Category Archives: Retail Packaging

Food Packaging: Facts About Modified Atmosphere Packaging

In ancient times, preserving food was highly difficult, but as the years progressed, food packaging has evolved, keeping foods fresh and safe for days, weeks and even months. We create many different types of food packaging here at Indepak, and one option to consider would be modified atmosphere packaging.

Modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, is an excellent option for fresh foods. This includes items such as fresh meat and processed meat (lunch meat, hot dogs, bacon, etc.), cheeses, fresh pastas, seafood, microwavable meals (AKA – TV dinners), fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and more.

How It Works
Creating this type of food packaging is a sophisticated process that involves matching the specific food item to a particular gas or a combination of gases. These gases work to preserve the food and provide manufacturers and consumers with longer shelf lives. The gas mixture depends entirely on the type of food that is being packaged. For instance, the gases used to preserve fruits and vegetables differ from those used to preserve a steak or hamburger.

It might surprise you to learn that this is not a new process at all. We have been using gases to ripen fruit and adding gases, such as carbon monoxide to large food storage containers, since the early 1930s. This allowed foods to be shipped great distances without spoilage. Today, the MAP production process is much more sophisticated, and we use other gases than just CO2, such as oxygen and nitrogen.

MAP Vs. Air-Packed
Freshness can be doubled and in some cases tripled with the use of MAP for your food packaging. For instance, raw fish might last only two or three days when air-packed, but with MAP, this shelf life can extend to more than one week. For items such as hard cheeses, you can extend the shelf life from about three weeks with an air-packed wrap to as long as perhaps nine or 10 weeks with MAP. Delicate items such as salad greens can increase their shelf life from a mere four of five days up to as much as 10 days or longer with MAP.

Your MAP Options
When we design food packaging, we pay attention to a wide variety of factors. It all begins by selecting materials suitable for food contact, and then we look at factors such as sealing reliability, oxygen permeability and puncture resistance to name a few. Our thermoforming equipment can process a myriad of materials, including those typically used for MAP.

At Indepak, we can create any size or shape of custom thermoform tray suitable for modified atmosphere packaging. In some cases, a simple tray with one cavity is all that is needed, but other products, such as microwavable meals or perhaps fruit and vegetable trays might need multiple compartments to separate each food item.

If you are interested in any type of food packaging, including modified atmosphere packaging, contact us at Indepak today. Since 1967, we’ve been a leader in the creation of packaging for the specialty foods industry and we can design an innovative packaging solution that meets your needs and budget.

Retail Packaging: 6 Crucial Facts About Plastic

In the world of retail packaging, a company has many material options to consider. Plastic is always a material worth considering, as it is a highly cost-effective choice. Not only are the materials quite affordable, the light weight can help reduce your shipping costs. If you aren’t convinced that plastics are the right fit for your retail packaging, read on and let us entice you to think about plastics.

1. Plastic Retail Packaging Can Be Environmentally Friendly
Virtually every material we use at Indepak is recyclable, and this includes our plastic retail packaging. Once your customer removes the packaging, the customer can simply toss the package into a recycling bin and it will be reused to make new packaging and products. While most thermoformed plastics can be recycled and reused, this is not the only positive about using these materials.

For instance, because of their lightweight, a truck or train car or ship can carry more units of your product per trip to stores across the county than if you used heavier packaging materials. This reduces the amount of fuel needed to transport goods and reduces pollution. Additionally, plastics are highly protective and we can create packages that surround your package precisely, eliminating the need for extra protective packaging. This reduces weight, but it also reduces the amount of materials needed for a package, which is always a good thing.

2. There Are Many Sustainable Options
Using combination designs the incorporate plastics as well as paperboard or pulp is one way to reduce the amount of plastics in your packaging. We also can create retail packaging that includes materials with recycled content. In some cases, starch-based bioplastics also can be considered.

3. Plastics Offer Unlimited Design Options
No matter what size or shape of retail packaging you might need, thermoform plastics can be formed into the shape you want. Not only can we craft packaging in any shape, we also can design options such as tri-fold clamshell packaging, which can stand by themselves on a store shelf. These clamshells also can be hung on retail hooks, providing you with the ultimate in versatility. This is just one option that you might consider for your unique retail product.

