Assemblies Unlimited, Inc.

What is Cello Wrapping?

Packagers use as variety of techniques and materials to create durable and attractive covers for retail products.  The transparent, crinkly plastic outer layer which covers many everyday items is a result of ‘over-wrapping’ or cello wrapping.

The familiar application is perhaps most widely recognized as the outer wrap on cigarette packs, but the process is actually used to package a wide variety of consumer goods, promotional items and coupons.  The polypropylene material (refered to as “OPP”, or oriented Polyproylene), is often clear, but is also common as a white opaque film which is then custom printed, or a Metalized “silver” film which is also printed but presents a nicer overall look.

Finished products that have been cello wrapped are extremely glossy in appearance, creating a higher perceived value for low-priced items like chewing gum and candy.  Printed cello wrap, in particular, provides a merchandising canvas that is limited only by the size of the item.

Cello Wrapping is Cost Effective

Cello wrapping is a cost effective choice for inexpensive items being packaged in large quantities.  The tidy appearance of cello wrap is augmented by a tamper resistant component that helps prevent pilfering.  Cello wrap is manufactured in various thicknesses, which brings even greater flexibility to its uses.  Budget applications might use a thin layer of polypro (80 ga. Is standard), while products that rely on the packaging for protection can be encased in a heavier gauge film, like 100ga or even 120.  In addition, there are OPP films that provide a barrier for odor and moisture when required as well as FDA certified films when using in direct contact with food.

Medium to small items are best packed using this method.  For flat products like coupons or tearpads, hang holes are incorporated into the top seal area of the package in order to allow them to be merchandised on pegs, counter displays or planograms.  High end retail boxes, such as cosmetic products and perfumes use cello “tuck” wrapping.  The tuck ends give a high end look like it is hand wrapped and when used on an expensive folding carton is “screems” quality”.

Manufacturers and wholesalers contract with packaging companies to fulfill their cello wrapping needs.  Pricing is based on volume and materials used along with the specified artwork provided.  So the size, gauge of the film, artwork and volume all play a role in the final cost of this packaging solution.

Custom Packaging Solutions

Custom sizes are available, as well as distinct closure methods that include heat sealing and folded ends that resemble gift wrap.  When standard sizes are utilized, packagers’ ability to provide quick turn-around is enhanced. Contract packagers often require minimum run sizes which is typically 50,000 units, as cello wrapping is a high speed automated process and the set up requires a steady run to be cost effective for the provider.  1MM units is a common run for an overwrapping or cello wrapping project.

Mass mailing companies utilize cello packages as merchandising tools, by packing cello wrapped samples into newspapers and other circulars. Baseball card-style packages with clear cello wrap are also used to distribute information, along with coupons. Individual pieces can be handed out, or distribution can be increased by sticking them inside magazines and papers.

Products commonly packed using cello wrapping come from a wide assortment of retail categories, including:

  • Health and Beauty – Small items that are made to be hung lend themselves to cello wrapping, so disposable razors, refills, and cough drops are each prime candidates.
  • Candy – Chewing gum sold in multi-packs is efficiently bundled using graphically printed cello wrap.  The items are easy to ship between stores; and the colorful advertising artwork on the package is ideal for glossy cello wrap.
  • Snacks – Like candy, this category is dominated by cello wrapping, used for retail products like nuts, pretzels and other snacks.
  • Gifts – Cello wrapping is reminiscent of the film used to secure the contents of a gift basket, so it is widely used in other gift applications too.
  • Promotions / mailers – coupons and give-aways are cello wrapped for mailing or for inserting into a cereal box.
  • Dog/Pet treats – Dog bones and treats for animals is a common use for overwrapping.  Odor and moisture barrier film is available for these applications.
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