There’s no question that the number of people trying to eat healthier has increased. With the fact that much of what’s at the grocery store is processed, the hunt for natural food that the body can process without side effects has increased exponentially. Dried nuts and fruits are in big demand, opening up markets for many who want to get into the business of selling healthier food snacks. However, food is only good to the extent that it is packaged correctly and avoids spoilage. This is where the proper packaging makes a difference.
Improper food packaging is a big problem. It can let in air and moisture, both of which can spoil food quickly. Especially with fruit, which already gives off its own gas release as it ages, spoilage can happen extremely fast. Dried fruit, on the other hand, removes one of the culprits by eliminating the moisture inherent in natural fruit picked off the bush or tree. This advantage is lost, however, if the same fruit regains moisture again, with mold and bacteria quickly taking advantage of the weakness. Ergo, proper packaging is a must to keep food fresh and edible as long as possible on the shelf.
The key components of packaging for dried fruit have to meet basic criteria. First, the packaging needs to be strong enough to hold together as it is moved, packed, shipped, and placed on shelves. It doesn’t need to be puncture-proof like Superman’s suit, but the packaging should be durable enough that it doesn’t fall apart from kitchen to retail endpoint. Second, the packaging should be sealable from packing and stay sealed without allowing air in or moisture. Again, food can go back very quickly, even if dried, at room temperature. If the packaging can’t be sealed and stays that way in transit, it needs to be replaced with a better option. Finally, the packaging should not be permeable. This means it provides a solid seal, keeping contaminants from casually entering. Paper is not a sufficient seal. Most times, this means a sanitized plastic environment that germs and liquid can’t penetrate.
Dried Fruits and Nuts Specifically
For these two foods, nuts and dried fruit, the goal is to keep moisture from re-entering the food after it is prepared and ready to be packed. Air-tight barrier-type bags are the ideal choice. They can be packed with a vacuum, removing the air present, and they keep the food sealed until opened for eating. This prolongs the food’s shelf life and prevents spoilage in transit. Look at these packaging bags for dry fruits and nuts.
Resealable bags are an additional advantage for customers. It’s one thing to provide dried fruit and nuts in packaging that gets them safely to the customer, but then that assumes the consumer has to eat all the contents in one opening. Most people don’t eat that much food when the package content is more than one serving. They want to be able to save it for later as well as avoid quick spoilage once opened. A resealable bag that can be flattened to push air out before closure and prevents moisture from getting in again makes a lot of sense and makes the related food product far more attractive than less useful packaging. Zip-style seals typically tend to be the best approach. Adhesive-sealed bags will close but the seal is usually not as tight, and the food debris or oils can compromise the adhesive with a few uses.
Bags for Nuts and Seeds
Both nuts and seeds tend to have a lot of small bits, of powder, salt, and similar dust-style debris. Ideally, packaging should keep everything intact and inside the bag. Again, these types of foods aren’t all consumed in one sitting. So resealable features are also a big plus for packaging. The goal, however, is to prevent moisture penetration in particular. Air is not so much of an issue, but humidity and moisture from condensation will actually cause mold on seeds and nuts. Some additional features help with selling these food products as well. Stand-up bags, for example, make it easier to sell nuts and seeds as retail food products, being simple to display on shelves.
Labeling Space on the Packaging
Obviously, the packaging chosen should also have sufficient space for labeling. Otherwise, how will a consumer know how to choose one food product from another and buy it again? Labeling is just as important as the packaging’s ability to protect the food contained. Ideally, the packaging should be able to show the content inside as well as provide identification and description as well as the necessary regulatory information (nutritional content, for example). The simplest approach is packaging that is clear and the labeling is adhered to the bag or container. However, this can look a bit amateurish. A far more professional packaging approach involves clean, printed packaging with ink layers and design applied to the bag or container itself. This tends to be the standard for well-identified nuts and seed packaging as well as dried fruit.
There are lots of clean, professional options available for dried fruit nuts and dried fruit packaging today. Folks looking to get into the natural food market with their product should definitely do their research and consider the best packaging for their product. There is no question that packaging and labeling influence buying behavior considerably, and you should only invest in companies that utilize high end packaging equipment. Not investing in this aspect of a food product would essentially be leaving market share and money on the table for competitors to take.