4. There Are Many Types Of Plastics
From PET to HDPE to PVC, retailers have a variety of materials to consider. Each type of plastic has its own unique set of characteristics. For instance, some plastics are ideal for storing different types of chemicals, while other plastics are a great option for holding static-sensitive materials. When it comes to retail packaging, there is no one-size-fit-all solution, and we consider many factors when selecting a material for a new client.

5. Plastics Are Cost-Effective
In general, plastic materials are the most affordable options for your retail packaging product and it’s not just because the materials are affordable, although that is certainly a factor. The light weight reduces your shipping costs, and the high level of protection provided by plastics reduces the probability of damage and tampering.

6. We Create All Types Of Retail Packaging
Our facility includes a wide variety of quality thermoforming equipment, which allows us to meet the needs of a wide range of clients. Whether your company produces office supplies or disposable razors or perhaps electronic accessories, we can create a retail packaging solution for you.

For some clients, we design trap blisters that include a paperboard backing while others prefer a sealed clamshell and still others might need a custom thermoform tray designed and then either sealed or placed into a clamshell package. We can create all of this and much more, so, if you have a retail packaging project, give us a call today.

Product Packaging: 4 Factors We Consider

When it comes to product packaging, we’ve had a lot of experience. In fact, we’ve spent the last 50 years providing customers with affordable, custom packaging. Our design team has worked with companies from virtually every industry to create innovative custom packaging. While the main purpose of any package is to hold a product, we understand there are many other factors that come into play, including the following.

1. Presentation
While there are many important aspects we consider during the creation of custom product packaging, an eye-catching design can make the difference between a consumer selecting your product in lieu of your competitor’s product. One benefit with thermoform plastics is that consumers easily can see your product, and we can display that product to its best advantage. Our team can create all types of thermoform plastic packaging, including clamshells, blisters, thermoform trays and containers with lids.

2. Protection
Thermoform plastics boast many properties that help to protect your product. For instance, many of the plastic materials we use are both shatterproof and impact-resistant. If your product is knocked off a shelf, the plastic product packaging will preserve your item far better than other types of packaging materials. Plastic product packaging also can be sealed to prevent moisture as well as tampering.

3. Cost-Containment
Keeping costs down is always a factor for any business, and using plastics for your product packaging is an ideal choice. Plastic materials are cost-effective for many reasons. In general, plastics are much more affordable than other types of packaging. As stated before, plastics protect your product, which reduces loss due to damage or theft. Plastics also are lightweight, which helps you reduce shipping costs. Because we can create smaller packages with plastic, this also allows you to ship more units per container, which further reduces your shipping and handling costs.

4. Sustainability
While the words plastic and sustainability might not seem like a natural match, virtually all of the materials we use at Indepak are recyclable. In some cases, we can create product packaging using post-consumer grade materials, starch-based bio plastics or perhaps a combination design that incorporates plastics with pulp or paperboard. Keep in mind, that the versatility of thermoforming allows us to create designs that use as small of an amount of materials as possible. We can create a blister pack or clamshell that surrounds your product precisely, eliminating the need for excessive packaging materials.

If you are in the market for product packaging, the team at Indepak is here to help. Contact us at any time and we can discuss your packaging needs. In addition to package design and product, we also offer package fulfilment services, inventory management and shipping services.

4 Keys To Better Retail Product Packaging

While you might have the highest quality product available on the market, it is important to understand that consumers often make purchases on an emotional level. Great retail product packaging can make the difference between someone purchasing your product or selecting the product of a competitor. As you start thinking about the design of your retail product packaging, it is wise to keep some of the following ideas in mind.

1. Catch The Eye

When consumers are looking for a product, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. Visually stimulating retail product packaging creates a first impression that is sure to entice to consumers to pick up your product and check it out. Spend some time browsing through store aisles and make note of which packaging types instantly attract your notice.

Shelves often are lined with similar products, and this is why it is crucial that your retail product packaging stands out. Often a simple, uncluttered design makes the biggest impact. It also helps if consumers can see the product that they are purchasing, which is one of the advantages of selecting clear thermoplastic packaging.

