You came up with a million dollar idea. You have a snack that will change snacking as we know it. You thought of an incredible product that will become a household name one day. The sky it the limit. You’ve gone through research and development. You’ve done product testing with consumers and it has excellent appeal. You’ve gotten FDA approval and are ready to get to retail. There is just one more hurdle to go through before your product becomes the next big hit: choosing the right food packaging equipment.
Choosing food packaging equipment for your product is extremely important. Whether you need pouch filling machines, form fill seal machine, thermoform packaging equipment, or you aren’t really sure how to package it yet, selecting the right food packaging equipment could make or break your product’s success. When you choose the right food packaging equipment, the process of packaging your product is efficient, and — most importantly — delivers a safe and healthy product to the public. Your food packaging equipment is also responsible for the shelf life of your product, which is another factor that retailers will pay attention to before choosing to offer your product at their store.
If you need help choosing the right food packaging equipment for your product, you’ve come to the right place. Stand by for our list of essential questions to ask while choosing the right food packaging equipment for your product.
- What are my product’s packaging needs?
It might feel obvious, but the nature of the product that you’re packaging will be the biggest driver in selecting the right packaging equipment. If you’re packaging cookies, your needs might be something to prevent them from crumbling. If you’re packaging a perishable like cheese, your greatest challenge might be selecting packaging that will seal it to prevent contamination. If the contents of your packing will need vacuum packaging, you’ll need to consider an entirely different packaging setup than one that does not.
Before getting into the nitty gritty, like packaging design and packaging that is easier to ship, you need to survey what the “must haves” for your specific product, and then use that as a launch pad for selecting the appropriate equipment.
- What packaging process is most efficient for my product?
If you will need to package a lot of small items per batch, your ideal packaging process will be much different than if you need to package just a few large items at a time. Additionally, depending on the nature of your product, you might have additional requirements for the packaging process. For example, if your product is used for medical purposes, you will need to make sure the entire process meets the FDA guidelines for safe packaging of medications.
You’ll also want to consider how your packaging process can extend the lifespan of your product. There is no such thing as a food item that will never spoil (with the exception of honey), but your packaging process could significantly extend the shelf life of the product. If your product is perishable, you’ll need to include steps in your packaging process to ensure they remain fresh for as long as possible. The added expense of packaging equipment that helps prevent your product from spoiling as quickly might be an investment that is worthwhile in the long run.
- How fast do you want to package your product and how much effort do you want to put in it?
Packaging technology is available to make your entire packaging process automated, with the capacity to package an entire batch in minutes. However, that might not be a practical or cost effective investment for your product.
Before selecting the food packaging equipment for your product, take into consideration how quickly you need to package your product, and how much of the packaging product you want to do manually. If your product type will never meet the maximum capacity of an industrial packaging machine, or if you won’t need to package your product on a daily basis, it might not be worth the time or money to invest in a top-of-the-line packaging machine.
The trick is to select the equipment that most closely aligns with your operations, without painting yourself into a corner by sticking to manual processes that you don’t have to.