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Packaging Considerations for Food Industry Businesses

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Packaging is an important concern for those running businesses within the food and drinks industry. Your packaging is vital to protect your products from contamination, plus to attract consumers. To choose the correct packaging options and processes, there are plenty of considerations to be made.

1. Branding

When you are choosing your food packaging, you’ll need to ensure that you represent your branding in the best way possible. Great branding is what influences a customer to choose one product over a similar alternative. When you are creating your packaging, be sure to work with a talented designer who can represent the persona of your brand perfectly through graphics, tone of voice, and style. This year, minimal designs are still on-trend when it comes to food package branding. Simplistic styles are favored by consumers, including when it comes to the fine print. Customers want to know exactly what’s in their food products with easy to read labeling.

2. Smart-Packaging

One of the trends that we are going to see emerging in 2020 is smart-packaging. Some brands have already started to embed products with smart labels, which you can scan on your iPhone to access more info. QR codes or NFC chips are another way to input extra info and details into product packaging. Smart packaging can be split into two categories; intelligent or active. Intelligent packaging refers to tracking changes in the product’s environment, for instance, providing the consumer info on whether the food is fit for consumption or it’s temperature. Active packaging aims to extend shelf life; examples could be oxygen emitting or moisture absorbing properties.

3. Health & Safety

Food and drinks packaging must adhere to the regulatory systems set out by the FDA. These general safety guidelines are in place to preserve the sanitary and physical integrity. Guidelines prohibit packaging which could cause adverse health effects, or packaging which could change the composition of the food or drink. The Food Contact Notification Program, effective since 2000, is the common method for approving substances that come in contact with food. More details can be found on the U.S Food and Drug Administration website.

4. Budget

As with every business decision, it all comes back to the budget! Packaging options vary in expense, from the materials to the production processes. You’ll need to make an assessment of your costs and weigh these against both your profits and ethics. For example, many companies rely on plastic packaging, such as plastic bottles for their drinks products. A business might use plastic packaging because they do have another viable option for packaging their products. The issue may also be cost-based because plastic packaging is often the cheapest to produce. Those who rely on such methods would be well advised to take a look at KB Delta for their manufacturing needs. The company specializes in compressor parts and repair for high pressure air compressors, used in P.E.T. plastic bottle manufacturing.

5. Earth-Friendly

Of course, plastic is not the most eco-friendly option for packaging, and companies are encouraged to look into alternatives if these are viable for their products. There are a number of eco-friendly options available to package foods and drinks.

6. Paper or Glass

Paper or glass packaging are considered to be a more eco-friendly packaging option when it comes to food and drink. Paper is compostable and recyclable, and it’s also a great cost-effective option. Paper can ensure the safety and quality of your products while adhering to FDA standards. Glass is another viable choice, made from natural substances like limestone or sand- plus it’s easy to recycle (multiple times)!

7. Bio-plastics

Over the last few years, many businesses have opted for bioplastics for their products. Bioplastic means that the plastic is made from plants or other biological ingredients (as opposed to petroleum). This type of plastic is made using sugarcane or corn in a process which extracts sugar and converts it into PLAs (polylactic acids). The concept is that bioplastics contribute less carbon to the atmosphere. This is based on the idea that the plants consumed carbon while growing, so that as they degrade- the carbon is simply returned. Regardless, bio-plastics have sparked some debate in terms of how effective and green they actually are.

8. Alternative Options

One alternative packaging option arrives in the form of edible packaging! The brand by the name of ‘Loliware’ are an excellent example of this, producing a ‘biodegrade(edible)’ cup that you can eat. The cup is produced using sustainable seaweed and is made in various flavors, including Tart Cherry, Vanilla Bean, and Matcha Green Tea. It’s FDA approved, gelatin-free, and organic. The cup can hold desserts and frozen drinks as well as standard chilled drinks. If you are too full to eat the whole cup- it biodegradables in just two months!

Wikicells are another innovative container of food and drink, invented by biomedical engineer David Edwards. These are edible shells which created with a sugar substitute called isomalt. Wiki calls also come in a biodegradable form, which is made from ingredients such as bagasse or tapioca. The cells are similar to the skin of a fruit and can safely hold a large variety of small foods.

9. Zero-Packaging

Brands who opt to sell their produce in zero-waste grocery stores, benefit from requiring no packaging at all. Whether it’s coffee beans, tea, nuts or organic vegetables – all of these can be adequately sold without the use of packaging. Of course, selling or running such stores will only suit businesses who produce certain products. There will always be those that are not suitable to ditch the packaging all together! Either way, zero-waste stores are on the rise, and many consumers are choosing such options for their grocery shopping needs.

It’s advisable to keep up with trends in the food packaging industry as they emerge. Staying on top of the latest developments allows food and drinks brands to remain competitive ongoing. Trends for 2020 involve eco-friendly business decisions, minimal packaging design, and a move towards smart-packaging.

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