In previous articles, we have looked at the traditional marketing mix and the extended marketing mix. The latter adds 3 Ps to the original 4 Ps and one of those Ps is the packaging. All this to say packaging is a very important part of a product and therefore business. Packaging, therefore, represents a big business opportunity for those who are of a mind that provides the packaging needs of businesses and I dividends. Let’s look at some business ideas in packaging.

Cloth bags

We’ll start here because of the recent news that Zimbabwe will ban the use of plastic carrier bags in December 2022. That’s a huge opportunity for those who can manufacture durable bags. While the cloth is not the only solution I believe it will be the best going forward. The ability to print on and therefore brand it is something that will appeal to both businesses and individuals.


Glass, despite its fragility, is one of the most widely used packaging materials especially in food and cosmetics. Glass blowing and recycling are heavy undertakings that would require a large investment. On the lower end wholesale of glass packaging products for resale is a huge business opportunity. The market is mature but that doesn’t mean that the opportunities have dried up. With many small businesses popping up there is also the opportunity of buying larger quantities from manufacturers and reselling.

Resealable plastic

I have observed that resealable plastic packets are creeping into our products slowly but surely. In food, detergents and more we are seeing a move to this smarter option. Getting into the supply of those materials would be a great idea. Much like glass, this is more likely to work well as a bulk buy and resale arrangement.


The box will surely be with us for a very long time to come. However, all markets experience moments of opportunity from time to time. Perhaps inspired by a combination of lockdown and the move towards food delivery a lot of confectioners have sprung up and I think we are likely to see many more. They are large consumers of boxes for their products. Boxes are versatile so you’d be looking at a very wide market. It may make sense to choose a niche and focus intensely on that niche. You can also look at eCommerce and the need for boxes that protect the items being transported all along the chain.

Environmentally friendly packaging

Earlier we mentioned the EMAs ban on plastic carrier bags. The problem with those bags is that plastic is not biodegradable and creates waste management problems. The same reasons were given for banning Styrofoam (kaylite) packaging. If the EMA can ban Styrofoam and plastic carrier bags, what’s next? Whatever it is the answer is more environmentally friendly packaging. Ideas like bamboo and hemp which are easily biodegradable are growing in usage.

Egg trays

Egg trays are manufactured from recycled paper pulp and are an environmentally friendly form of packaging. They have a steady demand from egg producers and therefore represent a very good business opportunity. Egg producers will order in bulk as well.  They can be manufactured with very simple machinery that does not require a lot of space to operate in. This business fits very well alongside a business that produces or handles a lot of waste paper.

Plastic wrap

After spending so much time talking about environmentally friendly packaging it seems a bit ironic to mention plastic wrap as a viable packaging business idea. However, this packaging continues to be in demand and you have many options in the expression you choose. This is a wholesale for resale business and your role would be bringing together smaller scale customers with large producers. Cling wrap, cellophane and other plastic wraps are popular with manufacturers and repackers alike.

Packaging is a key focus area for businesses going forward. Improvements in areas such as eCommerce are certain to continue to push demand for some forms of packaging. In other areas, the need for environmentally friendly packaging choices will push the demand for alternatives.