Important Dates to Remember for Holiday Packaging in 2023

Important Dates to Remember for Holiday Packaging in 2023

When did you last wonder about increasing your sales? Holiday packaging brings forth that opportunity for a sales boost through creative endeavours in packaging strategy. The presentation matters, especially when it comes to a brand's image. Deciphering the right time and quantity to order holiday packaging materials enhances a business's chances to encash the festive buzz.

Ordering Your Holiday Packaging: A Timely Strategy

Before the high-revenue period kicks in, you must land a well-rounded approach to get your ducks in line! The operational aspects of holiday readiness include planning for your holiday packaging needs in advance. The strategy involves determining potential post-purchase shipping delays and ensuring plenty of time for distribution. The ideal time to start planning for holiday packaging is 1-2 months before entering the festive period.

Strategising for Production and Shipping Needs

After determining the perfect purchasing period, you must understand the production process and resources required to prepare packaging materials at each step. Lead times usually vary depending on the manufacturing method in use.

Primarily, the surging demand during the holiday season may also nudge the shipping costs and times more than usual. Being fully aware of the production and shipping time needed for various packaging types like corrugated boxes, reusable bags, labels, etc., prepares you well beforehand.

Counting the Production Days (Once CTP Is Approved)

Custom corrugated boxes may take more production time than the standard or basic ones. So, not calculating the production days can leave you in a tight spot. The production time of packaging options depends on the type of packaging, design complexity, order quantity, and the capabilities of the manufacturing facility.

To guide you better, we’re highlighting the production time of some common packaging materials:

Corrugated Boxes

Standard: 5-10 business days

Custom/Complex designs: 10-20 business days

Foldable Cartons

Standard designs: 7-15 business days

Intricate die-cutting, unique finishes, or high quantities: 15-25 business days

Flexible Packaging (Pouches or bags)

Simple, flexible packaging: 7-12 business days

Custom shapes, materials, or large quantities: 15-20 business days

Labels and Stickers on Packaging

Basic labels: 5-7 business days

Elaborate labels with unique printing processes or finishes: 10-15 days

Glass or Plastic Bottles

Standard glass or plastic bottles: 10-25 business days

Bottles with custom shapes or special treatments: 15-20 business days

Metal packaging (Cans or tins)

Standard metal cans: 10-15 business days

Customised designs or exceptional coatings: 15-2 business days

Reusable Bags

Basic reusable bags: 10-15 business days

Custom reusable bags (with intricate prints, special materials, or unique features): 15-25 business days

Large quantities or bags requiring complex manufacturing process: Above 25 business days

Navigating Shipping Timelines for the Holiday Season

Once the production process is complete, the order needs time to ship. Shipping usually takes a few days, depending on the mode of shipping chosen. The overall shipping timeline in the holiday season also needs to account for possible unforeseen delays. There are several options for having your order speedily reach your doorstep if you're in a last-minute haul.

These shipping options and delivery times can vary depending on the carrier, destination, and the chosen shipping service.

Standard Shipping

Standard shipping is among the most cost-effective options, with 5-7 business days for domestic shipments. For international shipments, it takes 7-21 business days or more to deliver, depending upon the destination. So, if you're ahead of your ordering timeline, opt for standard shipping.

Express Shipping 

If you need a quicker delivery, express shipping helps you do that. Domestic shipments usually take 1-3 business days, whereas international shipments may take 3-5 business days or more. It's a more expensive option suitable for time-sensitive shipments.

Two-day Shipping

This option comes in handy in case of special deliveries, where your business may require the order to reach in 48 hours. It's among the fastest ways and best-suited for urgent deliveries, but comes with elevated costs.

Overnight or Next-day Shipping

At times, when speed is the priority, overnight shipping can assure delivery in 1 business day for domestic orders and 1-3 business days for international shipments. It's a viable option for customers willing to pay a premium for lightning-speed delivery.

Economy or Ground Shipping

If large or heavier quantities are in question, economy shipping is a cost-effective method for non-urgent deliveries. It may take longer shipping time, especially for cross-country or international shipments. Domestic ground shipping can take 5 to 10 business days, while international ground shipping may take 10 to 15 days or more.

Freight Shipping

Another reasonably priced option for large or heavy shipments includes freight shipping. It may take a more extended period for delivery, and the time may significantly vary depending on factors such as distance and the mode of transportation (by air, ocean, or ground). The delivery time may range from several days to weeks. So, consider this option if you're in no rush to get your order.

The Importance of Festive Packaging: Why Do You Need It?

The holiday season is substantially bustling with heavy rush and crowded aisles. Many businesses profit enormously due to an uptick in their sales during this time. One of the significant reasons to go for sumptuous holiday packaging is to stand out in the mob and connect with customers. Customers are looking for pretty detailing on packaging and gifting options.

Eye-catching festive packaging helps your products get noticed online and offline. The buyers are often ready to pay a premium for eye-candy packages, like Christmas theme wrapping or fancy ribbons. The decorative packaging eliminates an additional step and cost of gift wrapping, providing convenience to the customer.

Determining the Right Quantity

Who likes dead stock or over piling?! It's essential to determine the optimum quantity to order for holiday packaging. The parameters for this generally include the scale of your business, the type of products you offer, and the expected demand during the holiday season. The holiday sales may spike higher than usual, and it's a good idea to order around 15-20% more packaging than your expected sales.

