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Three Protective Packaging Options to Consider During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of protective packaging for products. A protective cover over consumable products prevents exterior elements from contacting the packaged product. The right packaging will highlight a product while protecting from damage and contamination.

Consumers can make purchases in confidence, knowing the product has not been touched during storage and transit. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen more companies choosing to use protective exterior packaging. Specifically, companies in the food industry have increased demand from us for protective packaging.

Restaurants and other food producers are seeking means to effectively and efficiently protect products for takeout orders and packaged to-go food items. Below are three forms of protective packaging to consider during the coronavirus and moving forward.

Shrink Wrapping

Shrink wrapping is one of the easiest ways companies can get started with protective packaging. Good start-up shrink wrap systems can be purchased for less than $200. A start-up shrink wrap system will achieve the same end look as an expensive machine.

Products are inserted into an FDA approved shrink film and sealed. After the seal is made, a heat gun is used to shrink the film to fit the product being packaged tightly — a favorite for bakeries wrapping cookies and pizza makers covering pizzas. The finished look is a tightly wrapped package in crystal clear film to display covered products.

Beginner shrink wrap systems are recommended for wrapping up to 150 – 200 products daily. For higher production levels, there is the option of semi-auto and fully-auto shrink wrap machines. The demo below shows how to use a manual shrink wrap machine.

One last thing, shrink film needs small vent holes to allow air to escape when the heat is applied, and the film shrinks. The holes are tiny but do prevent shrink-wrapped packages from being airtight.

Overwrapping

Overwrapping is a protective packaging most people have seen and may not know it. Overwrapping is used in butcher shops and meat shops. Many grocery stores use them with a tray to wrap meats, seafood, and produce. The exterior film is wrapped over the product and sealed together at the bottom.

An overwrapper and film can be purchased for less than $500. The operator uses the machine to pull film over the product tightly. Once wrapped, a hot wire cuts the film. The last step is placing the bottom of the tray onto the heating pad. The heating pad shrinks and mends film to the bottom of the package. A price and barcode sticker is often placed over the film for fast and easy checkout.

The exterior film is available in several thicknesses and protects products from external elements. It also allows people the ability to wipe down outer packaging without harming the product if they choose. 

Vacuum Packaging

A secure way to protect and preserve products, vacuum packaging completely changes the atmosphere a product is stored. The oxygen content is reduced, helping to preserve products longer. Using commercial vacuum sealers to introduce gas flushing will help to keep consumable products fresher for longer.

Some vacuum packaging comes on rolls, but pre-made barrier bags are popular for commercial vacuum sealers. Users place a product or products into the barrier bag for an airtight seal. If using a nozzle vacuum sealer, the bag needs to be held as the vacuum is being made. Once the seal begins, the user can let go and start inserting the next product into a bag.

The finished packaging provides a protective exterior shell while preserving products within the packaging. External elements and contaminants are prevented from entering the bag. One downside to vacuum packaging is the excess material on the side of packaged products. Barrier shrink bags are a new alternative in assisting with the aesthetics of vacuum packaging. The additional film is shrunken down, leaving a clean and tightly fitting packaging.

Conclusion

We need to protect consumable products now more than ever. The importance will never go away. Throughout history, humans have looked for ways to preserve and protect food from exterior elements.

Choosing the right protective packaging can help save and protect products with a minimal initial investment. There are many options available other than the three listed in this post. We would love to hear from you and the application you want to apply protective packaging. Call our sales team at 1-800-441-5090 about protective packaging for your products.

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