Food packaging design accompanies modern day living. As cities continue to grow and work schedules became more hectic, food preservation was needed to extend shelf life of food products, reduce food preparation time, and eliminate waste. Environmentalism and health consciousness have placed food packaging containers under critical examination largely because of the non-biodegradable wastes, the use of chemicals, and lower nutritional values.
“Talk about your childhood wishes, you can even eat the dishes.” — Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Willie Wonka was probably an inspiration for the trend in food packaging designs that aims to produce edible food packaging materials. Unfortunately, we have to wait for few years for this to be available in the market.
A survey among food packaging suppliers reveals the top ten food packaging designs for the last century.
1. Microwaveable packaging
The invention of the microwave oven in 1967 paved the way for one of the most convenient food preparations today which saves time and money. A range of microwaveable packages include cartons, pouches, bags, tray, and plastic containers for an array of meal preparations including popcorns and cakes.
2. Sachets and pouches
Sachets and pouches are low-cost and highly efficient food packaging materials that replace much of the tin-can items. Lighter and easier to open, they are used for practically all food products.
3. Tetra Pak
A pioneer in aseptic package, Tetra Pak works by sterilizing food products prior to filling with UHT (Ultra High Temperature) thus extending shelf life to more than six months. Recent innovations in color, shapes, and resealable caps make this more attractive to consumers.
4. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)
MAP or Modfied Atmosphere Packaging is considered by many as a major step forward in extending the shelf life of fresh food products by substituting the atmospheric air inside a package with a protective gas mix.
5. Soda cans
The use of aluminum cans in the middle of the last century brought with it a new innovation: the ringpull cans, which eventually developed into stay tabs. They are not only convenient, but full recyclable thus environmentally friendly.
6. Plastic/PET bottles
Where will we be without bottled waters? Although it looks simple, this food packaging material, which is also used for juices and energy drinks, have evolved through the years by using polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This makes the bottles lighter, easier to mold, and more shatterproof than the previous design.
7. Childproof bottles
Parents benefit a lot from the development of childproof bottles which until now continue to baffle children. This is easier for parents to store food items which might be harmful for kids. However, it has been found out that highly inquisitive toddlers always find a way to open these bottle caps.
8. Frozen food packages
Between buying fresh food and those in tin-cans, you have another option – the frozen food. Considered as the first large-scale food packaging design, frozen food packages not only extend shelf life but provide solutions to storage problems.
Naturally, we’re also very excited about the future of food packaging design too!