Since its invention in the late 1970s, the plastic clamshell has been one of the most popular and versatile types of packaging. Clamshells are suitable for many retail and electronics products as well as personal care items, specialty foods and more. The plastics industry constantly evolves as does clamshell packaging, and some of the latest trends in clamshell and plastic packaging design include the following.

1. Eco-Friendly Is Crucial
Now more than ever before, consumers are seeking out the most eco-friendly packaging options. This is especially true in the realms of personal care items and specialty foods. Not only do consumers want their products to be natural, they want their packaging to be as sustainable as possible.

At Indepak, just about every material we use is recyclable and this appeals to consumers. Additionally, we offer plastic materials created from post-consumer or pre-consumer materials as well as some starch-based bioplastics. Choosing these types of eco-friendly materials can encourage consumers to select your product over a competitor’s product, just be sure that your labeling highlights your choice of sustainable materials so that consumers are informed.

2. Convenient Storage Solutions
While some types of plastic clamshell packaging will be removed from a product and tossed into a recycling bin, food packaging is unique in that a consumer might not finish all of your product after the first opening. Therefore, it can be wise to consider packaging designs that can be closed again and again for easy storage.

A plastic clamshell, therefore, can be a fantastic packaging choice, as we can design lids that snap shut and allow consumers to use the package for storage purposes. For food products, you also might consider a rigid clamshell tray with a re-sealable film. This film, through the use of modified-atmosphere technology, can extend the shelf life of your product as well as allowing consumers to use a small portion and then re-seal and store the product for future consumption. In addition to plastic clamshells, containers with lids and flexible packaging are two other types of packaging that fill this need. Although, when it comes to sustainability, flexible packaging is more difficult to recycle than traditional rigid thermoform plastic materials.

3. Innovative Design
A clever design attracts the eye, and sets your product apart from the pack. A custom plastic clamshell can be designed to display your item (or items) to their best advantage.
For instance, there’s no reason why we can’t play around with the shape of the packaging to help it stand out from other products. Thermoform plastics can be molded into virtually any shape, providing us with a great deal of freedom during the design process.

4. Simplicity
While consumers love a clever design, they also favor simplicity. This speaks more to package design in general, and not just plastic clamshell packaging. Across the board, consumers want to be able to look at the label and quickly discover if your product meets their needs. Consumers don’t want the distraction of tons of information handed out in small, hard-to-read type. They won’t bold, large print with a clear message that describes the product.

5. Minimal Packaging
This is a huge trend, and one that will be with us for the long haul. Consumers don’t want to purchase products that feature excess packaging. Not only do they want to see sustainable materials, they want the amount of materials used to be reduced. Fortunately, a plastic clamshell can be designed to fit around your product with no extra waste. This trend is a win for everyone, because not only do we help the environment, if we use a smaller amount of materials, you’ll save some money on your packaging costs.

Throughout the last 50 years, we’ve seen a myriad of packaging trends come and go. While we move with the times, of course, one timeless element of our business is our commitment to quality. If you need custom plastic clamshell packaging, we can create a top-quality innovative design that meets your product needs as well as your budget. Give us a call at any time to discuss your product packaging needs.