We've chalked out an overview of the things to do while deciding the order quantity:

  • Analyse your historical data of previous holiday seasons, and identify trends and patterns regarding product demand. It helps get insights into which products are popular during the holidays and to estimate quantities needed.
  • You can use any available forecasting tools or market research to predict the expected demand for your products during the holiday season. Consider any promotions, discounts, or new product releases that might impact the demand.
  • Stock up higher quantities if you plan to run promotions or offer discounts. The marketing campaigns may increase your sales, and higher packaging quantities may be required.
  • If you're using eco-friendly materials, consider the sustainability and recyclability of your packaging.
  • Review the possibility of running out of storage space, evaluating your capacity. Ordering excessive quantities may lead to storage challenges, while ordering less may result in stockouts. Strike a balance based on your storage capacity.

Financial Planning for Your Holiday Packaging

Time to think above and beyond the production and arrival of your holiday packaging! It's a crucial step to evaluate your budget for holiday packaging, as ordering in larger quantities may provide cost savings per unit. However, ensuring that the upfront cost meets your predefined budget is essential.

Besides estimating packaging and shipping costs and determining optimal order quantity, planning the budget for your holiday packaging reels is an essential factor. These may include;

  • Considering the per unit margin above the total product cost
  • Engaging in negotiations with the suppliers
  • Managing your cash flow to determine the apt time to place the order
  • Keeping a buffer for a contingency to accommodate unexpected costs, fluctuations in demand, or any changes in your marketing strategy during the holiday season.
  • Factoring in shipping costs associated with transporting the packaging to your business location, picking a suitable shipping method, and negotiating rates with carriers to minimise expenses.
  • Monitoring exchange rates if you're dealing with international suppliers
  • If needed, revise the cost layout for additional expenses associated with ordering sustainable or eco-friendly holiday packaging.

Ideas for Kickstarting Your Festive Creativity

Festivals are a time to represent what you stand for creatively. It takes you to the top of your marketing game by adding glitz and glamour to the face of your product. It's the time when carts and hearts are full! Don't dodge the opportunity to create something fun and ecstatic for your beloved customer.

Let’s check some eclectic holiday packaging ideas:

Theme-Based Packaging:

Adding a relevant festive theme to your packaging is the most obvious way to attract and relate with customers. You could be bold with a winter wonderland, classic holiday, or even a more specific theme, or add subtle notes to the packaging. This includes Christmas theme gift cards or tapes. Both ways, you're tuning into nostalgia to connect with your customer.

Sprinkle Seasonal Colours:

Visuals often talk through colours. The feeling latched with seeing a particular hue or colour palette often drives a solid connection to it. Use traditional holiday colours like red, green, gold, and silver. Spruce it up with metallic finishes for an elegant touch.

Festive Greetings or Messages:

Warm greetings printed on your packaging bring a fond, candid touch. You could use tapes, ribbons or gifting paper embossed with these sweet nothings or add gift cards or box inserts.

Festive Labels, Stickers, Ribbons, or Wrapping Paper:

Adorn your product with beautiful customised wrapping papers, ribbons, labels or stickers with festive prints that complement your brand.

Adding Patterns and Embellishments

The texture of your packaging, embossed patterns, raised lettering, or tactile finishes can change the way a customer feels or sees it. You can create a more sensory and luxurious experience for your customer by adding texture and embellishments to your packaging.

Window Cutouts on boxes

Getting a sneak peek into something you're thinking of buying is always enchanting. Design your product boxes or packaging with window cutouts to pique your customers' interest, as they get an idea of what's inside. You can shape the window like a festive symbol or ornament to make it even more relatable.

Reusable Holiday Packaging:

Sustainable packaging is very much in demand these days, with a high preference for eco-friendly purchases. One of the ways to add sustainability to your packaging is by designing festive packaging that people can reuse for holiday decorations. It adds value for the customers and also lifts your brand image.

Scented Packaging:

Scents can allure from a distance and help relate instantly. The idea of Infusing your holiday packaging with a holiday-inspired scent, such as pine, cinnamon, or gingerbread, can evoke festive feelings in your customers and make a great impact too.

QR Code in Packages:

An innovative way to give your customer more than the eye meets is to place QR codes on your packaging. It may link to exclusive holiday content, including behind-the-scenes videos, holiday recipes, or special promotions. These snippets give an unexpected inside story to the customer.


We’re ringing into the festive season and your business must bring in pre-planning of holiday packaging designs, order quantities, and budget allocation. This approach will help you savour the holiday season's advantage. Saving time by brainstorming and planning proactively can make this ordeal quite cost-effective for your business. Moreover, you must not select packaging partners based on factors like who can deliver the fastest and offer the lowest price. Instead, allow your business a timely and practical approach by acting on it sooner.



  1. When to place orders for customised packaging in the holiday season?

A: Ideally, you must order holiday packaging at least 6 weeks in advance to accommodate the possibility of any shipping delays or added costs since the holiday season is a hectic time.

  1. What is the production time of some of the packaging types?

A: Production times of some of the popular packaging types are listed below:

  •   Folding carton: 20-25 days
  •   Corrugated: 20-25 days
  •   Rigid: 20-35 days
  •   Countertop displays: 10-12 days
  1. What is the most preferred packaging option?

Folding cartons and corrugated boxes are the highly recommended options. This is because they are cost-effective and time-efficient.