Inside Packaging Part 2: Clamshell Containers

Posted by Rob Helmke | Tuesday, February 19, 2013 0 Comments

They may not have pearls inside, but clamshell containers are popular nonetheless—they have the single fastest growth rate of any clear thermoformed packaging! Clamshell packaging is revered for its practical and attractive design, as well as its security and versatility.

clamshell packagingA Single-Tool Container

A clamshell container, true to its name, is a hinged container that closes in on itself and seals the product inside. Unlike a container that comes with a base and a lid, for example, a clamshell is all-inclusive—the entire container comes off a single tool, making production and purchasing significantly less complicated. No wonder it's one of the most popular types of clear packaging on the market today.

Strength and Visibility

When you look at clamshell packaging, the reason for its popularity is clear—literally. The majority of clamshells are made using PVC, because it exceptionally strong, crystal clear, and lends itself well to most sealing applications.  This makes it the perfect showcase for a wide range of products, including high-value items like memory cards, cell phones, power tools and video game accessories.

Clamshell containers also provide uniquely customizable security features. A clamshell simply snaps open and shut using thermoformed closing mechanisms, like snap pins—this is what you might see in a package for strawberries, bakery cookies or facial wipes. The packaging manufacturer can, however, add a secondary seal that goes all the way around the outside of the package, creating a perfectly airtight closure that prevents theft and product tampering.

What the Packaging Manufacturer Does

Manufacturing clamshell packaging isn't nearly as simple as opening and closing it, which is why you can only count on a manufacturer with strong experience to make these types of packages. If the hinges, flanges and closing mechanism aren't perfectly aligned, the package won't close properly.

While you have the ultimate control over how to best display your product for consumers, the options that clamshells provide also make the manufacturer's job trickier, as they have to make sure that the package is functional and space-efficient while still showcasing what's inside. At PI, we're always testing new and innovative ways to work with these containers, so our clients are always as happy as a...well, you get the idea.


Topics: Custom Packaging, Design