Food packaging is hugely important as it tells us all we need to know about what we are about to eat.
Companies will put a lot of work into researching and producing the labelling and packaging of their goods as it is the key between the product and the buyer. The packaging will need to be practical as a form of storage, while at the same time selling the product to a consumer. If food was sold by itself it would no doubt be considerably cheaper. As a result, packaging is big business and is estimated at the moment as a £55 billion per year industry.
The labelling of products offer the information, legal or otherwise, that the consumer needs in order to help understand the food, it’s ingredients and what it can be used for. Labelling like most other areas of business has rules. These stringent guidelines will determine what is written and will prevent companies from describing products as something they are not. It is, however, important to realise that although some information may not essentially be false, language can be manipulated leaving things open to interpretation.
Although there are many essential areas to pay attention to, if you are responsible for the production, it is imperative that care is taken in outlining the date, cooking and storage instructions. It’s equally as important for the consumer as these are the factors which can lead to, or prevent bacterial growth and food poisoning. The ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates are the indicators of when to consume the product by, whereas the ‘display until’ is purely for the shops use.