Types of Packaging Materials for Food

The importance of packaging is not new as it dates back to Ancient Egypt when glass was used to pack and protect items. As time passed, new forms of packaging in the market were introduced for shipping and storing products. Choosing the appropriate packaging for your specific product can ensure it stays in good condition and is protected from getting damaged.

In this article, everything related to packaging will be explained in detail. I will go over some different types of packaging and how to choose the right one that fits your product requirements. So, if you want to know more about it, let's begin.

Different Categories of Food Packaging

In the market, food packaging is available in various shapes and each has its specific functions and properties. So this makes it necessary for packaging material to maintain a good balance between its shape and function. The packaging materials are available in:

Rigid Packaging:

It is known for its strength and can not be easily bent into any shape. This form of packaging includes paperboard, corrugated, caps, bottles, cans, trays, and glass jars.

Flexible Packaging:

It can easily be bent into any shape without breaking. This packaging has various forms like shrink wraps, bubble wraps, bags, foam trays, cling wraps, squeezable tubes, vacuum bags, and stand-up packets.

Semi-flexible Packaging:

It is a combination of rigid and flexible packaging. Caps, tetra packs, boxes, and closures are examples of this form of packaging.

Next, I am going to discuss a very important topic that can help you as a business owner choose the right packaging for your product. Sounds good? Let's begin!

Types Of Food Packaging Material

Knowing which packaging material is best for your specific food items depends on the function that it is supposed to offer. It can be used to provide ultimate protection against moisture, ultraviolet rays, bacteria, temperature changes, and much more. So let's discuss each type in detail.

Corrugated Boxes:

Corrugated boxes are mostly used for shipping purposes. One of the main reasons behind this is that it offers maximum protection to the product. It is the best packaging material for food items like cereal, chips, and cookies, as it secures them properly. Moreover, the cost of the material depends on how much you want to use it.

Rigid Boxes:

These boxes are considered some of the most influential packaging. In retail stores, you will find this type of packaging for display and presentation. Also, because of its versatile nature, it can safely transport various items like books, toys, and clothes. When lamination is applied to the boxes, they give a smooth touch and beautiful appeal.

Paperboard Paperboard:

It is much thicker and heavier and is best for packing food and beverages. It is durable and strong enough to safely pack milk, soft drinks, fruit juices, cereals, and tea. Also, it offers strong resistance against scratching and crushing of products. When paperboard is coated with proper lamination, its barrier properties are enhanced, which makes it ideal for packaging spices, herbs, and soups.


Glass has been used as a packaging material for centuries and its existence was first found around 7000 B.C. It is well-known for being the most reliable and least toxic packaging material for food and beverages. In general, the food items that are packed in glass containers include spices, spreads, meat, fish, processed vegetables, syrups, and fruits. Another reason for using this material is that it offers a high-quality image and preserves aroma. It can also be reused and recycled by melting, crushing, and reforming.


Plastic is one of those materials that is mostly used in packaging food items. The reasons for using it are low cost, chemical resistance, lightweight, ease of processability, and easily bendable into various forms and shapes. This material can be used in making bottles, bags, foil trays, pouches, bowls, foil, and cups. It is primarily used for packing fresh salads, fruits, cold meats, snacks, etc. Among the two most popular plastic materials used are:

Polyethylene terephthalate: It is best for packing soft drinks, milk, juice, bread, and frozen products.

Polypropylene: It is used for packing yogurt, ready-to-eat meals, cream cheese, and margarine.

Chipboard Packaging:

Chipboard packaging boxes are both rigid and flexible, which makes them easier to bend into any shape and form. Due to their versatile nature, they have become the most popular choice for packaging food items. This packaging can be used for packaging cereals, frozen foods, and non-perishable items. When laminated, they offer a smooth finishing texture, and you can print anything on them easily. This will make your product stand out from the rest.


In polybag packaging, you can pack almost any type of product. These are weatherproof, durable, and best for effective marketing of your product. This packaging is cheaper and offers a quick way to pack your product effectively. You can have them with seals and handles along with special additives that match your company’s needs and requirements.

Foiled Sealed Bags:

Foiled sealed bags or metalized bags are bright and shiny. These bags offer a strong barrier, are lightweight, and are durable, which makes them the best packaging solution for a variety of products. These bags are available in various forms, and the one you need depends on the type of food item you are packing. For example, aluminum coffee bags and flat heat sealable bags are designed to keep food items' flavors and aromas fresh. Stand-up pouches are best used for packing powdered mixes and grains.

Stretch Film:

Stretch film is used to wrap around the items placed in a box and seal them properly. This will prevent unpleasant surprises when the consumer opens the package.

Now, think about it for a moment. You go out shopping for packaging materials and, seeing the variety available, you get overwhelmed. It is not easy to decide what packaging to use for your food items. So, to save yourself from this stress, I am going to explain the important factors that you can consider when choosing the material.

Things to Consider when Choosing the Right Food Packaging Materials

Now that you realize the importance of having proper packaging for your food products, it does not necessarily mean that you opt for the first packaging that you encounter. Take your time and do thorough research before you make any final decisions. Keep in mind that the packaging design you choose can make or break your business. Below are some factors that you should consider before choosing the packaging material.

What type of food do you need to be packaged?

You must select an environmentally friendly packing material that will keep the product safe and fresh. For instance, if you are selling cookies, then you need packaging that can maintain their freshness and condition, and you can choose from rigid boxes, plastic containers, or poly bags. If you are packing candies, then you need to protect them from air, humidity, heat, and light as they can spoil them. For this purpose, stand-up pouches, plastic bags, and glass jars make the ideal packaging solutions.

Is the packaging going to help in creating a distinctive brand identity?

When creating designs for your packaging, think outside the box. It is a one-time investment, and after that, it becomes a free advertising tool, which is going to have a strong impact on the minds of your potential buyers. They will quickly recognize your products from afar and always consider ordering or buying from your brand, which is good for business success.

Will the packaging material perform its function efficiently?

The packaging material you choose should be able to perform its function efficiently. It needs to keep the items inside protected during shipping and open and close with ease. You certainly don’t want your customers to get frustrated while opening your food boxes. Always practice with your product packaging before making a final decision. And attract your target buyers.

Is the packaging material eco-friendly?

Nowadays, customers are getting more concerned about the environment, and they appreciate packaging that is eco-friendly and does not pose a threat to the environment. This will help in advertising your product effectively, attracting new buyers and retaining the old ones.

Why Choose Custom Packaging For Food Packaging Materials?

Custom packaging entails a lot more than just printed cardboard. It plays a crucial role in sending a positive message about your brand. It offers a chance to build and retain a strong and lasting connection with your customers. Furthermore, it also helps in engaging the buyers while informing them about your company's core values.

The Cardboard Boxes has a team of experts who will assist you in bringing your creative vision to life, ensuring that your packaging shines and looks flawless from start to finish.


In the end, the packaging material that you choose depends on what is best for your product. There are various options available that can help in bringing the cost down and be eco-friendly at the same time. It needs to reach the customer most economically and offer ease of storage.




Jessica Leech

Jessica Leech is a full-time writer, a traveler, and a marketing expert who is currently working for

Published on 29 Aug, 2022