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Packaging plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality and safety of food and drink products during shipping. If the packaging is not handled correctly, products can spoil, which can result in customer complaints, lost revenue, and reputational damage. In this post, we’ll explore the best types of packaging materials for different products, as well as tips on how to ensure that your items arrive safely at their destination.

Best Types of Packaging Materials

There are several different types of packaging materials to consider when shipping food and drink products. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on factors such as the type of product being shipped and the desired level of protection.

1. Paper

Paper is an eco-friendly option that is recyclable and biodegradable. It’s an excellent choice for dry, non-perishable foods like cereal, crackers, or cookies. For products like these, paper bags or boxes are a good option because they allow the food to breathe while protecting it from moisture.

2. Cardboard

Cardboard is a durable and versatile packaging material that is often used for shipping heavier food products like canned goods, bottled beverages, and frozen foods. Cardboard boxes can provide excellent structural support while also protecting products from moisture, temperature changes, and other environmental factors.

3. Plastic

Plastic packaging is a popular choice for packaging fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. It offers a high level of protection against moisture, temperature changes, and physical damage. However, plastic is not environmentally friendly and can be difficult to recycle.

4. Metal

Metal packaging is often used for canned goods, and is well-known for its ability to protect food products from oxygen and light. Metal packaging is also durable and can withstand temperature fluctuations and rough handling during shipping. However, metal packaging can be heavy and therefore can add additional shipping costs.

Factors Affecting Product Safety During Shipping

Once you’ve selected the appropriate packaging material, there are several factors to consider that can affect the safety and condition of your products during shipping.

1. Temperature

Temperature is a crucial factor that can affect the quality and freshness of food and drink products during shipping. Cold foods should be shipped in coolers or with ice packs to maintain their temperature, while hot foods should be insulated to retain their heat.

2. Humidity

Humidity can also have a significant impact on the quality and freshness of certain foods, particularly those with soft or moist textures. Properly sealing products with airtight packaging can reduce exposure to humidity and keep them fresher for longer.

3. Handling

It’s important to consider how your products will be handled during shipping. Rough handling during transit can damage packaging and compromise the quality of the product inside. Proper labeling and packaging can minimize the risk of damage or mishandling.

Tips for Proper Labeling and Sealing

Labeling and sealing your packaging correctly is critical for ensuring the safety and security of your products during shipping. Consider these tips:

1. Clearly Label the Product

A clear and descriptive label stating the product’s name, quantity, and ingredients is crucial for customers with allergies or dietary restrictions. Clear labeling also helps during customs inspections for international shipments.

2. Properly Seal the Package

Appropriate sealing ensures that your products stay protected and fresh during shipping. Be sure to select packaging with correct seals to keep out moisture and humidity.

3. Use Tamper-Proof Packaging

Tamper-proof packaging is essential for ensuring that your products arrive safely and that customers receive the freshest product possible. Popular tampering methods include shrink wrap and adhesive tapes that leave residue when opened.


Shipping food and drink products safely and securely requires careful consideration of the packaging materials, environmental factors, handling, labeling and sealing. With the right protection and attention to detail, customers can receive high-quality products in peak condition, which can help build trust and grow your business.

If you or your team would like to find out more about how UPAC Packaging can help with the packaging for your food and drink business, call us today on 0141 530 5555, or email