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Why You Should Switch From Labels To Paper Sleeves For Food Packaging

Food manufacturers face ever-mounting challenges as they strive to combine regulatory necessities with brand awareness and the pressing need for environmental considerations. Perishable foods are a particular issue, as most are legally required to be presented in see-through packaging. This has meant that the normal method of conveying additional information to consumers is done through the use of labels.

However, the use of paper sleeves as an alternative is growing in popularity – and with good reason. The following discusses the rationales behind why so many manufacturers are binning the traditional label in favour of this effective alternative.

1. Gives a distinct labelling advantage

Paper sleeves provide a blank canvas on which to speak to your customer. With the option to include information on the front, back and even sides (depending on the size of the sleeve), producers are able to convey a wealth of information that labels don’t have the room to display.

2. Upscale the product

Paper sleeves create a sense of quality in a way that a label simply can’t achieve. Many gourmet items utilise this method of packaging and their use is associated with high calibre products.

3. Build brand awareness

The options for customisation are infinite. Whereas labels tend to contain only the information required by law for food packaging, with perhaps room for a small logo, paper sleeves allow for trademarks, environmental messages, continuity throughout a whole range and can even have the finish of your choice (matte, gloss etc) to further create the look your brand requires.

The quality of images printed on paper sleeves is far higher than those on labels, with choices such as embossing, foil stamping and even textured images being an option.

4. Reduced waste and environmentally friendly

One of the biggest challenges for food manufacturers is the environmental impact of their packaging. Using food sleeves in combination with bio-friendly options that reduce plastic waste is a powerful tool that can be conveyed to consumers. They can also be produced from recycled materials.

Rapidly advancing technology means this is no longer the most expensive option. Worldwide, it’s estimated that around 8 million tons of plastic is leaked into the ocean annually, with packaging accounting for a massive 62% of this. As customers become more aware that their purchasing choices make a difference, it’s becoming crucial for producers to effectively address this.

Biodegradable vs. compostable…

It’s worth clarifying the difference between the two most commonly seen environmentally friendly packaging – that of biodegradable and compostable.

The easiest way to classify the two is that while biodegradable is good, the gold standard is definitely packaging that’s compostable. Here’s why…

  • Biodegradable packaging can be broken down by bacteria or other living organisms. However, there is no legislative framework that says how quickly the process must occur or what they break down into.

That can mean it takes many years to degrade, and that the remaining elements are not environmentally friendly. Compare this with the following:

  • Compostable packaging: Will be broken down into compost – in other words, into a form that can be used as a fertiliser for plants, so completely natural. To be classified commercially compostable it must be fully broken down within 90 days, when it can then be returned to the soil to begin another life cycle. 

This is possible because such packaging is produced from plant-based materials, making it the only kind of truly sustainable packaging.

5. Paper sleeves can be constructed for all environments

A paper sleeve can be constructed to withstand the environment in which it will be stored, transported, and eventually displayed to the public. This means that they can be produced to withstand freezers, refrigerators, coolers, sunlight and heat, depending on requirements.

6. An additional layer of protection

Any break in the integrity of food packaging leads to a wasted product. Paper sleeves help prevent this. In addition, such a layer allows a customer to slide the product out to inspect it and ensure that they’re purchasing a pristine product.

When it comes to the next generation of sustainable food packaging, the paper sleeve is set to play a hugely important role. By far the most important factors are those of the environment and cost, a combination that advances in packing technology now allow to be effectively approached.

As we move forward in marketing to a public that are more switched on to how their purchasing choices impact the world in which we live, now – more than ever before – is it the right time for the food industry to embrace packing options, such as paper sleeves, as an enhancement and hook for consumers.

Working with a provider who understands the packaging challenges in the food manufacturing industry is vital to create the right bespoke solution. Crystal Pack is a leader in this field, providing a one-stop service that begins with an in-depth understanding of your needs, through design and production of the finished article.

To find out more about paper packing sleeves and other carton and box packaging solutions for every range of products, visit Crystal Printing & Packaging Solutions or call on 08 9368 8555 for a no-obligation chat. Contact us today.