2. Know Your Customer

When you design retail product packaging, it is always wise to think about your customer and create packaging that speaks to that customer. Every product has a target customer. For instance, you might be selling headphones and aiming at a market of teens and young adults. In this case, a youthful, hip packaging design can be a great way to grab the interest of your typical customer. You might be selling a power drill, and consumers purchasing this product are likely interested in quickly learning about the product’s features and durability.

3. Allow For Brand Development

Creating a great logo is always a good idea, as this builds your brand identity. Customers don’t always remember the name of your product or even your company, but they might remember your logo design. As you add new products to your line, customers will remember that they have purchased from your brand previously, and appreciate the quality of your product. Because they recognize the brand and the positive memories associated with the product, they will be far more likely to purchase from you again and try out your other products.

4. Waste Not, Want Not

There are many reasons to select thermoplastics for your retail product packaging. One compelling reason is that we can create thermoplastic package that fits your product exactly, eliminating the need for excessive packaging. Using less packaging decreases your packaging costs, as well as your shipping costs, as you can fit more products into each box or shipping container. In addition, consumers these days will appreciate your efforts to reduce the amount of packaging, thereby creating less waste. Of course, thermoplastic packaging also is recyclable, which is another plus for the environment.

If you need retail product packaging, the team at Indepak can help. For more than 40 years, we have been creating thermoformed packaging for clients in a myriad of industries, including retail companies, specialty food companies, electronics companies, pharmaceutical companies and much more. Our design team can create an affordable, durable package for your product that also captures the attention of your target consumer. Give us a call today to discuss your packaging needs.

Understanding Retail Product Packaging Labels

Every package needs to include a label or product information. Many consumers are unaware that there are actually government regulations that state what types of information must appear on labels or packages. Different industries, of course, have different labeling requirements and these requirements include a variety of helpful information.

Basic Regulations

In 1966, the United States Congress passed the Fair Packaging & Labeling Act which includes regulations that apply to a wide variety of consumer products. Each label must include a statement that identifies the product or commodity. The label further must include the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor. Finally, the net quantity of the contents must be included. This can be a weight, a measure or a numerical count.

This act has been amended several times, and recent changes include requiring the place-of-business listing to include online resources, such as a website URL for the company. It also required the addition of more substantial metric information. The European Union has, for several years, pushed the U.S. government to remove U.S. customary units from labels and instead include only metric units. However, our government has yet to make that change.

Additional Food Packaging Requirements

Necessarily, food packaging labels are highly regulated. After all, if you are providing foods or beverages for consumers, it’s important that your customers understand exactly what is contained within your custom retail packaging. A food manufacturer must include all of the general labeling information stated before, as well as some nutritional information.

For instance, your custom retail food packaging must include a list of each of the ingredients in your food or beverage in descending order of predominance by weight. This information also must appear on the same panel of the packaging as the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.

Regulations also require that you list any major food allergens that might be included in your product, even in trace amounts. These allergens include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and wheat. Obviously, people are allergic to many other substances, but those are the allergens that comprise about 90 percent of all food allergies, therefore, this is highly helpful information for consumers.

Nutritional information such as calories per serving, information about fat content, total carbohydrates and information about cholesterol, sodium, fiber, sugars and protein also need to appear on food labels. However, there are exceptions to these rules and special provisions for some products, such as fresh produce and self-service bulk foods to name just a few.

Pharmaceutical Packaging Regulations

Just as with food and beverage packaging, pharmaceutical products also must include specific information to ensure public safety. In fact, as a consumer, you probably have noticed that every over-the-counter medication includes a huge amount of information on its custom retail packaging.

The packaging presented to consumers for over-the-counter medications and prescription medications might be presented in different ways, but it all boils down to providing crucial information about dosage and usage instructions. Additionally, packaging will include information about possible side effects as well as drug interactions. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are companies out there that can review your labels and product information to determine whether or not the information complies with FDA regulations.

Products “Made In The USA”

Many consumers will choose one product over another if the product states that it was “Made in the USA,” on its retail product packaging. To ensure that your product was, in fact, created in the USA, the Federal Trade Commission has some restrictions regarding this claim. In order to legally state this information, the FTC states that the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the United States. It is important to note that the United States is meant to include all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and all U.S. territories and possessions, such as Puerto Rico.

