Almost all of the food items that we consume today come inside protective packaging. These food packages are composed of safe and non-toxic ‘Food Grade’ materials and do not cause any harm to the enclosed food items.
Unsafe packaging can cause spoilage of the food inside and detrimental effects on the health of a consumer. It is also a loss for the food processing companies who have spent cost and energy on their quality items. Hence, food packaging is a crucial part of the supply chain.
Yet the question: “why we need food packaging” is often asked. So in this article, we have decided to shed light on exactly why we need food packaging and its importance for the packed food, the processing company, and the consumer.
Increased Freshness and Shelf-life of Food Products
After the food item is processed, it needs proper packaging before moving out to the stores, and ultimately, the consumers’ homes. The stores are often located miles away from the production and packaging plants. Moving them such long distances can lead to rotting, making the food inconsumable altogether. However, proper packaging protects the food against external elements, such as oxygen (in the air), light, moisture, and even pathogens like bacteria, preventing decomposition and harmful reactions. Resultantly, the food remains chemical-free and fresh with an increased shelf life and hence, stays fit for use for a longer time after production.
Food Retains Original Shape and Texture
Food packaging not just secures the food against external impacts, it also ensures that the items do not get crushed, flattened or punctured.
Food products pass through multiple procedures before getting to their final destination. Without proper packaging, they can lose their shape or texture during shipping or storage. For instance, creamed bakery goods must stay upright, meat liquid must not leak out, and fruits must not flatten under pressure, or their juice will spill out.
High-quality food packaging ensures that the food is moved and delivered without any physical damage. It also reduces the amount of care needed to handle the products, resulting in easy shipment and storage. Furthermore, when the food items always reach the consumers in top-class condition, it leads to high market demands and increased consumer trust.
Reduced Wasted Resources
As already discussed, food packaging provides added safety to the food inside. As a result, a large number of resources and investment is saved.
According to research, 30% of the food items get wasted in the supply chains, leading to over-exploitation of the limited resources present on Earth and decreased ROI for the production company. Food packaging plays a vital role in this regard.
Well-built packaging ensures that the food stays fresh and healthy until after it is in consumers’ hands.
A large percentage of consumers make their purchase decisions based on the appearance of the food. Attractive food packets in the super-markets catch the consumers’ eye and attract them towards their aisle. Hence, packaging which presents the food item in the best light is crucial.
Secondly, increased awareness due to the worldwide “go green” campaigns has made consumers more conscious than ever about buying environment-friendly food items. They can easily decide to shunt a product that they find deteriorating for the environment.
With sustainable packaging solution, food production companies can enjoy increased sales if they manage to market this point well.
In this world of innovation and sustainability, environment-friendly and recyclable packaging undoubtedly gives anyone an upper hand over their competitors who are yet to adopt future-proof solutions.
Display of Correct Ingredients
Apart from the environmental impacts, the modern consumer is also concerned with the preservatives, food colouring and other chemicals present in the food items to extend their life. Furthermore, people with allergies and skin conditions need to avoid specific ingredients to remain healthy.
Food packaging plays a crucial role in this regard. It facilitates the consumers by correctly stating the items used in several stages of food production. It also allows food production companies to comply with the labelling instructions of the concerned authorities.
In conclusion, packaging provides ease and accessibility to the consumers, carry the potential to increase sales of the product, allow easy storage and transportation and helps businesses comply with the rules and regulations.
Therefore, food packaging is not something businesses should take lightly or consider too trivial to be worthy of any attention. It can make or break a brand’s customer base. Therefore, decisions regarding food packaging must be taken very carefully.
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