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Clear, Plastic Food Packaging Drives Sales, Report Says

August 27, 2014|BY: Rob Helmke

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A report suggests that plastic could become the clear choice for many food packaging designs. According to a Wall Street Journal, clear plastic packaging enhances consumer interaction with products and, ultimately, drives sales. At Plastic Ingenuity, we strongly support clear plastic packaging, whether it be for clamshell or other designs. Wondering why clear plastic packaging is proving to be advantageous for many food brands? We’ve analyzed this trend and provided suggestions for your own food packaging designs.

The New Standard for Food Packaging

The clear packaging trend proves to be much more than that—it’s becoming a new standard for food packaging.

Take Tropicana’s switch to clear designs, for example. The company formerly offered their orange juice in white plastic jugs. When Coca Cola introduced Simply Orange—complete in clear, attractive bottles—Tropicana’s sales began to decline. To compete, Tropicana switched to clear containers, and customers responded positively.

Or consider Talenti’s strategy. The packaging design for this product is simple: a clear plastic container with the markings of the company’s logo and the flavor of gelato.

Kind bars also follow this clear packaging model, with other companies like Clif bar and Earnest Eats soon following.

Why Clear Plastic Packaging is Increasing Sales

So, why is clear packaging sales boosting sales? The answer is relatively simple: consumers want to know exactly what they’re purchasing, and clear packaging provides that. The clear approach is simple, but it works because for some items, the actual product itself translates better than any flashy packaging design could.

Have you ever walked through a store, got a good glimpse of something on the shelves or in the coolers and been tempted to buy it? That’s the power of clear plastic packaging at work. Foods like hummus, potato salad and others rely on the idea that once consumers see them, they’ll want to purchase them.

Today, consumers are also concerned about freshness. In fact, consumers now expect to be able to fully examine the products they’re purchasing. They want to peer into the containers to make sure lettuce is fresh and smoothies have visible separation because it proves the products are natural.

Clear packaging may even lead to increased consumption—and, incidentally, sales.

A study a in August 2013 announced findings that consumers tended to eat more of products packaged in clear packaging, citing that study participants ate 58 percent more M&Ms packaged in clear plastic packaging opposed to those in opaque designs—adding yet another reason to consider clear designs.

Exceptions to Clear Plastic Packaging

Of course, some foods aren’t suitable for entirely clear packaging. Some items could spoil with plastic packaging from sun exposure or during shipping. If you want to try the transparent packaging trend but are concerned about spoilage, consider using the “window design.” This packaging design will give a glimpse of your food products without overexposing them and making them susceptible to mold. Not sure if your company’s offerings will work well for clear packaging? Consult with your plastic packaging manufacturer for assistance

For more examples of plastic packaging for food products, check out PI’s Facebook page.