This is just a short overview of what might need to appear on your custom retail packaging. Whether you produce a food product, an electric drill, office supplies or another product, we can create custom retail packaging that suits your needs.

Retail Packaging: Four Ways To Reduce Your Costs

Whether your company produces office supplies, electronics gear, tools or another item, reducing your retail packaging costs is always an important consideration. There are actually several ways to ensure that you spend as little as possible on packaging without sacrificing quality.

1. Select Affordable Materials

Packaging can eat up a large amount of your operating budget every year, so selecting retail packaging materials that don’t break the bank is essential. Fortunately, thermoplastics, such as those we use at Indepak, can help you reduce your costs in a few ways.

First, thermoplastic in general is quite affordable and we can form a sheet of thermoplastic into any shape you might need for your retail packaging. Second, because thermoplastic is lightweight, you don’t have to pay as much to ship your products to various retail stores. We also can use combinations of thermoplastic and other materials, which might also bring down the cost of your retail packaging.

2. Design A Package That Reduces Waste

Reducing waste is good for everyone, and not only is it a positive step for the environment; it also benefits your bottom line. We often meet with clients whose current packaging is really larger than it needs to be. When you have less packaging, this saves you money, but it doesn’t mean that this smaller package won’t still protect your product. Our team can design retail packaging that uses the smallest amount of materials necessary.

By choosing the best possible materials for your retail packaging and through careful design, we can craft a package that displays your product beautifully and protects it from tampering and damage without being wasteful. Again, thermoplastics are an excellent option because you can create strong retail packaging that fits over your package precisely. Not only will you pay less because you chose a smaller package, these smaller packages will fit better in shipping boxes, which can further reduce your shipping costs.

3. Use Sustainable Materials

In some cases, using materials that contain some post-consumer materials or opting for bio-based materials can be an excellent, cost-saving option. Using thermoplastics that contain some post-consumer or recycled content can be very affordable. In addition, we can design a label that showcases that you used sustainable materials. Many consumers specifically look for products that are as eco-friendly as possible, so using sustainable materials can give you an edge over the competition and boosts your sales.

4. Choosing A Packaging Service With Many Options

As a business owner, you deal with a myriad of different suppliers and vendors. It can be more affordable, however, to select vendors that offer multiple services. This can save you time as well as money. At Indepak, not only do we design and produce retail packaging, we also offer package fulfillment, inventory management and shipping services for our clients. Our goal is always to provide a total solution for each client, and this can often be much less expensive than using many different companies for different services.

Retail Packaging: 3 Reasons To Select Thermoplastic

As manufacturers, you have several different options when it comes to retail product packaging. Thermoplastics are an excellent option for many reasons, and at Indepak, we serve a wide varieties of industries. We can create retail packaging for just about any product imaginable. Here are just a few facts that help explain why thermoplastics can be a top choice for your retail product packaging needs.

1. Plastic = Less Waste

That might sound like it cannot possibly be true, as we constantly hear about plastic and landfills and waste. However, we can create retail packaging that fits your product precisely, with very little excess package. With other types of materials, you need excess space to provide some type of protective cushioning. With thermoplastics, the actual retail packaging itself is protective, meaning you use less material to create each package.

In addition to creating retail product packaging that precisely fits your unique product, we also are a low-waste operation. During the process of thermoforming, we use large sheets of thin-gauge thermoplastic to create your package and after the package has been formed, we trim off any excess plastic. When we design your package, our design team focuses on maximizing the use of each sheet of thermoplastic to limit this trim waste as much as possible.

In addition, it’s important to note that virtually all of the materials that we use for your retail product packaging are recyclable. In addition, we have a variety of post-consumer grade materials that you might consider for your packaging as well as combinations of thermoplastic and paper or pulp.

2. Product Safety & Security

There are many types of thermoplastic that we can use for retail packaging. The type that you use depends upon the type of product you sell. For instance, if you sell a food product, you will need to use a plastic that is approved for use with foods or beverages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several different types of thermoplastic for use in food retail packaging, so if you sell a food product, we have several options available for you to consider.

