggested cleaning and sterilization methods, which is why testing will verify compatibility with your process and the packaging chosen. If you pick a high-temperature cleaning process, plastics with high melting points would be a better choice, for example. If you decide to use liners that need to be activated, making sure your process correctly activates and seals the liners is recommended.

Sampling and Product Testing

SKS offers product sampling, which could aid in your testing process. Sampling will allow you to test one of the caps and containers that you are interested in to ensure that they work with your products. Once testing is complete, you can purchase larger quantities with confidence. Sampling requires the creation of a free account within our system that takes no time at all to set up, and does not require payment information. A free account is created through the assistance of a customer service representative via phone, live chat or email! Already an SKS customer? When ordering samples we can locate your active account and process the order with ease. Sample orders are free of charge for up to three different stock numbers when shipped anywhere in the US or Canada. Sample orders exceeding three stock numbers or internationally shipped may be subject to fees. For additional information regarding samples or questions on product testing, be sure to contact our helpful customer service team!

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