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Choosing the right packaging type for your snack products can be a difficult decision. Brand identification is a huge factor, but so is protecting your product as it is transported from manufacturing to market and finally to home. Some companies are moving away from more traditional types of packaging in favor of modern solutions, such as custom printed mylar bags. Others like the vintage feel of a glass jar or metal can. How do you know which option works best for your needs? Here is a breakdown of the five main types of packaging to help you decide. 

1. Paperboard Boxes 

Cardboard or paperboard boxes are a sturdy, versatile material. Most snack foods are stored inside a plastic or mylar bag inside the box, which offers another level of protection, but also more waste that may not make it to the recycling center. With multiple sides, boxes offer plenty of branding space in an easy-to-ship container that is easy to stack and move. 

2. Glass Containers 

Glass is a less common option, but it does still have a place in the snack world. Glass containers allow consumers a visual connection to the food inside, and some people find they keep snacks fresher for longer than other packaging types. Glass is also more prone to damage and more expensive, both to manufacture and to ship, making them better for small-batch, artisan production than products supplied on a larger scale. 

3. Metal Cans 

Much like glass, metal used for packaging has already had its heyday. Metal is still a popular option for soft drinks, although it is also packaged in hard plastic bottles for both single servings and larger quantities. Some types of child resistant mylar bags may contain a thin film of foil, but they are considered a plastic packaging material because the amount of metal is so small. The shiny lining inside a potato chip bag is also a thin layer of aluminum, which renders this multilayered packaging option unable to be recycled. 

4. Hard Plastic 

Stiff, thick plastic containers can work for a variety of snack products, including a sealable canister for salsa, protective clam shell for berries, and tub for yogurt. Some of these hard plastic materials are recyclable, and the FDA does regulate the manufacture and usage of hard plastic to address food safety concerns. Hard plastics are also fantastic for food preservation, which means less waste in landfills. 

5. Flexible Packaging 

Perhaps one of the more popular packaging types taking over snack production are stand-up or flexible packages. These custom printed stand up pouches offer many of the same benefits are other materials, yet they are extremely versatile and easy to ship and store. They also leave less of a carbon footprint during manufacturing, a bonus in the eyes of both makers and consumers. Flexible pouches offer plenty of branding space while preserving food integrity, and they check a lot of boxes for snack products of any size and shape. 

Now that you know more about the five main types of snack packaging, you can narrow down what choice is right for your product. Packaging manufacturers may make the packaging process even easier with customization and branding that fits the style and function you want to achieve.