For non-food retail products, our thermoplastic options can protect your product from damage both during shipping as well as during the time where it sits on a store shelf. We also create tamper-proof designs for our retail product packaging that further protect your product. Plastic is one of the best materials to consider when thinking about product safety and security.

3. Keep Your Costs Low

Thermoplastic not only provides security, it’s also quite affordable. We use a wide variety of plastics, so there is something to suit just about any budget. In addition, thermoplastic is quite lightweight, which lowers your overall shipping costs. Because thermoplastic also is quite protective, this cuts down on damages to your retail product. As you know, when a shop returns a product because of damages, this is quite costly to you. Using a strong thermoplastic material and designing a package that protects your product will keep damages to a minimum, which also reduces your overall costs.

If you are interested in having us design retail product packaging, give us a call or send us an email today. We can create an innovative design that reduces waste, keeps your product secure and keeps your packaging costs as low as possible.

Custom Retail Packaging: 3 Mistakes To Avoid

When you are getting ready to launch a new product or perhaps seeking to redesign the packaging of an existing product, there are many design elements to consider. We can create any size or shape of custom retail packaging that you might need, and our design team also can help you avoid many of these common retail packaging mistakes.

1. You Have Too Much Packaging

These days, consumers are environmentally-conscious. This means they don’t want to see an excess of packaging. Less is typically more when it comes to custom retail packaging, and creating a package design that limits waste is not just attractive to customers. Smaller packaging costs less because you are using a smaller amount of materials. In addition, you typically can fit more items into shipping boxes and the weight can be a bit lower, which can save you money.

At Indepak, we are committed to being a low-waste operation. This means that our design team creates custom retail packaging with as little excess packaging as possible. With custom thermoforming, we use large, thin sheets of plastic, and our careful design process ensures that we maximize the use of each sheet of plastic. Our goal is always to produce as little waste as possible, but any excess thermoplastics that are trimmed off will be recycled.

2. Your Packaging Materials Aren’t Strong Enough

When most people head out to the store and purchase a retail product, they avoid products with damaged packaging. Not only does damage retail packaging look unattractive to consumers, there’s always a chance that the product inside is damaged. With clear thermoplastic, consumers can look and ensure for themselves that the product is in good shape, but they still tend to avoid purchasing items if the packaging has been damaged in anyway.

Studies have shown that about 75% of consumers will bypass a damaged package and purchase a product with a pristine package instead, even if it’s obvious that the product inside is fine. It’s not hard to understand why consumers feel this way, particularly if the item is something that is given as a gift. This is why it’s so important to make sure that your custom retail packaging is strong enough to withstand the rigors of shipping as well as handling by the general public.

Even if you pay a bit more for materials, you will save money in the long run by opting for materials that are strong and sturdy. With a strong design, you won’t have to deal with the extra labor costs and shipping costs associated with product returns due to damaged packaging. Our design team can create custom retail packaging using many different types of thermoplastic. Many thermoplastics are highly durable as well as water-resistant and chemical-resistant, which can ensure your product’s safety.

3. Your Package Design Doesn’t Work

When it comes to retail packaging, the package design is a huge part of your success. For many products, a great design truly can make the difference between a consumer selecting your product or the product of a competitor. You need a simple, attractive, retail packaging design that instantly expresses to the consumer the most important information about your product. Your brand name also should be prominent on the package. If possible, stick with a similar style for your entire line of products, as this builds up your brand image. For instance, you might feature the same colors on all your package labels and feature the same graphics and fonts and type sizes. Consistency helps to improve your branding because customers begin to associate a specific design style with your product.

Our design team can provide you with a creative, attractive retail packaging design that will catch the consumer’s attention and display your product to its best advantage. Thermoplastic materials are an excellent option for custom retail packaging as we can create virtually any shape of package, and consumers can easily see your product.

Thermoform Packaging & HDPE

Thermoform packaging is the perfect solution for many companies. At Indepak, we create custom thermoform packaging for just about every imaginable industry. There are many different materials or combinations of materials to consider when planning a thermoforming project. One thermoplastic that we can use is known as high-density polyethylene, and here are a few quick facts about this thermoplastic.

