Packaging and labeling is not limited to the manufacturers or processors alone and end with the consumers. In the packaging chain, it starts with the suppliers of raw materials and branches out to retailers and distributors, including converters and recyclers.
Why is this so? Because 70 percent of buying decisions are made in-store and, therefore, product packaging and labeling should entice clients or customers to buy the product at the first notice of quality of content. Likewise, 69 percent and 84 percent of retailers prefer packaging innovations to maintain product status, and an increase in product shelf life and functionality, respectively. Moreover, 69 percent of supermarkets also prefer packaging innovations and believe that these affect purchases and product turnovers.
It is also a great concern that food products may undergo loss in quality due to failure of the package and/or to product-package interaction. This package failure can result to inadequate barrier properties against oxidation, water vapor, light, etc. affecting the intended shelf life of the product which results to increased risk of microbial contamination and potential food poisoning, ultimately losing its integrity for distribution to the market.
Hence, there is a need to really give due importance and consideration to the packaging and labeling of products of our micro, small and medium enterprises, more specially those engaged in food processing. Thus, DOST-1 is providing assistance to MSMEs on the following aspects:
- Development of functional designs for packages
- Identification and development of suitable or alternative packaging materials especially from indigenous materials