Packaging Terms and Definitions
Learn packaging terminology and definitions related to the retail and grocery industries.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a polymer that, when coated onto paperboard, creates a moisture and vapor barrier and improves heat sealing. Because it is inexpensive, LDPE is a widely used poly coating for paperboard.
A blister pack is pre-formed plastic packaging used for small consumer goods, foods, and for pharmaceuticals. The blister pack contains a cavity or pocket made from thermoformed plastic. This usually has a backing of paperboard or a lidding seal of aluminum foil or plastic. A blister that folds onto itself is often called a clamshell.
European article number is a European, 13-digit bar code that identifies products and shipping containers. It is compatible with U.S. and Canadian Universal Product Codes (UPC), although there are differences in format.
Hi-Cone packaging refers to single products packaged together to make a multiple unit, such as beverages and small bags of chips.
The Edge Crush Test (ECT) is a standard industry measure of the stacking strength of corrugated board. The amount of force needed to crush on-edge combined board is a primary factor in predicting the compressive strength of the completed box.
Tertiary packaging is used for the protection and shipping of a product. Companies that ship any kind of goods uses tertiary packaging in the distribution process. If you have ever ordered anything online, you’ve received it in a piece of tertiary packaging.
Primary packaging is the packaging that most closely protects the product. It can also be referred to as retail or consumer packaging.
Polyethylene terephthalate or PET (also abbreviated PETE) is the chemical name for polyester. PET is a clear, strong, and lightweight plastic that is widely used for packaging foods and beverages, especially convenience-sized soft drinks, juices and water. PET is approved as safe for contact with foods and beverages by the FDA and health-safety agencies throughout the world. PET is completely recyclable, and is the most recycled plastic in the U.S and worldwide. Special grades of PET are used for carry-home food containers and prepared food trays that can be warmed in the oven or microwave.
Secondary packaging is the outer package into which the primary package is placed. Its major function is to protect the product during shipping and distribution. Examples of secondary packaging include cartons, containers and pallets.
A universal product code bar code is a unique identifier for a product. It identifies the number and symbol of a product along with the color, size, name, configuration and other attributes. It is the first 12 numbers of a product code. The universal product code works universally and not just in a single country.