High-density polyethylene typically is just known as HDPE. Most of us come into contact with HDPE every single day of our lives, whether we know it or not. Because of its chemical resistance, bottles are often made of HDPE, and these hold everything from milk to laundry detergent. It is not known to leach any harmful chemicals into food products and contains no BPA, which makes it a safe choice for those needing packaging for food or beverages.

Beyond thermoform packaging for foods or liquids, HDPE can be used to create many other types of products. This includes packaging for other industries, as well as plastic lumber, pipes, plastic furniture and even filament for 3-D printers. It is highly recyclable and accepted by virtually all curbside recycling programs. It’s identified by the number 2 surrounded by a triangle of arrows. Flip over your milk jug or fabric softener bottle and you, no doubt, will see this code, which is known as a resin identification code.

Of course, HDPE is not the only thermoplastic that we use. During the design process, our team will consider which type of thermoform packing materials will be the best fit for your product. Each type of thermoplastic has its own unique properties. Some are best for storing food, while others are ideal for retail products or perhaps electronics. Still others have properties that make them an excellent option for a pharmaceutical company’s products.

After we have selected the best type of plastic for your needs, we can design a prototype of your thermoform packaging. Once we have completed the design process, we can move on to production. Our high-speed, high-quality equipment is capable of thermoforming rigid materials ranging from .008” to .080” in thickness and foam materials from approximately 1/16” up to ¼”. Part sizes can range from less than one inch up to 36 inches in dimension.

We also provide our clients with services beyond design and production. We can provide package fulfilment as well as inventory management if needed. We can handle Min/Max inventory planning as well as more complex customer-based web portals. Whatever your company needs, we aim to provide.

To learn more about thermoform packaging, HDPE or all of our custom services send us an email or call today. Since 1967, we have been committed to providing our clients with the highest quality products as well as top customer service.

Packaging Materials: Your Thermoplastic Options

When it comes to packaging options, you have quite a few different options. You can use thermoplastics for the entire package or perhaps thermoplastics with a combination of another material, such as cardboard or foil. Here are just a few of the different options you might want to consider for your packaging needs.

A clamshell or a blister package works well for many products. Various types of thermoplastic can be used as your packaging materials. A blister pack or blister package is a package that typically has backing formed from a thin sheet of plastic or perhaps foil or paperboard. A clamshell is a package that is connected at one edge and opens up, much like a clam.

Blister packages can be made out of many thermoplastic packaging materials and are excellent choices for many types of products. You often see pharmaceuticals packaged in blister packs, such as over-the-counter cold medicines. Many retail products are packaged in blister packs, as well, and these typically feature a well-designed paperboard backing with clear thermoplastic attached to the paperboard. This allows the product to be displayed and the paperboard is designed to provide the company name, product name, bar codes and information about the product.

Clamshells are used for many different products. These are used to hold a wide variety of food products at grocery stores and specialty food stores, as well as to-go containers from restaurants. We also can seal the edges of a clamshell package and use that to protect just about any retail product, including tools, electronics and office supplies.

Often we will design packaging components using some type of thermoplastic foam. For instance, perhaps you are selling an electronic item with many different parts. You might have a sturdy cardboard outer container with various shapes and sizes of thermoplastic foam inside. This foam is highly protective, but also very lightweight and we can create thermoplastic foam using different types of packaging materials depending on your needs and budget.

Thermoplastics are an excellent option in general for packaging materials because they are lightweight, protective and can be designed to fit almost any product. For instance, we can create thermoplastic bottles to hold many different types of liquid. Different liquids require different types of thermoplastic packaging materials, and we have a variety of options including HIPS, ABS, PVC, PET, PETG, HDPE, OPS, and PP.

Of course, not everything we create involves packaging materials. We can design thermoplastic products as well. We can create a specialty product or perhaps an item such as a reusable food storage container. Plastic trays can be designed to hold office supplies or kitchen gear. We also can create any size or type of container that you might need.

We also provide more than just high-quality production and design. At Indepak, we also can help you with package fulfilment, with your inventory management and even with shipping your products or packaging. Let us know how we can help with your custom packaging or thermoplastic product needs.