Food Packaging Materials

5 Types of Industry Food Packaging Materials

There are many options for choosing the proper packaging for food products. Whether you want to protect your product or create portion sizes for customers, it’s essential to partner with the right team to find the ideal package for your items. Below, we discuss the significant types of packaging you might consider. Food packaging materials are roughly organized into the following categories: 

  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Pallets
  • Plastic

Klippenstein Corporation is a family-owned and operated business that has provided packaging solutions for our clients for more than 50 years. Our machines allow you to customize your packaging and automate your packaging lines. We will happily discuss how our state-of-the-art equipment can be used to palletize, de-palletize, and pick-and-pack food products.

In the meantime, we would be happy to discuss any of the following processes and how you might use them to consistently deliver fresh, safe, and appealing products.

Aseptic Processing

Beyond the materials used in packaging, it’s essential to have a way to maintain sterile food products. Products such as liquid eggs, milk, and other perishable items require special consideration to preserve freshness and maximize shelf life. 

Aseptic packages made of polyethylene, paper, or aluminum contain an interior layer of polyethylene. In another category of aseptic processing, pharmaceuticals are often packaged in glass or plastic to maintain a sterile environment and create a protective barrier for items such as vials and syringes.

Let’s circle back to the five main categories of packaging discussed above to provide more details and examples of how they are used in line packaging automation.


Paper is one of the most common food packaging materials and includes bags and boxes, among other applications.


Bags are a common form of packaging and hold foods such as chips, pretzels, and other snacks, as well as potatoes and fruit. Bagging helps protect food products from contaminants in the environment and keeps them fresh.


Boxes make food easy to transport because they can be stacked and palletized easily. Some boxes include wood, metal, and corrugated fiberboard along with paper products. Cereals, frozen pizzas, and snacks are often packaged in boxes.


Cartons and boxes are often interchangeable. Cartons are made of paper-based and other materials. The most common form of carton packaging includes egg cartons, milk cartons, soup cartons, and juice cartons. We can help you choose machinery to customize and configure your packaging to maintain freshness and create an aesthetic final product for end consumers. 


Although there are many applications that use metal in food packaging, cans are the most typical. They are an excellent way to transport food and preserve freshness. Many cans are made of steel or other durable, thin metal. They are a great alternative to glass jars, which pose a risk of breakage.


Pallets are used to store and transport large quantities of food products. Pallets hold boxes and can be stacked one on top of another before being wrapped to secure the items for shipping. 

A palletizing conveyor is just one machine that can revolutionize your line packaging process. With powered and gravity pallet rollover conveyors, pop-up transfers, and 2-1/2″ rollers, these machines provide the horsepower you need to automate and expedite your manufacturing or shipping processes. 


Plastic wrappers protect food products that pass through people’s hands and would otherwise be exposed to the environment. Candy bars are one of the most typical applications of this type of packaging. 

Shrink-wrap is another popular form of plastic packaging. You can heat shrink it to create a vacuum seal and preserve freshness. Products are packaged inside a clear sleeve that is then sealed shut. Sleeved products travel along the conveyor through a heat tunnel where the plastic shrinks around the products.

The finished products have a glossy sheen that appeals to consumers and encourages them to pick them up from store shelves.


Glass jars and containers provide clear views of pickles, soups, and beverages, among other products. People have been putting products into glass jars and containers for more than 100 years, and it remains a popular choice among both consumers and manufacturers.

Glass-packaged food products often have long shelf lives and create an opportunity to showcase the food items that they hold. In addition, consumers like the ability to inspect food products before taking them home. Glass is also 100% recyclable, a fact environmentally conscious consumers love.

On the other hand, glass is expensive to ship and takes up more space because it is rigid. Glass also shatters on impact when dropped at a store or home, making it something of a liability.


Trays are great options when you need food packaging materials to both protect and display food items with short shelf lives. Everything from drinks to meat can be packaged, shipped, and sold directly from trays. Most trays are flat with raised edges to keep products in place, and they are made from a variety of materials that can be customized for different foods.

Klippenstein Corporation offers machinery that can be customized for the case and tray formation. For example, some machines can process up to 35 trays per minute for each lane. In addition, you can use these machines with or without flaps for open trays. 

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