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Food Packaging for Small Businesses

Your food products may taste great but all your efforts will go in vain if your packaging and labelling isn’t up to the mark. Yes, you read that right. Today, consumer choices are highly influenced by food packaging design. 

According to a Food Packaging Trends report by Mintel, consumers prefer packaging and labelling that offers convenience, reuse and mobility. They want your package to go from the refrigerator to the microwave in a jiffy. So, what does that mean for your product? Well, you need to offer Custom packaging that is reusable and versatile, and it should give you an edge over your competitor. 

Why Food Packaging is Important?

Whether you offer perishable, non-perishable or processed foods, packaging matters. It allows for easy transportation of goods, contributes to food safety, protects the food from external elements such as harmful chemicals, bacteria and pests, and gives enough room for labelling so that consumers can get access to vital information and ingredients of the product. Let us explore in depth why food packaging is important?

  • Enhances Freshness

While packaging enhances the aesthetic appeal of a product, it also protects it and maintains its freshness. Modern packaging technology has made it possible for food manufacturers and small businesses to supply fresh food products to the end consumer no matter where they are. It keeps the quality of the product intact. For example, leading tortilla manufacturers use zip lock pouches to lengthen the lifespan of their products so that the consumer doesn’t have to use the whole quantity in one go. 

  • Helps in Identification and Differentiation

The primary purpose of food packaging is to protect the food. However, it also plays a vital role in effective brand messaging. Without a package or a label, consumers wouldn’t be able to identify and distinguish your food products from other market competitors. As a small business, when you invest in personalised packaging, you can get your brand in front of your audience. Great packaging is directly proportional to great marketing. If a customer is trying your product for the first time, your packaging sets the first impression and it is also the first interaction they have with your brand. 

  • Protects the Food from Contamination

Another reason why packaging is important is because it protects the food against external microbes and bacteria. If the food products undergo shipping or storage, they are at a higher risk of contamination. Therefore, the right packaging is imperative. Manufacturers should undertake quality control measures to ensure their food is packaged securely. Leak detectors can also be used to detect faulty packaging. If a certain food item is not packed safely, the shelf-life and integrity of the product decreases, and the health of a consumer is at stake. It is highly important that every small business follows food safety procedures and guidelines to ensure the food is safe for consumption and transit. 

Food Packaging Ideas for Small Businesses 

When you’re deciding on packaging for food products, think of your brand image and who you’re trying to appeal to. You must also think of the product and your target customer. For example, if you’re marketing to parents through their children, your package should be attractive and colourful, and should contain illustrations.

On the other hand, if your customers are more mature and sophisticated, an understated and minimal design will work. Use neutral colours that will trigger associations with handcrafted items in the mind of the consumer. Basically, your packaging determines how consumers perceive your products. 

The most popular materials used to protect and package food, and offer a surface for labelling are glass, metal, cardboard and plastic. However, the material you choose depends on your preferences and the food products you’re going to be storing. 

When you’re choosing a packaging material, consider functionality and the impression customers have of package types. For example, a study revealed that consumers’ usually associate glass jars with products that are high-quality, fresh, reusable and durable. On the other hand, cardboard and metal packages are considered recyclable and traditional.

Certain manufacturers also decide their packaging keeping the customer’s age group in mind. It is observed that customers over the age of 50 prefer packaging that is easy to open, single-serve and microwavable. The label should be easy to read and must offer all the required nutritional information. 

Here are some of the most popular food packaging materials small businesses can consider for their products:

  • Glass jar with metal lid
  • Cardboard box
  • Corrugated boxes 
  • Polyethylene tub, jar or bottle
  • Vacuum bag
  • Tin can
  • Cellophane bag with twist tie
  • Metal canisters
  • Styrofoam plate with plastic cover 

As a small business, research and planning is important to find food packaging that will appeal to your target group. It should be eye-catching yet functionally sound. We’ve mentioned some inexpensive food packaging ideas that are ideal for businesses of all types. To learn more about food packaging and custom packaging, visit https://www.newprint.ca/product-packaging/food-packaging

References 

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/food_packaging_and_labeling_tips_for_small_businesses

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