Food Packaging Guide – Understanding The Basics



Processed foods have become an integral part of our diets, and the only way the trend can be sustained is through efficient food packaging. Undoubtedly, food packaging materials and processes have made it possible for food to reach end consumers without compromising the integrity of the packaged product.

In this article, we will discuss different types of packaging materials and the factors that need to be considered before selecting one.


What is Food Packaging?

Food packaging is a technology where edible products are stored so that their quality isn’t compromised even after reaching the customers. Protective food cases keep the food inside safe from dirt, pollutants, chemicals, and other environmental factors that can make the contents unfit for consumption.

The modern food industry heavily depends on efficient packaging as it prevents waste and ensures the food retains its quality throughout its shelf life. However, it’s crucial to understand that every packaging material is only suitable for some food products. Therefore, food manufacturers must ensure that their packaging materials don’t release harmful toxins.


What Materials Can Be Used for Packing Food?

There are various options for packing materials, but the ultimate choice depends on the size and nature of the food product. Here are a few commonly used food packing materials:

1. Paper and Paperboard Packaging

Paper and paperboard hold a significant share in packing materials usage. It is among the earliest and largest used packing forms for everyday food items like milk, beverages, confectionery, bakery products, etc.

2. Plastic Packaging

Plastic is another commonly used packing material because of its lightweight. It is usually used in two forms: rigid and flexible, and both materials are useful for protecting various food items. You will find plastic packaging in many daily grocery items, such as soft drinks, ketchup, vegetable oil bottles, butter containers, juice, milk jugs, and grocery bags.

3. Glass Packaging

Glass is mainly used for storing beverages and other liquid food items. Since it is nonpermeable in nature, glass doesn’t interfere with the quality and taste of the food placed inside it. The upside to using this storing material is that it’s easily recyclable and chemically safe. However, glass has considerable weight and is prone to breakage, which makes it challenging to transport bulk quantities.

4. Metal Packaging

Metal packaging is widely used for beverages and canned foods. It is because tinplate and aluminum are highly durable and protect the inside content from all kinds of contaminants. Another perk of this material is that metal is easily recyclable, which makes it an environmental-friendly storage solution.


What are Primary and Secondary Packaging?

Primary packaging refers to the material that remains in constant contact with the food items. It is actually responsible for preserving the quality and freshness of the contents. Secondary packaging is used as an additional measure of protection.

Secondary packaging is sometimes used for branding purposes or to store multiple primary packages in a single place. Take a box of packaged cupcakes as an example. Individual cupcakes are stored in wrappers (primary packaging) and then placed inside a box (secondary packaging) to be sold at grocery stores.


Factors to Consider When Selecting Packaging for Food Items

The life of a retail product can be surprisingly long as it goes through various processes before it reaches the consumer. For this reason, it’s crucial for edible products to be packed in a way that retains their integrity throughout the journey.

This places a major responsibility on processed food manufacturers to select a packing material and form that best suits the product’s storage requirements.

The following are essential features to look for when selecting packaging for food items.

Safe for Consumption

Since we’re talking about edible items, it’s important to select a material that doesn’t release any toxins or harmful substances into the contents stored within.

It must also comply with the country’s food authority and be certified safe for storing food products.

Durable and Secure

Some food items are more fragile than others, so they need the packing material to be strong enough to protect them. A good example of this is eggs.

Also, freshness is a major concern when you’re selling food items, so things like baked goods, sliced meats, vegetables, etc., must be stored so they don’t oxidize faster than their shelf life.

Affordable and Effortless to Use

Price is an important point to consider when you select packing materials. The higher the cost of packaging, the more the consumer will ultimately have to pay for the product. Another thing to account for is the ease of use. Users prefer to avoid overly fussy packaging, so it’s best to keep it simple and clear.

In Line with Your Brand Identity

Food packaging says a lot about your company and how it wants to be perceived by consumers. Therefore, the packing form you choose should be aligned with your brand values and identity.


Latest Food Packaging Trends

Since food packages help companies amplify their message and connect with their customers, the year 2022 has seen many innovative food packaging trends with a sharp focus on sustainability.

Here are some prominent developments worth mentioning:

  • Recyclable and biodegradable packaging to help reduce global plastic waste. Some examples of such materials include bamboo, rice husk, stainless steel, and gelatin films.
  • Intelligent food packaging helps assess food quality, measure its temperature, and monitor its expiration date.
  • Augmented reality packaging is also gaining traction, and manufacturers are using the technology to give food preparation instructions, show demonstrations, etc.
  • Simple packaging designs are favored over complex ideas as they help deliver the message clearly and are also easier to spot on store shelves.


SIP Printing – A Complete Printing Solution

Good food packaging must fulfill two main purposes: protect the food contents within it and attract customers with its design. This is why quality printing is an essential aspect of packaging, whatever the material may be.

PT Sejahtera Inti Prima has been working in the printing industry for over 30 years, during which the company has evolved into a packaging printing specialist. The company focuses on providing high-quality products and services to its customers every time without fail.

As innovation and growth are crucial in the food industry, SIP ensures that it’s always one step ahead with the latest machinery and packaging techniques. So, if you are searching for a reliable food packaging company, SIP Printing is one name you can trust.

Reach out to SIP Printing’s customer service to request a quotation today.