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The Evolution of Packaging in the Food Industry



History of packaging dates back from the starting of human civilization. People have always needed to store their food, utensils, and other household stuff. To travel from one place to another packaging was an absolute need to carry the stuff around. Even today, to travel for little distances, we keep at least purses, wallets, and water bottles along with us; all these things fall under packaging. So, it’s a universal fact (which has not been given much attention by an ordinary person as yet) that packaging is a need of our everyday life. Starting from early morning when we open the packets of cereals for breakfast, till the late night when we are munching snacks while watching Netflix, food, and packaging is always there in every part of our routine.

Packaging within itself is a vast industry which covers several branches, such as food packaging, gift packaging, mailer boxes, Custom Display Boxes, customized packaging, cosmetic packaging, and many more. Each type of packaging holds a big business on its own. Talking specifically about food, it is a non-deniable fact that we cannot live without it. As things have advanced, our diet has improved with time as well. Previously people liked pulses, vegetables, milk, and yogurt the most, but today’s generation likes it all fancy. Sure, we still love vegetables, legumes, and dairy products, but it has to be paired with some fanciness. Let’s talk about everyone’s forever favorite food that is PIZZA; it is made from cheese that is a dairy product, topped with vegetables and meat and almost the same spices which people used earlier. Hence, all the main items are still the same, just the quantity of ingredients and way of cooking has changed. However, all this fancy cooking would go useless unless it is served along with all its garnishments. Here comes the primary usage of packaging. To protect food at home or at the time of delivering by different food industries, restaurants etc., food packaging is a lifesaver for all of them. It won’t be wrong if we say that 90% of such business work solely due to the packaging industry. And for all of those who are chefs at home, you are well aware of the actual need for food packaging to keep food safe from pouring out and secure from bacteria air and germs as well.

Everything has gone through a process of evolution in order to exist in its present state. Similarly, food packaging also has a rich history, which tells us about how food packaging has become quite an enormous business. Food packaging is an old industry that dates back to centuries ago; scroll below to read about the evolution of the food packaging industry.


History of Packaging

A Quick Summary

Packaging began with natural materials like leaves. Later on, the serial production was done with the products such as pots and weaved elements. Then around 5000 years from now, glass and wood packaging came into use. Englishman Peter Durand gained license for the first metal packaging made by the sheet metal "canister” in 1823. In the year 1900, people began using the double-stitched three peace. Paper and cardboard became valuable packaging materials in the 1900s, but after the invention of plastic, it replaced paper from packaging material.

Glass Packaging

The era of glass packaging first began in 1500, B.C in Egypt. Initially, glass was used as a pot and was mixed with melted limestone, sand, silicate, and soda, then shaped into glass packaging. Around 1200 B.C mugs and cups were made from the molded glass. After that, the blowpipes were invented in 300 B.C by the Phoenicians. Then came the production of entirely transparent glass, and the next thousand years followed glass production technique.

Finally, in 1889 the development which has the most effect on glass packaging was patenting of the "automated rotary glass manufacture machine.” Further, after the 1970s, the glass packaging began to serves as a protective cover for high-value products and is still used, to date, in a wide range.

Bonaparte Leadership in Metal Packaging

Since the ancient times, metal packaging has been seen in the form of gold and silver boxes. Today durable alloys and coverings are being used for protecting several kinds of products. In Bohemia at around 1200 A.C, the production of tin sheet was invented, and then afterward, at the beginning of the 14th century, the use of tin food started as well. This new invention was kept a secret until the 1600s. Later on, it was replaced by better quality and more natural production steel after William Underwood forwarded this process to the USA.

In the year 1805, Nicholas Appert, who is known as the 'Father of Canning,' discovered a method for preserving food items after Napoleon offered 12,000 francs for the man who could come up with a means to preserve the food supplies for his army.


Nicholas hatched this idea to store food by stuffing it in glass jars, and sealing it with cork and wax, then finally placing it in boiling water. His procedure of preserving food after it has been sterilized came out to be a precursor for modern preservation techniques of Canning.

A year later, in 1806, English man Peter Durant, earned the right to patent the cylindrical can through his pressed stannic invention. In 1866 the first printed box of metal packaging was made in the history of USA and 1910 that it set up its way to the stores commercially.

In early 1950 the design for aluminum foil box was created, and the first aluminum canned food was out in 1959. Until before the openers were invented in 1875, screws and hammers were used for opening metal packaging; then later, tear-able packaging lids were made. Hence, metal packaging passed through several phases before it renewed itself to offer convenience and practicality it has now.

Plastic -The Newest Form of Packaging


In 1838 the First artificial plastic was prepared by Alexander Parker, later on in 1862, in London, it was displayed at the Grand International Fair. This product was invented with the intention to replace the natural materials such as ivory. Charles Goodyear and Thomas Hancock came up with a procedure that destroyed the sticky property of plastic and added elasticity to natural rubber; then, in 1851, hard rubber, also known as ebonite, become commercial.

The General use of plastics packaging started after World War II when polyethylene was produced in quite an abundance during the war period and was easy to find material in the markets just after the war. First, it replaced the wax paper used in the bread packaging after that growth in plastic packaging sped up since the 1970s.

In today's advanced technology, all the old type of packaging has been replaced now by more suitable and economical materials like metal, plastic, glass, paper, and cardboard packaging. Moreover, packaging has also became the source of marketing policy. Lately, publishing the name of the brand along with brief contact details on the food packaging is the new marketing strategy.


Paper is one of the oldest re-shapeable packaging materials existing today. In the beginning, Mulberry tree barks were used in China around the 1st and 2nd century B.C for wrapping food. Papermaking techniques reached to Europe and from Europe to England in 1310 and then to America in 1609. In 1817 the first commercial cardboard box was produced, precisely from 200 years after China’s corrugated cardboard boxes were invented.


The modern era has evolved the packaging industry. It is now focused more on creating options that are easy-to-carry and reusable in packaging. The customer’s perception has also changed over the period of time. They now prefer the products that combine functionality along with reusability. Thus, manufacturers are currently devising new concepts in order to stay relevant. These last few decades have been vital from the aspect of influencing the packaging design industry and bringing on more evolution for modern and fresher options.

Packaging is one of the biggest and easiest way to win your customer’s heart!

Decent and elegant packaging, along with delicious food, adds twice the value to the brand. Several types of packaging exist today; paper packaging, plastic packaging, and so on.

Half Price Packaging provides the best range of custom display boxes for many industries. Moreover, they also offer services like printing, so you can advertise your brand and target your audience easily and it is vital to invest in branding and design as it elevates your image in the market because as they say,


#boxes #customboxes

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