According to a food packaging trends report by Mintel, almost 60 percent of U.S. consumers feel clear packaging is important, but they value the quality of the packaging material more. This includes the ability to recycle packaging material. While glass and PET containers have traditionally been popular choices, more manufacturers are considering the advantages of other clear food packaging for reasons including:
Food visibility: An estimated 30 percent of U.S. consumers decide on how fresh food is by looking at the product rather than the use-by date. Consumer perception can be improved or worsened by whether or not a product’s condition can be seen clearly within its packaging.
Improving brand image: The ability to show a product’s quality via clear packaging can have a positive effect on the brand’s image, as it shows the consumer the quality and appearance of the product.
The ability to show consumers the quality and condition of food with clear packaging also greatly depends on the choice of adhesive used to keep it properly sealed.
Adhesives and Sealants Used for Clear Packaging Manufacturing
In order to build consumer trust through quality packaging, manufacturers must consider which adhesives will protect the food while showcasing the value of the product. There are a number of adhesives that can help with these requirements.
Functional Coatings provide refraction transparency similar to glass lenses and are used for protecting hot and cold products. Functional coatings offer a variety of curing processes and adhesion speeds. They also are useful for thermal conduction, durability, and elasticity.
Heat Seals are a multi-layered film with an outer coating that prevents melting. To form a strong bond, the adhesive must be held in place with pressure during the cooling process to solidify. Heat seals are often used for pouch, bag, tray and bowl food packaging.
Cold Seals are often used for packaging candy, chocolate, ice cream or cereal due to its self-sealing bonding. Unlike heat seals, cold seals are sensitive to air contact. They can overcome the physical embossing effect of matte films while maintaining packaging aesthetics.
Important Requirements of Clear Packaging Adhesives
Though there are many types of clear packaging adhesive and sealant choices, it’s important for whichever option you select to offer these characteristics:
- Flexibility: Adhesives can provide protection no matter the shape of the packaging or food itself. Clear packaging like trays, clamshells and skin packs may require a seal or lightweight adhesive or seal in order to protect inside components from moving or breaking through the packaging. This is especially helpful for produce or fragile food items.
- Substrate compatibility: Manufacturerstypically use PET, RPET, PVC, PP and silica glass in clear packaging. PET is a popular choice among manufacturers for its transparency, sustainability and ability to reduce exposure to oxygen. rPet is also being utilized more in efforts to reduce plastic waste. Plastics with high surface energy, like PVC, can be difficult for label bonding. The right adhesive, however, can offer high tack and grab for a sufficient bond.
- Ability to prolong food freshness: Research shows more than half of U.S. consumers feel it’s important to be able to see the food product they are buying. Most clear packaging is composed of plastic materials, which helps increase the food quality. For example, anti-fog coating can reduce fog formation in packaging by changing water droplets from condensation to a thin, transparent film. This helps keep the packaging clear and extend the food freshness.
Bostik’s Clear Packaging Adhesive Solutions
Bostik has a number of products that can help your clear packaging needs including:
- Anti-Fog Heat Seal Coatings: These solutions provide clear packaging while helping manufacturers meet operational requirement costs. Our product combines heat seal and anti-fog capabilities into a two-in-one solution, which helps reduce overall costs, SKU volumes and decrease the likelihood of production issues.
- Turbo-Seal® C1775B: This cold seal helps address increased adhesion to overwrap structures while still delivering a commercial seal, protecting the food from surface contamination.
Contact a Bostik Representative to learn how we can help with your clear packaging today.
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