Packaging Design Requirements

by Waqar

Beyond packaging regulations arguably the most important of all packaging design requirements is that of communicating the food product branding at the point of purchase. “Branding” as a term actually originates from the days when farmers used to brand their cattle to register ownership of their herd. Get Logo Design Australia Free Unlimited revisions until your satisfaction. Food packaging is packaging for food. It requires protection, tampering resistance, and special physical, chemical, or biological needs. It also shows the product that is labeled to show any nutrition information on the food being consumed.

Soon, the brand began to stand for not just the owner, but their values and quality of their product;. It became became a mark of assurance and trust. Packaging designs and the packaging itself, play a key role in the way brands communicate these values. From fairly modest beginnings, design requirements in the 21st Century have become one of the most sophisticated, holistic and powerful examples of the designer’s art.

So What is food packaging  and what does it do?

It can essentially can be looked at  in four differing ways:

1. Protection for the contents of a food package

2. Sales or marketing billboard on which to promote the product’s attributes and  benefits (ie the brand values and qualities)

3. Part of the product experience itself

and maybe not so positively:

4. Contributor to the cost of the end product

Although your packaging designs need to cover all the elements above, arguably its most important job is still to help sell the product at the point of purchase.

If you think about it, the majority of  products in any food category are pretty similar  without their packaging. Stroll down any chilled Pizza fixture and think about how you’d chose one from another without the food packaging design to help you decide. So, basically once the functional considerations are completed (ie protection etc), the key design consideration is:

How do we use our packaging ?

What you’ll doubtless want your packaging designs to achieve is to best communicate your message (“branding”) in a way that stands out from the crowd of food products on the fixture.

Functions of food packaging

Packaging has several objectives:

  • Physical protection – The food enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, shock, vibration, compression, temperature, etc.
  • Barrier protection – A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc., is often required. Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or Oxygen absorbers to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function.
  • Containment or agglomeration – Small items are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. powders, and granular materials need containment.
  • Information transmission – Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. Some types of information are required by governments.
  • Marketing – The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package design has been an important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display.
  • Security – Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage: Some package constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilfer indicating seals. Packages may include authentication seals to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit. Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dye-packs, RFID tags, or electronic article surveillance tags, that can be activated or detected by devices at exit points and require specialized tools to deactivate. Using packaging in this way is a means of retail loss prevention.
  • Convenience – Packages can have features which add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, and reuse.
  • Portion control – Single serving packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households. It also aids the control of inventory: selling sealed one-liter-bottles of milk, rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves.

Food packaging types

Drink boxes, an example of aseptic processing. The above materials are fashioned into different types of food packages and containers such as:

Aseptic processingPrimaryLiquid whole eggs
Plastic traysPrimaryPortion of fish
BagsPrimaryPotato chips
BoxesSecondaryBox of Cola
CansPrimaryCan of Tomato soup.
CartonsPrimaryCarton of eggs
Flexible packagingPrimaryBagged salad
PalletsTertiaryA series of boxes on a single pallet used to transport from the manufacturing plant to a distribution center.
WrappersTertiaryUsed to wrap the boxes on the pallet for transport.

Primary packaging is the main package that holds the food that is being processed. Secondary packaging combines the primary packages into one box being made. Tertiary packaging combines all of the secondary packages into one pallet.

There are also special containers that combine different technologies for maximum durability:

  • Bags-In-Boxes (used for soft drink syrup, other liquid products, and meat products)
  • Wine box (used for wine)

Trends in food packaging

Numerous reports industry associations agree that use of smart indicators will increase. There are a number of different indicators with different benefits for food producers, consumers and retailers.

Numerous reports industry associations agree that use of smart indicators will increase. There are a number of different indicators with different benefits for food producers, consumers and retailers.

Reducing Food Packaging

Reduced packaging and sustainable packaging are becoming more frequent. The motivations can be government regulations, consumer pressure, retailer pressure, and cost control. (Reduced packaging often saves packaging costs).

A Local Government Association survey produced by the British Market Research Bureau, compared a range of outlets to buy 29 common food items, found that small local retailers and market traders “produced less packaging and more that could be recycled than the larger supermarkets.

Packaging Machines

A choice of packaging machinery includes technical capabilities, labor requirements, worker safety, maintainability, serviceability, reliability, ability to integrate into the packaging line, capital cost, floorspace, flexibility (change-over, materials, etc.), energy usage, quality of outgoing packages, qualifications (for food, pharmaceuticals, etc.), throughput, efficiency, productivity, ergonomics, etc.

Packaging machines may be of the following general types:

  • Blister, Skin and Vacuum Packaging Machines
  • Capping, Over-Capping, Lidding, Closing, Seaming and Sealing Machines
  • Cartoning machines
  • Case and Tray Forming, Packing, Unpacking, Closing and Sealing Machines
  • Check weighing machines
  • Cleaning, Sterilizing, Cooling and Drying Machines
  • Conveying, Accumulating and Related Machines
  • Feeding, Orienting, Placing and Related Machines
  • Filling Machines: handling liquid and powdered products
  • Package Filling and Closing Machines
  • Form, Fill and Seal Machines
  • Inspecting, Detecting and Checkweighing Machines
  • Palletizing, Depalletizing, Pallet Unitizing and Related Machines
  • Product Identification: labelling, marking, etc.
  • Wrapping Machines
  • Converting Machines
  • Other speciality machinery

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