Food packaging is what has immediate contact with food, and is used to contain it from the moment it is produced so it can be delivered to the customer. The food packaging is used to protect the insides from any external influences, contamination and alterations. The packaging of food is also what the customer sees when s/he is out in the market. This packaging has to look presentable and has to be safe enough, so the food item inside is not damaged. Everything about the packaging of food matters and that includes its material, color and the information that is displayed on it.
The primary purposes of every product packaging are protection, preservation and providing necessary information. When a customer buys the item, s/he can see the manufacturing date and best-before date, batch number and nutrition facts. In short, the food packaging is the container that will ensure that your food is preserved, safely transported and handled.
There are different types of food packaging. The main types are glass containers, tetra pack containers, wood packaging, vacuum packaging, tin packaging, plastic packaging, cardboard packaging, ice cream packaging, metal packaging, juice packaging and laminated packaging. Food companies can hire other companies for contract packaging. Contract packaging is when another company handles everything including packaging, assembling, kit, and/or warehouse and distribution of products.
Apart from transporting your food item and delivering it to the customer, the food packaging also serves other purposes. Here are five benefits of good food packaging.
Of course, the foremost purpose of food packaging is to keep the food clean, free from all contamination. Food packaging is what paves the way for the hygienic transportation and storage of all food items and beverages. When food, or any item for that matter, is transported, the transporters don’t really do their job by keeping its hygiene in mind. The packaging of the food reduces exposure to contaminants that are always present in the air and the bacteria that can be passed to it during handling. Insufficient measure to keep the food hygienic can lead to illness including food poisoning. Food poisoning can decrease the popularity and sales of a food item at once, and no food company should risk that. There are also some concerns regarding the use of recycled material in the production of food packaging.
The Food and Drug Administration in many countries has strict regulations that ensure the presence of proper hygiene and safety among manufacturers that use recycled material. Packaging later on also helps the buyer when s/he wants to store the food at home. The food should never be left exposed, and thus packaging helps consumer safely store the food in their house.
Sometimes it can be hours or even days before the food reaches its destination, and it is possible that it will have to switch many vehicles during that time. It is a possibility that if the food is not safely packaged, it can be damaged. You don t want your food to reach its destination in a state where it is not even usable. The same goes for shelves in the retail stores. No one really knows how much time the food is going to stay on the shelves, so the packaging ensures that it stays fresh and edible.
Packaged food items are free of natural or man-made contamination. There are some food items that cannot last long if there is the slightest exposure such as canned food. Food like bread and biscuits can go stale without proper packaging. Food products have to be kept safe, and their shelf life should also be extended. Packaging plays the role to preserve the food and prolong its shelf life. Products like oils are packaged with the purpose of protecting their quality. Some products can be affected by light and can become rancid unless you package them carefully.
The food packaging makes your food items look presentable to the customer. Half the time it is the packaging of a food that compels the customer to buy it. When the food packaging does not look appealing, or it looks cheap, the customers avoid buying it. A good food packaging is a way of ensuring your customers that they can trust you.
The food packaging is an excellent source of information for consumers. You can see the expiry date of the product written on it, and also the ingredients used and their nutrition value. Many people look for such information before buying any product, and when the information is available, it builds the customer’s trust in your brand.
Food packaging is more than just a means to transport your products and keeps the food safe, clean, and presentable. Quality packaging leads the way to increased sales!
This article was written by Mark Berry, a seasoned designer & creative director with ten years of experience in Chicago, IL. Food Packaging Agency. In his free time, he writes blogs about amazing packaging tips and tricks.