Thought for Food Blog

Basic Functions and Definitions of Food Packaging

Food Packaging | IFIS Publishing

There are numerous ways of defining packaging, each one emphasising a different aspect. For example, packaging can be seen as:

  • a reliable way of guaranteeing safe, cost-effective delivery to the final consumer in optimum condition.
  • an efficient, coordinated system of preparing commodities and produce for transport, dissemination, storage, retailing and the ultimate use for which it is intended.
  • a techno-commercial function aimed at optimising the costs of delivery while maximising sales (and hence profits).

However, the necessary, fundamental roles of packaging are easier to identify:

  • Containment: governed and determined by the product’s physical form and nature. For example, a hygroscopic (a substance that attracts and holds water molecules from the surrounding environment) free-flowing substance like washing-powder must be contained in different way to that of an acidic and sticky and citric concentrate, i.e. lemon cordial.
  • Protection: prevention of damage due to the potential risks of distribution.
  • Preservation: reduction or elimination of chemical, biochemical and microbiological changes and spoilage.
  • Information about the product – legal requirements, ingredients, use etc.
  • Convenience: for the package handlers and user(s) throughout the packaging chain.
  • Presentation: material shape, size, colour, type, merchandising display units etc.
  • Brand communication: the pack persona created by the use of specific typography (the elegant typeface employed by Cadbury), symbols (the Golden Arches of McDonald's), illustrations (the twin-tailed mermaid, or siren at the centre of the Starbucks logo), advertising and colour, thereby creating visual impact and, when it works, instant recognition.
  • Promotion (Selling): free extra product, new product, money off etc.
  • Economy: cost-efficiency in distribution, production and storage.
  • Environmental responsibility: in manufacture, production, use, reuse, or recycling and final disposal.


Is Food Labelling the Best Communication Tool for Protecting Consumers?

The Sustainable Food Packaging Revolution

Is Food Packaging a Benefit to Society?

Image by Brad Carpenter at Pixabay

Subscribe to receive new blog posts