While the primary function of food packaging is to protect your product, the primary function of food packaging design is to attract consumers. The packaging should sell itself.
This means you need to have a strong brand identity and packaging that communicates information about your product clearly and concisely, and in a way that is relevant to your target audience. Your package is your brand ambassador and is the key success factor in pitching the retail buyer to get on the shelf.
Food packaging has to ensure the safety and freshness of the product for the duration of its shelf life, apart from keeping the contents free from contamination.
Often food products are temperature, moisture, and air-sensitive; many food products have to be sealed in a dry condition and the packaging should not let any dampness in. Some food products may be packed frozen and have to be kept under temperature controlled conditions as they are regarded as perishables.
Certain food products may require packaging in glass or fluorinated plastic containers. Beverages, too, can be packaged differently – in a glass, PET, flexible packaging, stand-up pouches, and tetra packs.
Cost-Effective Ways of Having a Good Food Packaging
Most food and beverage products are available in different sizes. Making these product sizes readily available can add to the cost of the product, and it is important to see that you are not spending so much that it is eating into your profits.
Modern packaging means that you should use minimal packaging as far as possible without compromising on product integrity. Another crucial aspect of food and beverage packaging is labeling as the FDA has strict rules about the information to be displayed on the packaging.
If products are misbranded or the labels do not have the complete information it can lead to product recall, which can be a negative for the brand image. Among the new packaging materials used for food and beverages are:
- Form fill seal pillow style packages
- Reclosable stand-up pouches
- Spouted stand-up pouch
- Foam cups
- Puncture resistant containers
- Easy to open single serve containers
- Flexible and easy peel lidded packs
- Breathable or impervious films
- High barrier films
These methods of packaging are more compact and efficient, so using them reduces packaging costs significantly.
Food packaging, in particular, needs to be innovative and creative since new food products are constantly being launched. The latest materials used for custom food packaging are also easy to print in vibrant colors and so have a stand-out quality.
Some more environmentally responsible green packaging is already used today in some of the packaging we buy, which shows that certain brands are taking the environmental impacts of their packaging seriously.
Such packaging solutions are also increasingly in demand among consumers – although I think brands need to make the labeling of green packaging more prominent and understandable for the consumer.
- Using Renewable Resources
We also need to raise the relatively low level of awareness of more renewable packaging solutions among consumers.
Greater awareness of the environmental benefits of green packaging, combined with clearer and more understandable labeling, could give more responsible brands a competitive advantage in the market – mainly as greener packaging is not necessarily more expensive.
Packaging design is also important to ensure consumers can easily get all the food out of the packaging, which can help avoid food waste.
- Poly Bag
Among one of the most cost-effective packaging option is the polybag (or plastic pouch bag). Made out of plastic film material, it is commonly used for food, chemical, flower & magazine packaging.