The choice of packaging for consumable items isn’t solely about protection of the item. While this is, indeed, a crucial element of the selection process, there are many other variables that need to be considered.

The following guide discusses the individual aspects that influence the ultimate option in which to package food items.

Food Packaging 101: The key points

Choosing the right food packaging can be separated into two distinct elements: the reasons behind what influences your selection – in other words, why it’s so important – and the physical attributes.

Let’s first look at why your choices are so important.

  1. Stand out from the crowd: Let’s be honest, it’s a packed market out there. Consumers have more choice today than at any point in the past, and a poor packaging option can relegate your product to a point where it’s simply overlooked in favour of other, more attractive, options.
  2. It’s a marketing tool: Every product should be packaged with brand recognition firmly in mind. Logos, company messages, shape and, of course, the ultra-hot topic of sustainability, all need to be addressed. Packaging is the most visible element that speaks directly to your target market, making it vital to manipulate this to your full advantage.
  3. The psychology of purchasing: There are many elements that influence buyer habits. Colours, logos, fonts… These are only a sample of what needs to be considered to demonstrate the ethos behind your product and it’s key message.
  4. Protection: Of course, packaging needs to reflect the protective needs of individual products. This will need to address the fragility of the product, chemical reactions, light, dust and any other aspect that might affect the quality, taste and shelf life of the food it contains.
  5. Transportation: In addition to protection, consideration needs to be given to ease of transport.

With this in mind you can begin to whittle down the possibilities. These should be specific to the food product and, of course, be of an eye-catching design.

Whatever the material used (glass, paper, paperboard, plastic, steel, tinplate etc) you’ll need to consider the following:

  • The material
  • Design
  • Shelf life
  • Cost
  • Environmental considerations
  • Disposal/recycling/reusable/compostable etc
  • Weight
  • Consumer perception

The different types of food packaging materials all come with pros and cons. The key to selecting the right one for your particular food product will require in-depth consideration of these. Cost, of course, is a major consideration. This means that there will be, by necessity, some form of trade-off to allow for the right solution at an affordable price.

This is where taking advice from an expert source can pay dividends. High quality food packaging suppliers partner with you to determine the ultimate solutions. This will involve the needs of the product, the brand’s USP, customer messages, protection and transport requirements, social and environmental responsibilities, and – of course – that of cost.

Finally, it’s well worth looking at future-proofing your packaging choices. Re-branding is a costly exercise, therefore projecting forwards is an important aspect when settling on the final selection. Specialist design teams represent a significant advantage at the outset, often preventing a costly change of direction further down the line.

Perth-based Crystal Pack are WAs specialist folding carton packaging experts, offering a complete service from the design stage through to the production of the finished article. With a range of options that suit all budgets and needs, Crystal Pack is the only zero carbon printer in Western Australia and is fully committed to helping your company find practical packing solutions that meet your environmental and social responsibilities.

Give us a call on 08 9368 8555 for a no-obligation chat or contact us for more details.