packaging for the food industry

How to Own and Optimize Your Food Packaging Processes?

Most of us have heard the urban legend about Colgate using a tactful strategy to increase sales. 

The story goes that the toothpaste manufacturer increased its tubes’ opening by 1mm. As a result, consumption per user increased by 40%, and their revenue figures saw a windfall.

Whether the tale is true or not, it highlights the importance of packaging in the consumer-driven world. The same applies to the food industry, where packaging is the most important next to its product.

Moreover, it can convey your company’s ethos and communicate with the end-users. Take Starbucks, for instance. There’s a personality attached to the tall cups, and nothing can match the experience of walking around with one of them.

Similarly, Blue Apron is revolutionizing the gourmet dining experience with its ready-to-cook boxes.

Here’s an overview of what good food packaging helps you achieve:

  • Maintain hygiene
  • Showcase your brand Identity
  • Follow sustainable practices
  • Improve consumer experience

Now, let’s try to understand what’s this optimization business. 

With great tech comes great responsibility. In this day and age, getting a fancy packaging automation machine is not difficult. What’s even more important is to put it to the best use. The end goal is to keep costs minimal and keep the environment safe.  Hence, optimization.

We have listed a few ways in which you can optimize the food packaging aspects of your business.

Glue Them Together

As soon as someone utters the word food packaging, we think of the primary packaging. But there’s a great opportunity in the cardboard boxes and regular slotted containers we use.

You can start using hot glue instead of tape for sealing the cases. Tape flaps have to meet in the middle to ensure that the seal is tamperproof. On the other hand, glue costs less, and waste is reduced.

More often than not, businesses think of taping machines as the only capital investment. They fail to account for the tape material, which could end up affecting their bottom line figures.

Using Lap Seals

If you are using fin seals for your food product, it’s probably time to make the switch. They require more effort to manufacture and use more material when compared with lap seals.

Lap seals might use extra film material for safety, but they make up for it by saving labor and time. 

Some brands like Gummy Bears or Lay’s continue to use fin seals for retaining gas inside the pouch. Others use them for packing hot or piercing food substances. Find out if your food product can use lap seals without hampering the consumer experience.

Getting Case Packers

A case packing machine is a valuable addition to your unit that can be incredibly simple to use. It boosts the efficiency of your assembly line, ensures error-free results, and reduces downtime. Additionally, you can reduce the burden on manual workers and avoid injuries of any kind.

You don’t have to wait for long to see the machine pay for itself. The cost-benefit of using a case packer is usually seen in less than a year.

Having a Preventive Maintenance Routine

Don’t wait till your packaging unit falters. Discuss with your packaging machine’s manufacturer and schedule timely preventive maintenance. 

Determine the lifespan of the machine’s parts and ensure that the maintenance takes place in time. You’d want to prevent unforeseen expenditure on spare parts and repair. Nothing hurts more than downtime during peak production hours.

Opening Up to Industry 4.0

You need to embrace the fourth wave of industrial change. Shying away from making a capital investment at this stage can cost you dear in the future.

Check out the latest technological advancements in the food packaging world from time to time. Machine learning and AI-driven systems are here to make your business better.

Find out if you can save costs by adopting some of these changes. After all, packaging automation isn’t a buzzword that we created out of thin air.

Keeping a Tab On Wastage

We cannot stress this point enough. The packaging segment is guilty of sending nearly 30,000 tons to landfills, and a good chunk of it can be reused or recycled.

Train your staff on product handling to keep the food contamination-free. Conduct regular waste audits, find out the problems, and come up with instant solutions.

You can also cut down expenses on some of the frequently used materials for packaging. Here are some things that you can try:

  • Reusing cardboard boxes
  • Creating filling material out of paper waste
  • Incentivizing customers for returning empty food cartons or bottles

Getting Timely Feedback

Nothing will give you a better picture than a trip to the field. Talk to the workers, get their views, and make collaborative efforts for optimization. 

Some ideas may be viable only on paper. Understanding the workers’ perspectives and designing solutions accordingly can yield better results.

If necessary, schedule regular meetings with the employees or have a suggestion box to collect ideas.

Innovate Everyday

Big brands believe in improving consumer experiences every day. We bet McDonald’s or Wendy’s won’t serve you in the same container week after week. On that note, have you seen their latest origami takeaway boxes?

The point is packaging designs have to be improved every day. Find ways of making your containers fashionable and sustainable. 

While the food and beverages industry might not have the allure of fashion or IT, the fact is it needs great designers. So, get the best minds to work on your next big packaging idea.

If your revolutionary designs are ready to take shape, we can help you scale the packaging automation process. Have doubts or questions? Our global customer service team will be more than happy to answer them.

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