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In a recently published whitepaper by UPM Raflatac, a producer of self-adhesive labelling material, clear packaging is touted as strong sales driver in the food industry. The white paper cites studies conducted by the Clemson University and Sonoco Institute of packaging design and graphics, that measured people’s reactions to different types of packaging.

Among the findings: people comparing Paperboard and transparent PET clamshell packaging had 675% More fixations (eye contact) and had 343% longer fixations on the PET clamshell packaging, found it 40% faster and purchased it four times more frequently than the Paperboard packaged foods. So the transparent PET was a clear winner (sorry, the pun was too easy)

The Clemson University studies, using biometrics such as Rapid Eye Movement (REM), blood flow and skin reaction to measure subjects reactions, also discovered that over 68% of products aren’t even looked at. Clear packing however stands a better chance of getting that first look as it can demonstrate a food’s true attractiveness and freshness more than any opaque packaging.

When it comes to food, even a package with a small opening in it, is more competitive than a fully opaque one, no matter how good it looks. That said, not all food products are advantaged by being seen directly, such as dusty or breakable foods or ones that can have oil separation.

Certainly, to add transparency to packaging (such as flexible, or sleeve packaging) can potentially increase the cost. But if your product is suitable for it, the PET clam could be an excellent option. It is fully transparent, comes in many generic sizes, is fully recyclable and inexpensive.

You can also further enhance this container’s presentation using transparent labels. This can be especially useful to adapt to the food industry’s requirement for more and more written information on the contents of the package. A transparent label can give you more real estate, yet not encumber (sounds like cucumber) the consumer’s view on the product. Some transparent labels are so thin (less than a millimetre thick) that they blend in with the rest of the packaging, giving the PET clamshell a more elegant, higher-end feel.

According the white paper, 1 in 2 people want to see a product through its packaging, and 1 in 2 gauge a product by it’s appearance and not a use-by date. Based on these findings, it makes sense to look at your own product line and consider if any of it would be suitable for a move towards transparency.

If you need any help in making this type of evaluation, we’d be happy to help. IMS offers many options, including PET and transparent labelling solutions to help you grow your sales.