The Perfect Package: What Are the Four Types of Food Packaging?

Determining which food packaging solution to choose isn’t an arbitrary choice you make based on preference. Various foods require different types of food packaging. This is because various types of packaging materials are necessary to preserve specific foods.

If you’re a food manufacturer, it’s very important to wisely choose packaging materials that will preserve your products from the factory to the grocery store. With that said, are you concerned about your packaging material and want to learn more about why you should make a change?

If so, here are the different types of packaging materials and how you can make the best decision for your business.

Aseptic Packaging

If you’ve ever been in the frozen section of your local grocery store, you’ve likely seen aseptic packaging in action. Aseptic packaging is made up of aluminum and paper, with components of polyethylene. It’s commonly used for foods that need to remain sterile, or preserved for a long period of time, such as:

  • Liquid eggs
  • Milk
  • Beverages and drinkable products containing milk
  • Processed foods that require long-term preservation


Paper and plastic bags are the most common form of food packaging, usually because they’re inexpensive and easy to use. Bags can preserve many types of foods by keeping them out of contact with air and the environment. Some common foods packaged in bags include:

  • Potato chips
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Cookies, candy, and other snacks

Bags are arguably the most versatile type of food packaging for products that don’t need to remain sterile or frozen.


Like bags, boxes are also one of the most common types of packaging materials. Unlike boxes, however, boxes can be made from all kinds of materials, from metal to wood. This makes boxes more sturdy and damage-resistant than bags, while still being just as affordable and easy to use.

Boxes can be used to store all kinds of foods, such as:

  • Crackers
  • Frozen pizza
  • Cereal

Boxes are also very versatile and can be used in both warm and cold temperatures.


Cans have been used for at least two centuries to preserve several types of foods. Cans are usually made of tin, steel, or thin metal containers and prevent light from corroding sensitive foods.

Cans can be used for countless foods, such as:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Soups
  • Meats

Cans have to be used when foods can’t safely be stored in their alternatives, such as bags and boxes.


Cartons, like aseptic packaging, can be used to prevent moisture for certain foods. Cartons are composed of corrugated cardboard and are coated with substances such as paraffin or plastic.

Examples of foods stored in cartons are:

  • Eggs, which have been stored in cartons are generations.
  • Aseptic cartons are used for milk and juice.
  • Gabletop cartons, which have to be pinched open for beverages.

Cartons are used to preserve foods that must be always preserved at cold temperatures.

Need Help Selecting the Right Food Packaging?

Food packaging is absolutely important to storing specific foods properly. To learn more about how you can choose the right packaging, find out more here.