Custom food packaging has been around for more than 200 years, beginning with glass and tin materials and then paperboard. Did you know that Saran Wrap was the earliest example of plastic food packaging? This film was invented in the 1930s and after World War II it caught on as a tool to help Americans preserve food. Once plastics entered the scene, these materials quickly became one of the most popular packaging options.


At Indepak, we’ve been creating custom food packaging using rigid plastic materials for more than 50 years. Through a process known as thermoforming, we can create any type of food packaging you might need. While you do have many packaging material options, we recommend plastic for several reasons, including:


  1. Plastic Is Affordable

If you are searching for cheap custom food packaging, plastic materials are your best bet. Of course, when we use the word “cheap” we don’t mean low-quality. Plastics can be a high-quality material and yet still be much more affordable than options such as glass, aluminum and paper.


  1. Plastic Preserves Foods

The USDA estimates that at least 30 percent of the food supply in the United States is wasted every year. In some cases, this is simply because the packaging did not preserve the food well enough. Plastics can help keep out moisture and mold and preserve foods, which reduces food waste. If you opt for custom food packaging with a lid or packaging that is resealable this further can help preserve your food products.


  1. Plastic Is Protective

Not only can plastics protect your product from spoilage, it’s also durable and impact-resistant. If a plastic container is jostled or dropped off a shelf, it won’t shatter or become damaged as with glass or aluminum packaging. Plastic also can be tamper-resistant or tamper-evident, which protects consumers.


  1. Plastic Is Lightweight

Plastics often are given a bad rap from a sustainability perspective, but they do have some important advantages over other packaging materials. Lightweight materials cost less to transport and require far less energy to transport. Glass, aluminum and even cardboard packaging weigh significantly more than plastics and more fossil fuels are needed to just move these packages from place to place.


Because plastic materials are so protective, we don’t have to use as much material to ensure that your products are safe both during transport and as they sit on a grocery shelf. Think about glass for a second. Glass jars can be protective, but they are heavy, and they also require special packaging for transport to ensure that the jars don’t break. This can increase your shipping and transportation costs significantly.


  1. Plastic Increases Visibility

There’s that old saying, “what you see is what you get,” but when consumers cannot see what they are purchasing, they might be less likely to purchase a product. Clear plastic provides your customers with the ability to see your product and judge its quality.


Types Of Custom Food Packaging We Create

Plastic is also highly versatile, and, through the magic of thermoforming, it can be molded into almost any shape. The team at Indepak can create just about any type of food packaging you might need, including:


Clamshell Containers

Clamshells are the boon of the food industry. We use them for takeaway boxes and to store fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and an assortment of deli items. They are a fantastic option for many fresh foods because consumers can simply close the lid and protect and preserve uneaten foods for later consumption.


Tubs & Lids

Tupperware, which was invented in the 1940s, was the first type of mass-produced plastic tubs, ideal for helping housewives preserve food and extend their food dollar. We can create tubs in many sizes and shapes, with or without a custom lid.


Tubs with lids can be an excellent option for many products, such as butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream and much more. Tubs can be an excellent sustainable option because consumers easily can preserve uneaten foods and the tubs can be reused again and again if consumers choose to keep them.


Thermoform Trays

We can design custom plastic trays for many types of specialty foods. For instance, we can design plastic bakery trays (with or without lids) to hold cookies or crackers, either those sold in grocery bakery departments or trays that need to slide into a foil wrap or box. We also can design trays that are suitable for frozen or refrigerated meals, and we can use materials that can move easily from the freezer to the microwave or the oven.


Unique Designs

Of course, sometimes you need an innovative design that doesn’t quite fit into any of these aforementioned categories. Our design team loves a challenge, and if you want something completely unique, let us know and we will come up with something that meets all of your custom food packaging needs.


What About Modified Atmosphere Packaging?

Modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP packaging, has been a revolutionary leap for the food industry. By removing oxygen and adding nitrogen or carbon dioxide and then tightly sealing the food product with a plastic film, we can preserve fresh foods for longer than ever before.


The idea of modifying the air around fresh food isn’t all that new, and scientists began experimenting with this process about 100 years and it quickly caught on as a means to preserve food. During the 1930s, for instance, ships would add extra carbon dioxide in food holds to keep fresh veggies, fruits and meat for a long sea journey. MAP packaging for fresh meat has been around since the 1970s, and our MAP processes today are much more sophisticated, allowing us to extend the life of many fresh foods for days or even weeks.


At Indepak, we can create custom food packaging suitable for modified atmosphere packaging applications. We can work closely with your filming supplier to ensure material compatibility. We can create tubs or trays to hold fresh meat, fish, poultry, fresh pasta or any other food you wish to preserve and protect.


Why Choose Indepak?

Here are five reasons to consider using Indepak as your custom food packaging supplier.


  1. 50+ Years Serving The Specialty Foods Industry

We’ve been creating custom plastic packaging since 1967 and producing top-quality food packaging is one of our areas of specialization. We work with a variety of materials that are FDA-approved for food contact so we usually can find a total packaging solution that meets your needs and budget.


  1. We Have Earned FSCC 22000 Certification

Food Safety System Certification 22000 is an ISO-based food-safety certification program recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. This certification ensures that our production process is focused on providing you with high-quality, safe packaging that adheres to strict standards.


  1. We Have Many Sustainable Options

At Indepak, we are committed to limiting our impact on the environment and we go well beyond ISO 14001:2015 requirements resulting in a low-waste operation in every part of our company. For our customers, we offer a variety of post-consumer grade materials, and we are experienced in the design and production of trap blisters and other plastic and paper combination designs.


Additionally, nearly all of the materials we use are recyclable, and for some custom food packaging projects, we may be able to use materials such as starch-based bioplastics. No matter what materials we use for your packaging project, these materials will be compliant with regulations such as REACH, RoHS and EICC.


  1. We Keep Everything In-House

With some custom food packaging companies, a portion of the work, such as prototyping, or tooling is handled by another company. At Indepak, we keep everything in-house, every step of the way and that includes custom food packaging design, prototyping, tooling and production. This ensures quality and keeps costs down for our customers.


  1. We Offer Additional Services

It is always our goal to provide each customer with a total packaging solution that meets their needs and their budget. In addition to innovative design services and packaging production, we also offer inventory management and on-time shipping. Our facility includes 50,000 square feet of warehouse space, and we can design any type of inventory management system you might need. This includes simple minimum-maximum systems to more sophisticated customer-based web portals.


If you need any type of custom food packaging or custom food packaging containers, contact the team at Indepak today. You can reach us by phone at (800) 338-1857, via email at or click on the Contact tab on our homepage and fill out our quick contact form.