For the most part, how we cook, prepare food, and manufacture different products have been influenced by storage for thousands of years. Food preservation and storage have led to different ways of preparing food throughout the past few centuries. Beef jerky? Drying meat has been a tried-and-tested process that Native Americans have used for hundreds of years to extend their lifespan. Some Asian countries have also been using salt in developing the shelf life of fish and other types of seafood.
Modern-Day Food Packaging
But after centuries of technological innovation, it’s easier for us to store food with several methods that involve intricate chemical processes or simple changes in the temperature. Most of these innovations were brought upon by different needs in logistics. For instance, canning was invented since the French military needed a way of storing food for a large military force. In itself, Canning is already a packaging process and a way of storing food for travel.
Automation has also played a significant role in the packaging process. With companies and manufacturing facilities being dedicated to packaging and storage, it’s easier to extend the life expectancy of food, textiles, clothing, and even electrical devices. Some innovations, such as the state-of-the-art folding gluer machine, are an excellent way to mass-produce packaging materials for an assortment of products.
More complex forms of packaging goods have made it simpler to serve consumers while making their experience more convenient.
How Does This Affect Our Lives?
Food storage and packaging have gone a long way: it’s not just about canning shelf-stable food and food anymore. It’s also about making packages presentable and more pleasing to the public.
But other than that, how has modern-day packaging and storage affected how we live our daily lives?
- Delivery and Shipping — Since we live in a globalized market, most customers will order products online that can go through different shipping processes. As such, these parcels will need to be secured from any impact.
- Marketing — Besides providing a fair amount of protection and extension of the shelf life, packages are known drawing in the interest of consumers. Most of the time, containers are designed with a target audience in mind. Most packages that are targeted towards millennials will have a more minimalist design. Packages for construction materials will have a more pragmatic design.
- Cuisines — For the most part, the main design of most packages, especially boxes and containers designed for short-distance travel, will hold in heat and most of the contents of food packages in place. Most of these packages will feature self-heating packaging, which is an excellent way of keeping food fresh.
Innovations In Packaging
It’s important to note that packaging isn’t limited to food sources, but for now, we’ll be discussing how packaging affects most consumer goods.
So what are some known innovations in the packaging and storage industry?
One of the main concerns of mass-producing packaging, especially those made from plastic, is that it can have a lasting impact on the environment. Fortunately, there are new eco-friendly materials that can be decomposed or recycled. Materials such as bioplastic have been used for several packages. Bamboo as a textile has also been used for containers.
Some Asian countries use pandan and bamboo leaves as more “organic” forms of packaging, which can help when it comes to carbon emissions.
In addition to being fair to the environment, most individuals are inclined to buying more natural-raw materials.
Military Ready-to-Eat Rations
Military rations such as ready-to-eat military meals are known for having such a long lifespan that it can stay fresh for decades without spoiling. In addition to being shelf-stable, there is a variety of different equipment that’s used for cooking. These packages are designed to all the daily caloric and nutritional needs of any individual or soldier.
Moreover, these packages are also very resistant to moisture, which is known for significantly decreasing shelf life.
Of course, everybody wants to get their package in pristine condition, even after the rigors of traveling. That is particularly important when it comes to goods that are deemed as perishable (short lifespan). Smart labels are known for playing a significant role in ensuring that consumers know these goods’ state. That also prevents these types of products from being discarded.
In addition to smart labels, data analytics is also known for providing an optimized route for traveling and has been implemented in many shipping logistics worldwide. That ensures that damage is reduced, and the product is left in a relatively pristine condition.
Packaging might not seem like much, but it is a crucial asset of almost every startup business. Not only will this provide the necessary durability and survivability for your products, but they provide the identity of your inventory. Most companies should emphasize how they will package and design their products.