April 18, 2024

Types of Food Packaging: Leading Industry Suppliers Must Know

Introduction to Food Packaging

Food packaging has a critical function in maintaining the safety, quality and marketability of food products. The global food packaging market is projected to hit $456.6 billion by 2027. Therefore, it is crucial for the industry suppliers to know the different types of food packaging and their specific features. In this article, we will examine the various materials used in food packaging and discuss the main types of packaging solutions, which will be useful for those who want to invest in packaging converting machines.

types of food packaging

Packaging Materials

The food packaging material is selected based on the type of food, its shelf life, and the desired level of protection. The most common materials for food packages are paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal, each with its own special properties and applications.

Paper and CardboardVersatile and eco-friendly, paper and cardboard are used for both dry and frozen foods. They have good printability for branding and are easily recyclable.
GlassA premium option for jams, sauces, and beverages, glass possesses good barrier properties and is reusable and recyclable. The fragility and weight of the product, on the other hand, may increase the cost of transportation.
PlasticLight, flexible and cheap, plastic is used for a wide variety of food products. Though it is a good barrier, its environmental impact has created a rising demand for more sustainable alternatives.
MetalMetal is both strong and durable and is thus widely used for canned goods and offers great protection against external factors. It is also recyclable, which makes it a green option.

What are the key types of food packaging?

The food packaging market offers a wide range of packaging options that cater to various purposes and requirements. From assuring freshness to enriching the visual appearance, food packaging is available in several types, and this provides a wide range of options both for manufacturers and consumers. The food packaging industry has to keep up with the market trends, which are becoming more sophisticated every day, and the demand for new, innovative solutions is increasing. Here we shall look into some of the most common and much sought after food packaging types that have shown incredible market prospects and have the potential to grow even further in the years to come.

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Stand-Up Pouches

types of food packaging

The stand-up pouches have revolutionized the snack food industry by making an alternative packaging type that is convenient and attractive. These sachets are made from a few layers of plastic or aluminum foil, which have good barrier properties and help in preserving the freshness of the product. They are the best fit for displaying upright on shelves and thus capturing the customers’ attention, with their lightweight and resealable nature being the most convenient and portion control option. Stand-up pouches are easy to carry, transportable, and can be printed and labeled with the help of printing and labeling machines with ease. Stand-up pouches are one of the most popular options in snack food industry and also for packaging dry products such as snack crackers, coffee, tea and spices. They are also in the process of gaining popularity in the pet food and baby food sectors. The stand-up pouch market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2020 to 2025, so the investment in pouch bag making machines can be a smart move for package suppliers.

Food delivery paper bags

types of food packaging

The food delivery industry is currently experiencing a boom, and therefore the demand for sustainable packaging and brandable packaging has reached an all-time high. Eco-friendly food delivery paper bags, which are made from strong and biodegradable materials, have become the most commonly used packaging for restaurants and delivery services. They offer the opportunity to print unique images which can attract customers in addition to being made from recycled materials which is important for green consumers. The expected growth of the global food delivery market to reach $182.3 billion by 2024 makes investing in paper bag making machines a smart decision for packaging suppliers.

Plastic Bag Mylar Bags

types of food packaging

Mylar bags, a mixture of plastic and aluminum foil, are commonly used to pack coffee, tea, and spices. These bags present superb barrier properties against moisture, oxygen, and light, thus maintaining product freshness and prolonged shelf life. Due to their lightweight, customizable design, they are preferred by companies who are looking for cost-effective and attractive packaging solutions. With the growing demand for convenient and resealable packaging, mylar bags are anticipated to see a steady growth in the future.

Paperboard boxes

types of food packaging

The paperboard boxes are an essential part of the food packaging supply chain, and they provide a sturdy and eco-friendly solution for a wide variety of products such as cereals, crackers, and frozen foods. These boxes are made from renewable sources and are easily recyclable, which is attractive to consumers who are environmentally conscious. The fact that they can be customized with high-quality printing and embossing makes them the perfect option for brand differentiation and shelf appeal. The global paperboard packaging market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2020 to 2025, so investing in paperboard box making machines can be a very profitable business for packaging suppliers.

Corrugated cardboard boxes

types of food packaging

Corrugated cardboard boxes are a versatile and cost-effective packaging solution, particularly for the transportation of fresh produce, meat, and seafood. Made from multiple layers of paper with a corrugated layer in between, these boxes provide excellent protection against physical damage and moisture. Their recyclability and biodegradability make them an environmentally friendly choice, while their customizable design allows for effective branding and product differentiation. With the global corrugated board packaging market expected to reach $300 billion by 2023, corrugated cardboard boxes remain a key player in the food packaging industry, serving as a popular choice for secondary packaging.

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Shrink Wrap

types of food packaging

Shrink wrap, a plastic film that tightly seals around a product when heated, is commonly used for fresh produce, meat, and cheese packaging. This plastic packaging type offers a secure and tamper-evident seal, ensuring product integrity and safety. Shrink wrap is lightweight, cost-effective, and provides excellent product visibility, allowing consumers to easily inspect the quality of the food. As the demand for transparency and food safety grows, shrink wrap is expected to remain a popular choice among food manufacturers and retailers.

