Food packaging is an essential aspect of every food and beverage (F&B) business, coming in all forms of sizes, designs, and materials. But even with the huge variety of choices, it is important to know what materials suit your business’ needs when choosing the perfect packaging for your product.
Choosing the wrong food packaging materials can generally lead to different problems. These consist of problems like inconveniences, product contamination, spoilage, and damage. All of these can affect the reputation of your business and disrupt your customer’s experience with your brand. Read on to learn about some of the most common kinds of materials that F&B businesses use in packaging their products and if you should consider them for yourself too.
Plastics are the most common materials used by the F&B industry for food packaging. They’re organic polymeric materials that you can mould into various desired shapes. For this reason, plastics are widely used in making different kinds of food and beverage containers, such as bottles, bags, cups, bowls, and trays.
Generally, plastics cost cheap and require low energy consumption during manufacturing. This is the reason why they’ve increasingly replaced the traditional packaging materials used by F&B businesses before, such as paper and metals. Plastic food packaging, for instance, can only cost as low as $30 per pack of more than 60 pieces. If you own a food business startup, plastic containers are your most cost-effective choice for packaging your food.
Paper is considered one of the oldest materials used for packaging food and other types of products. Its usage dates to as early as the 17th century. Paper containers are generally suitable for dry foods, but they can also be used to package wet and fatty foods if they’re coated or waxed.
There are different kinds of paper packaging available for F&B businesses. The strongest type available is kraft paper, which is commonly used for packaging such goods as flour, sugar, and dried fruits. Glassine is another type of paper packaging that contains densely packed cellulose fibres and is oil resistant, making it a suitable packaging option for snacks, fast foods, and greasy foods.
Like paper, metals are also an old and traditional form of packaging material used to contain food and beverage products. They’re considered the most versatile form of product packaging. Many businesses utilise them because of their excellent physical protection, decorative potential, and recyclability. Because of their firm nature, metals are typically used in preserving canned goods and liquids.
There are also several types of packaging metals out there. The most commonly used ones are steel and aluminium. Steel is mostly used for cans, caps, closures, and containers, while aluminium is generally used to produce beverage cans, foils, tubes, trays, and pouches. However, these are more suited for long term storage, as metal cans are often sealed for transportation and not generally suited for day-to-day food packaging use.
Glass is widely known for being the most reliable and least toxic material for packaging foods and beverages. Glass containers can be formed into bottles, jars, and ampoules. They come with different advantages, such as resistance to tampering, sturdiness, decoration potential, transparency, chemical propriety, and hygiene.
However, there are also downsides when it comes to using glass containers. For one, glass is among the most fragile packaging materials. It can easily break when dropped from a significant height. Nonetheless, many F&B businesses still choose to use glass in packaging their products due to its high value and high-quality protection, displaying a product clearly to customers to allow for easy perusal.
Choosing the right materials for your F&B business’ take out lunch boxes and product containers is undoubtedly important in making sure that your foods and beverages remain safe and of high quality. In essence, different materials cater to different needs. By knowing the most common types of packaging materials used in the F&B industry, you can make a more informed choice with regard to the packaging that you’ll use for your precious products.