Food packaging containers are used to keep our food safe, fresh, and easy to manage. To hold the many different types of food – dry, wet, small pieces, fragile, etc. – there are several different materials and styles of containers. Below are ten popular types of food packaging containers that you’ll find in the industry:
1. Glass jars
Glass jars are a highly sealable option for food storage. Since glass is non-porous, it does not take on the colour or scent of the food that is stored in it. It is a safer option than plastic, because it does not contain dangerous chemicals, and it is better for the environment and highly reusable. However, it is heavier than other food packaging containers and can be more expensive. Pickles and jams are examples of food items that can be found in glass jars.
2. Plastic jars
Plastic jars are shaped like glass jars, but are often chosen because they tend to be cheaper, lighter, and they will not shatter like a glass jar will when dropped. These food packaging containers can reduce losses due to breakage in transportation. Peanut butter is an example of a product that comes in a plastic jar.
3. Plastic grip jars
These plastic jars are shaped in such a way that they can easily be gripped. They are designed to be easy to stack and store, as well as easy to handle. They are characterized by a square shape, a wide rounded opening at the top, and a cut-out in the middle that allows for easy grabbing. These jars can often be found filled with nuts, candy, and other snacks.
4. Plastic deli containers
These containers are generally used for shorter-term food storage. They are a fairly sturdy, round plastic container with a lid that snaps on. They aren’t completely leak proof, but are generally a good option for getting a food product from the store to its final destination. These containers are commonly seen in delis, and used to hold the salads sold there.
5. Stand up pouches
These food containers are generally made of plastic and foil. They are a type of bag with a flat bottom which allows the package to stand up. The packaging style makes the product easy to store and economic on space. These packages are often used for storing dry goods that cannot come into contact with air. Products that come in stand up pouches are highly varied, but can include cookies, candy, and pet food.
6. Tin cans
Tin cans are used for long-term food storage. They are highly recyclable, although not really reusable in terms of keeping after opening for personal use. They are a highly durable food storage container, so durable that they require special equipment to open – something most people nowadays are equipped to do. Except in very rare circumstances, cans are great for keeping out bacteria. These food packaging containers are used for the long term storage of vegetables such as corn, peas, and carrots, as well as beans, soups, and many other types of food.
7. Easy open cans
Easy open cans are much like regular cans, however they consist of a tab that is used to open the can more easily and without any equipment. Some people do find this harder than using a can opener, but these cans can also be opened with one if necessary. Like regular cans, easy opens are highly durable, clean, environmentally friendly, and great for long-term food storage. Wet pet food, and certain brands of canned foods come with the easy open tab. The tab tends to be more expensive, otherwise there isn’t much of a difference between the two types of cans.
Trays hold multiple items in place and keep them from breaking or moving. They are generally made from plastic, and usually require another layer or two of packaging to keep the product safe. Trays hold things like cookies, crackers, and chocolate.
9. Cardboard boxes
These are often a second layer for food packaging. They usually are used to make stacking and shelving easier for items that are in bags that would be awkward to store. The boxes also allow for branding and information to be printed on them, which is much more convenient than trying to do it on a tray or a plastic bag of some sort.
You will often see cardboard boxes storing cookies and crackers. These are also popular boxes for frozen food packaging due to their durability.
Cartons are great for liquids. These food packaging containers are made of paperboard lined with either aluminum foil or combined with polyethylene – a plastic – so that the liquid does not seep through over time. Cartons are used for juice, milk, and soups.
These are used in produce for keeping several items together. They don’t do much in terms of keeping the food fresh or safe, but they are generally used for fruits and vegetables that have a protective peeling of their own. Nets are often used for onions and citrus fruits like oranges, limes, and lemons.