Most of us are familiar with the excitement to open the beautifully packed parcel, for popping the bubble wrap used in packaging. No matter how interesting it seems, the importance of it lies in its function of protecting the product. Packaging plays a vital role not only in safeguarding the product but also in maintaining the status of the company.
As the number of working women, health conscious population, and nuclear families is increasing, the demand for packaged, ready to eat processed and frozen food is also increasing. In this fast paced life and along with the trend of fast-food, there is a need for innovation in the world of packaging. India, being an agricultural country, most of the food needs to be packaged and delivered from the farms to the market and then to the households. There are chances of food wastage during transportation if proper storage conditions are not provided. Packaging plays a crucial role in this situation.
With the rise in the demands, various companies have started delivering food at door step of the consumers. Even the grocery stores are now providing peeled garlic, pomegranate, and corn, among many others, which makes the life of consumers easy. People are looking for healthy dietary options with sophisticated, hygienic, portable food packages. Industries have grabbed these opportunities and are modernizing the concept of packaged food.
Food packaging includes various products such as meat, vegetables, fruits, nutraceuticals, cereals, pulses, etc. According to the type of food, handy and trendy packages are being developed. Industries are making an effort to improve its services, taking into account the demands of the customers. Recent trends of packing are discussed below.
Flexible packaging has made several advances; light weight, bio-degradable, developed barrier technology, etc. Progressive barrier technology has resulted in preserving the flavor and increased shelf life of the product. Coating technology has reduced the wastage and cost of the product. Barrier properties to suit the various products can be achieved with flexible packaging. The size, appearance, and shape can be altered with this technology. Several companies offer ready-to-eat food, which needs simply adding of boiled water and is prepared quickly saving the time of professionals.
Easy-Scoop-Lock-Tight Pitcher Bag is an excellent example of packaging, coined by an Indian company. This innovation helps in easy dispensing of the product in required amount and thus avoids spillage. It comprises of laser pierced, easy-to-tear opening, along with a handle and press-to-close zipper as its features. All these features make this bag reusable and effective.
A native company manufactured Aseptic liquid packaging material for the first time in the country. The holographic tetra packs ensure the safety, quality, reliability, brand protection, and counterfeit issues of product. Most of the products have flexible as an alternative to rigid packaging. Now-a-days, flexible packing approach is gaining popularity. For example, use of stand-up pouches for liquid or semi liquid food is preferred over glass bottles.
Few companies are focusing their goal towards making light weight packages which are sturdy, energy efficient, attractive, and easily portable. Opaque packing makes the product invisible for the customer to see; thus, making a decision to purchase it difficult. Based on the customers’ demands, industries developed transparent packaging material. Packaging based on avoiding food wastage has also being considered. Most of the packaged food gets spoiled in very little time due to various factors. Anti- microbial packages has been derived to ensure microbial safety of a product and increase its shelf life.
Environment friendly packaging, due to the rising concerns of pollution, is the recent trend followed by few companies in India. Invention of eco-friendly packing material is indeed a revolution. Features of this include, eco-friendly, strong, cost effective, and light weight compared to traditional packaging ways.
Sustainable packaging will make a significant difference in the growth of the companies. Recycling, reusing, and reducing material wastage are the major skill factors for sustainable packaging. The excess use of material, toxins, and layers will be lowered with the innovative design of the packages. Using reusable material will ensure easy returns on the packages after industrial use. This will lower the costs and material exploiting. Landfills and pollution will be avoided by recycling the packing material.
The invention of edible packaging film is indeed an important gesture towards managing environmental pollution. Some companies manufacture edible film for wrapping the food. These come in various colors and flavors, water soluble, bio-degradable films for packaging are made available by the industries. Extraordinary heat seal capabilities, resistance to oil, and leakage proof are some of the features of films.
As India is an agricultural country, packaging companies have numerous opportunities. Various improvements in the current technologies will also take the Indian packaging industry to a higher level. Flexible and ecofriendly method of wrapping will gain significance in the future. For a food-loving country like India, companies need to spice up its packaging technology to serve food right.