Recently, the media has brought attention to an increase in food package tampering, heightening concerns among food service providers and their customers. As a result, tamper-evident packaging is more important than ever.
In June of 2019, a woman filmed herself removing a tub of ice cream from her local Walmart’s freezer, opening it, licking the top of the ice cream, and then closing the lid and putting the ice cream back on the shelf. The video was then shared to her instagram account. Soon after, the video went viral and news of this event caused a string of copycat offenses.
To further grow consumer concerns, just a few days after the initial ice cream incident, news outlets shared more food tampering cases in which people were opening liquid product containers, gargling some of it, spitting it back into the container, and returning them to the shelf.
As a result, many consumers questioned why the products were not packaged with greater protective features to reduce the risk of product tampering.
Did You Know? 90% of global consumers believe that brands have a big responsibility to ensure product safety, according to a Westrock study.
Although these are not the first cases of food tampering, the recent events have reinforced the importance of protective packaging to consumers and foodservice operations. Consumers are now more concerned and are looking for the safety features of the food packaging that they currently purchase.
As a business that serves prepackaged food, switching to tamper-evident packaging will help keep your products and your customers safe, reduce lost sales, and avoid harm to your business’ reputation.
In this article, we will define tamper-evident food packaging, go over how it will benefit you and your customers, and provide some examples of tamper-evident packaging.
What Is Tamper Proof Or Tamper Evident Packaging?
Tamper proof or tamper-evident food packaging has a secure barrier or barriers that when opened clearly displays to consumers that tampering has occurred or that the product has been altered in some way.
3 Benefits Of Tamper-Evident Food Packaging
Promotes Product Safety
The most desired benefit of tamper-evident packaging to you and your customers is added security.
In some cases, the product tampering is more innocent and people may just want to “try before they buy,” taking a taste of your food product before purchasing.
But in more serious and alarming cases, like mentioned earlier, people are intentionally trying to do harm to your food product or the final buyer.
Whether a product is accidentally affected or is the result of a malicious act, tamper-evident packaging will alert a consumer that your product may have been altered in some way.
When a customer can clearly see that your product is no longer in its original state they can choose another package and avoid contamination. This helps you avoid unhappy customers and lost sales.
It can also help you identify if someone is tampering with your products and allow you to work to catch the individual before they do damage to your food product and company’s reputation.
Increases Customer Loyalty
Customers want to buy products that are safe for them and their family. Tamper-evident food packaging clearly demonstrates that you have a concern for their well-being.
Customers who see that their food provider understands that safety is a priority will have increased loyalty to your products.
Increased customer loyalty can translate to repeat purchases and increased sales. One-third of global consumers strongly agree that packaging designed to keep the product safe makes them feel more favorable towards the brand and more likely to purchase that brand.
Reduces the Risk of Damaged Product
Tamper-evident packaging helps prevent your packaging from accidentally opening, which in turn lowers the amount of wasted food product and lost revenue.
Pro Tip: Some tamper-evident packaging can be airtight. Airtight tamper-evident packaging will prevent food from spoiling prematurely.
This is especially important in foodservice operations where to-go meals or food delivery are popular. Your customers want to trust that the product is going to be able to travel without opening and spilling unexpectedly.
Types of Tamper-Evident Packaging
Tamper proof packaging is typically made from plastic. It is commonly made from PET. PET or polyethylene is a sustainable option because it can be recycled.
Some types of tamper-evident packaging have a tear-strip to signal that they are tamper evident. The container is closed and sealed and can only be opened by tearing the plastic strip off. The missing strip clearly signals to consumers that the package has been previously opened.
Other types of tamper-evident packaging include packaging in which the hinge or corners become torn or damaged after its initial opening to show the package has been opened or tampered with. This is similar to the “tear-strip” concept but it eliminates the “strip” of plastic that is removed.
Pro Tip: Tear-strips are often left behind or thrown away. Tamper-evident packaging that eliminates the strip of plastic helps reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the environment or in a landfill.
Tamper-evident packaging benefits both you and your patrons. It will be an important addition to your foodservice program as the awareness of food tampering increases.
Failing to protect your food and customers can result in unhappy customers, a poor business image, and a bad reputation.
Tamper-evident packaging will provide increased security and protection to both your food product and your customer’s health, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction.
Additionally, tamper proof packaging will reduce the possibility of lost revenue from products that have been tampered with or products that are spilled during transport.
Finding the right tamper-evident solution that effectively merchandises your food options while balancing safety, convenience, sustainability, appearance and price isn’t always easy.
Imperial Dade offers a wide variety of tamper-evident packaging to protect your products and customers and to boost customer satisfaction.
If you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean, contact an Imperial Dade specialist today for help selecting the best tamper-evident packaging to suit the needs of your business and your customers.