Vacuum Packs

types of food packaging

The advent of vacuum packaging has brought about a breakthrough in the food industry by providing an efficient method to prolong the product shelf life and decrease food waste. Through eliminating air from the package and creating a tight seal, vacuum packs inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms and allows the quality and freshness of meats, cheeses, and nuts to be preserved. This packaging method also provides an additional benefit in that it reduces the amount of space required for storage and transport as a result of the absence of air. The global vacuum packaging market is projected to reach $22.8 billion by 2025, making it a crucial aspect of food production for packaging suppliers to consider.

Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging, made from materials such as plastic, aluminum foil, and paper, offers a versatile and cost-effective solution for a wide range of food products. This packaging type can be easily customized to suit specific product requirements, from resealable features to custom printing and labeling. Flexible packaging is lightweight, easy to store, and provides excellent protection against external factors, making it popular among snack food manufacturers and retailers. With the global flexible packaging market expected to reach $290.4 billion by 2025, this packaging type presents significant opportunities for growth and investment.

Aseptic Packaging

Aseptic packaging is a state-of-the-art technology that allows for the sterile packaging of food products in aseptic cartons, ensuring extended shelf life without the need for refrigeration. This packaging method involves separately sterilizing the product and packaging material before combining them in a sterile environment, preventing contamination. Aseptic packaging is commonly used for liquids like milk, juice, and soup, as it provides excellent protection against bacteria and other microorganisms.

Clamshell Packaging

Clamshell packaging is a type of packaging that consists of two halves that are hinged together, creating a shell-like shape. It is commonly used for products such as fresh produce, baked goods, and electronics. Clamshell packaging provides excellent protection against physical damage and contamination, and can be easily displayed on shelves. It is also easy to open and close, making it convenient for consumers to use. However, the recyclability of clamshells is dependent on the type of material that the container is made from, with plastic clamshells being entirely recyclable and plant-based clamshells being compostable in industrial facilities.

Aluminum Foil Packaging

types of food packaging

Aluminum foil packaging is a packaging method that utilizes thin sheets of aluminum to cover as well as protect products. It is also frequently employed for products like chocolates, candies, and chewing gum. The foil packaging of aluminum gives a tight barrier against the moisture, oxygen, and light that keeps the product fresh and of good quality. It is also lightweight and easily transportable, making it ideal for food manufacturers and retailers to use for individual items such as candy bars.

Metal Cans

Metal cans, including aluminum cans and tin cans, are a type of packaging that uses metal to create strong and durable food containers. They are usually added to products like soup, vegetables, and meat. Metal cans offer a great shield against physical damages and contamination and can withstand high temperatures during sterilization process. They are also recyclable, a feature that makes them an option with the least environmental impact.

Sealed Plastic Trays

Sealed plastic trays are a type of packing that uses a tray made of a hard plastic with a sealed lid to encase and shield food products. These plastic containers are often used for ready-to-eat meals and products like deli meats and cheese. The plastic sealed trays are very convenient in preventing the product from moisture and contamination, which can also be easily displayed on shelves. They are also fast and easy to access and close, which is a great advantage for consumers.

Glass Jars

types of food packaging

The glass jars are a type of glass packaging that provides a tough and long lasting container for food products. They are often used for bottled products like jams, sauces and pickles. Jars made of glass are very suitable for moisture and contamination protection and are also easy to sterilize for reuse. They are recyclable as well, which makes them a great eco-friendly option.


As a leading food packaging service provider or large-scale food manufacturer, understanding the various types of food packaging available in the market is essential for making informed decisions when investing in packaging converting machines. Each packaging type offers unique benefits and is suitable for specific food products, depending on factors such as shelf life, protection requirements, and consumer preferences.

By considering the market demand, production considerations, and the needs of your target audience, you can select the packaging converting machines that best suit your business requirements. It is also essential to consider the safety aspects of food packaging, ensuring that the materials used are food-grade and do not pose any risk to human health, especially when in direct contact with the food product. Investing in the right packaging solutions will not only help you meet the evolving needs of your customers but also contribute to the growth and success of your business in the competitive food packaging industry.

KETE: Leading Packaging Converting Machines Supplier

As a leading packaging converting machines supplier, KETE offers a comprehensive range of machines for various food packaging types. Our machines are designed to handle different materials, including paper, cardboard, and plastic film, and can be customized to fit your specific requirements. Whether you need a machine for stand-up pouches, paperboard boxes, plastic bags, paper bags or heat shrink packaging, we have the expertise and technology to help you achieve your packaging goals.

At KETE, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality packaging converting machines and exceptional customer service. Our team of experts is always available to answer your questions and provide guidance on choosing the right machine for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our packaging converting machines and how we can help you achieve your packaging goals.

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