When most people think of food packaging, they think of the box that holds their cereal or the can that holds their soup. While those are, indeed, examples of packaging, they are not the only type that is out there. In order to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the role of packaging in our lives - and in what we eat - it helps to take a look at the three main types of packaging: consumer packaging, group packaging and transport packaging. By learning about the different options that packaging suppliers make available to the companies that sell us our food, we can form a better picture of precisely how that can of soup or box of cereal got on the shelf at our local market in the first place.
Consumer Packaging -
Consumer packaging - sometimes referred to as primary packaging - is the type that the vast majority of us are the most familiar with. Basically, consumer packaging is the thing that you remove in order to get at the actual product. It might be a can, a box, a bag or even shrink wrap. The items that you buy at your local grocery store are contained in consumer packaging. This is the type of packaging that receives the most attention in terms of marketing, since it's the kind that we actually look at as consumers in the store. The most thought regarding aesthetics is given to this type of packaging.
Grouped Packaging -
When a grocery store receives a shipment of things to restock its shelves with, they aren't loose or strictly individually wrapped. After all, opening up a truck and having a bundle of cereal boxes pour out onto the ground simply wouldn't be practical - or efficient. Instead, grouped packaging is used to bundle multiple quantities of any given food product together for easier handling. Sometimes, larger retailers sell units like this to the end user - or general public - and offer a significant discount on it. Otherwise, this packaging is most often seen strictly by store personnel and by those who restock the shelves.
Transport Packaging -
Finally, transport packaging - also known as tertiary packaging - is the heavy duty stuff that is used to get a massive quantity of a food product from point A to point B. This packaging is designed to withstand the wear and tear of being on a truck for hundreds of miles - and to handle being passed along from place to place en masse. For the most part, shipping companies and distribution centres are the only places that ever see transport packaging; it is commonly found in warehouses and other similar places, and the everyday consumer rarely glimpses it.