Packaging of products has become one of the key elements of the marketing and selling strategy. It is one of those factors that associate a product with a brand and entice the customer to buy it. At the same time, product package performs the key function of protecting the product from any kind of damage by external forces. If you are selling food products, you need to pay extra attention to this aspect. Such items are often perishable in nature and sometimes have a limited shelf life. In both cases, you have to ensure that they are packaged in such a way that the quality and integrity is preserved till they reach the consumers. The key lies in choosing the right material that matches the kind of product you are selling. Let us know more about the various kinds of packaging materials used for food products.
One of the most commonly used materials for storing and packing food and drinks is plastics. It is recyclable and can be molded into any shape, in addition to having adequate mechanical strength. At the same time, it is capable of preserving and protecting foods and drinks for longer, minimizing the requirement of preservatives. From the consumer’s perspective, plastic containers are easy to open and handle. Brands can take the advantage of an effective surface that can be used for advertising the brand.
On the downside, low-quality plastic can pollute the contents and contaminate it with chemicals. If you do want to use this material for your product’s packaging, ensure that you get only high-quality material from a reputed plastic container manufacturer like CCC.
Glass serves as a good option for packaging products in liquid forms and is best used for making bottles, jars, glasses and ampoules. It is inert and impermeable to vapors and gases. It keeps food and drinks in a great condition by acting as neutral oxygen barrier. The food and beverage industry prefers it for keeping products safe and healthy throughout their shelf life.
The disadvantage of glass as a packaging material is that it is fragile and heavy. Moreover, it is not renewable in nature though it can be reused as a container once the packaged food or drink has been used up.
Metal (aluminum, steel or tin)
Metals like aluminum, steel or tin are widely used for storing and preserving canned foods and drinks. Bering opaque in nature, metal is the most preferred material for foods and drinks which are sensitive to light. Aluminum is gaining extensive popularity as a product packaging option because it is light, inexpensive and recyclable. It is versatile as it can be used in the form of cans, wraps, laminates and bottle closures. Tin is another material used for making cans. But aluminum is still considered superior as it is corrosion resistant.
Canning is a technique that is more suitable for the beverage industry though some food items are canned too. It provides the branding advantage to the sellers though the possibility of wrinkles and rips in this kind of packaging is its disadvantage.
Paper and Cardboard
Paper and cardboard are the most hygienic and cost-effective packaging materials. Paper is lightweight and has an excellent printing capacity. Cardboard is harder, thicker and more resistant as compared to paper. While paper is mainly used for making paper bags to pack lightweight foods, cardboard is molded into boxes for weighty products. Both the materials are recyclable in nature.
Considering the downsides, paper and cardboard are suitable only for a few food items. They can get damp because they are sensitive to water. Also, they are meant for short-term packaging.
Self-heating and Self-cooling Materials
The innovation in the packaging industry has brought the new concept of self-heating and self-cooling materials. As the name suggests, these materials maintain the temperatures inside the package to keep the product in an optimal condition. Self-heating materials are chiefly being used for ready-to-eat items like pizzas as they can secure the taste and texture of the food. Self-cooling materials are used for cakes and pastries that need temperature control for being at their best when they reach the consumer.
Although these materials render advancement in packing, these are expensive and can elevate the overall costing of your product. However, if quality and taste are the USPs that you want to define for your brand, this is an ideal choice.
The choice of a packaging material greatly depends on the kind of product and its preservation requirements. Moreover, your budget also plays a key role in influencing this choice. The objective should be to cater the highest quality product to the consumer.