High-quality product packaging is important in every industry. However, it’s perhaps the most important in the food industry. Manufacturers must ensure that their food products are kept safe and free of contamination at all stages in their journey from manufacturing facility to retail shelf. The packaging must be equal parts durable and eye-catching, as it also must serve as in-store marketing for the product itself. This guide explores the importance of product packaging in the food industry as it pertains to both security and marketing.
Avoids contamination and damage
The importance of product packaging in the food industry often stems from safety and security. Food products must remain free of contamination and damage at all points in the retail process. Therefore, product packaging must be durable enough that the food items will not be damaged as they are shipped from the manufacturing facility to stores, and again as they are transported from the store to a consumer’s home. Clear product packaging, as with polypropylene cartons or plastic window boxes, is very beneficial in this respect, as it is quite durable and allows the consumer to properly view the item prior to purchase to ensure that it has not been damaged in any way. Durable packaging is also crucial as it helps protect against moisture and cross-contamination. If moisture or air penetrates the packaging, it can spoil the food item and make it unfit for sale. Avoiding cross-contamination is also crucial, particularly in products that contain nuts, dairy, or other common allergens.
Displays crucial information
Product packaging not only ensures the safety of the consumer by decreasing the potential for moisture and cross-contamination, but also by clearly displaying crucial health and safety information on the package. The CDC requires that all food products display a list of the ingredients used in their products, as well as the accompanying nutritional facts. Though some shoppers may disregard the list entirely, it is still a crucial element in the packaging of food products. This information is especially important for consumers with dietary restrictions, allergies, or other health concerns. In addition to this information, food products must also clearly display an expiration date on their packaging. The addition of this crucial information ensures that all shoppers know exactly what they are getting before purchase.
Promotes in-store marketing
Product packaging plays a much larger role in marketing than many consumers realize. Food products with eye-catching packaging are much more likely to be purchased over competitors with a more generic design. The more unique a product’s packaging is, the more likely it will be noticed by consumers. When used in tandem with the concept of shelf appeal, expert product packaging can help increase the sale of food items significantly.
Polyethylene terephthalate packaging—or as it’s more commonly known, PET packaging—is a popular material for packaging products in a variety of different industries. PET plastic is popular not only for its crystal-clear transparency and durable yet lightweight nature, but also for the positive impact it has had on the environment. PET packaging is 100 percent recyclable and can be broken down to its base elements in order to create a variety of different products. Recycling PET plastic in this way helps decrease the amount of waste that’s put into landfills each year and reduces the negative impact such waste can have on the environment. Below are just a few of the many things PET plastic can be recycled into.
New PET containers
The most common use for recycled PET plastic is in retail packaging. PET plastic is made from one of the few polymers which can be recycled back into the same format. This means that old PET plastic bottles or packaging can be easily recycled into brand new PET plastic bottles or packaging, with almost no discernable difference between the two items. PET packaging is used by many different industries, including the beauty, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. Utilizing recycled PET plastic to package their products can help an organization decrease their carbon footprint while still ensuring that their products are well protected and beautifully displayed. PET containers made from recycled PET plastic retain the same structural integrity and almost glass-like transparency as containers made from nonrecycled PET plastic. Perhaps the most notable benefit of using recycled PET plastic in this way is that it can be recycled again and again, thereby reducing the amount of pollution and waste that is placed into landfills every year.
It may sound surprising, but PET plastic is actually a common component in many clothing items. As we’ve stated, PET plastic is made from an easily recyclable polymer. While this polymer can be recycled back into its original format, as is the case with recycled PET containers, it can also be recycled into other formats. In the clothing industry, PET plastic is generally broken down into its base polymers, which are then used to create polyester fabric. Polyester fabric can be put to use in many different clothing items and is a popular choice among many clothing brands because of its durable, lightweight, and often wrinkle-resistant nature. Polyester is also a popular material for creating wind and water resistant clothing. PET plastic can also be recycled into Poly-Fil or Fiber-Fil material, which can be put to use as insulation in winter jackets, snow pants, and even sleeping bags.
Similar to its use in the clothing industry, PET plastic can also be used to make carpeting. Using the same processes to break down PET plastic into its base polymers, the materials are then used to produce polyester carpet fibers. Carpets that utilize polyester fibers are quite stain resistant and durable, yet still incredibly soft. When compared to other carpeting materials, such as nylon, polyester carpets build up far less static electricity, making them a wonderful material for homeowners living in a particularly dry climate.
Recycled Carpeting Made With Plastic
Your feet may be resting on recycled plastic water or soda bottles. Most carpeting is made from plastic fibers such as nylon, polypropylene, or polyester. In recent years, manufacturers have been able to create carpet fiber from recycled plastics, such as the plastic used to make beverage bottles. It takes approximately 50 two-liter bottles to create one square yard of carpet fiber.
Like “virgin” plastics, the recycled plastic carpeting fibers often are more stain-resistant and color-fast than materials such as wool, and manufacturing carpeting using recycled plastics produces fewer emissions than using virgin plastics.