overwrappingOverwrapping is a versatile packaging option that can greatly enhance visual appeal, shelf life, and bundling options in the food industry.

Overwrapping, similar to cellophane wrapping, is the application of a second layer of packaging over a product. This allows for optimal freshness and hygiene while offering a wide range of other benefits. It can also be used to combine two or more small packages into a multi-pack.

Benefits of Overwrapping

Besides its ability to be used as a combiner, which makes it ideal for applications such as large packages of bottled beverages, overwrapping can greatly enhance traditional forms of packaging — and, in some cases, can even eliminate the need for them altogether. Through the use of flexible materials and custom sealing, overwrapping allows for the following benefits in the food industry:

  • Aroma control: Overwrapping can be used to create a near-hermetic seal to effectively prevent cross-contamination and the release of odor.
  • Tamper protection: Applying a seal nearly impossible to duplicate once broken will protect against contamination and easily alert workers and consumers to unsafe packages.
  • Extended shelf life: Protecting contents from environmental hazards and airborne bacteria, overwrapping allows for longer shelf life, saving companies both time and money.
  • Reduced costs: By eliminating the need for more elaborate designs or heavier packaging materials, overwrapping results in lower costs and simpler labor operations.

  • Ease of use: Easy-open or resealable options using design elements such as tear tape allow for simple, convenient user access.
  • Custom promotional features: Overwrapping provides opportunities for enhanced hand-wrapped or high-end design effects, as well as product bundling and the addition of eye-catching marketing messages.
  • Eco-friendliness: Overwrapping utilizes less packing material than traditional solutions, and is available in biodegradable and eco-friendly forms.

Compared to shrink wrapping and other wrapping styles, overwrapping provides a glossy finish that boosts shelf appeal with a professional look. It supports high-quality graphic printing, allowing for vibrant, eye-catching designs and the flexibility to feature unique branding and product information, including essential details like nutritional facts.

Polyolefin films, in particular, offer a wide color range and design intricacy, enabling brands to create visually striking and informative packaging that captures consumer attention and aids in purchasing decisions.

Overwrapping Materials

A wide range of materials can be used to customize overwrapping packaging. Depending upon the application, the following materials can be used:

  • Medical-grade film
  • FDA-approved food-contact barriers
  • Standard clear, colored, or printed film
  • Easy-open films
  • Tamper-proof or security film
  • Dust-, oil-, or grease-resistant material
  • Water-resistant material
  • Specialty merchandising or branded films

Common Overwrapping Questions

What other considerations should I keep in mind when implementing shrink film in my product packaging?

When implementing shrink film in your product packaging, there are several considerations that you need to keep in mind. These include:

1. Product specifications: It is crucial to have a clear understanding of your product before selecting a shrink film. Consider the type of product you are packaging, its weight, shape, and dimensions. This will help determine the appropriate film that can adequately protect your product.

2. Objectives for color and labeling: Determine the specific color and labeling requirements for your packaging. Some shrink films can be printed on to meet your branding needs, so it is important to consider this aspect as well.

3. Packaging process: Consider how your product will be packaged into the shrink film. Will it be done manually or with the help of machines? If machines are involved, what type of machine will be used? This will help in selecting the right shrink film that is compatible with your packaging process.

4. Product journey and handling: Think about the product’s journey from creation to shipment to the shelf. Will it be handled often, or subject to rough handling? This will help determine the level of durability and protection required from the shrink film.

5. Climate and environment: Consider the types of climates and environments your product will be exposed to. This is important as some shrink films may be more suitable for extreme temperatures or specific conditions.

6. Freshness and barrier requirements: If your product requires specific characteristics to maintain freshness, such as oxygen or moisture barrier properties, it is important to choose a shrink film that can provide these additives.

7. Anti-tampering and security: Depending on the nature of your product, you may need to consider shrink films that offer anti-tampering and security features to protect the finished goods.

8. Sustainability: If sustainability is a priority for your brand, there are shrink film options available that prioritize recyclability and environmental friendliness. Consider this aspect if it aligns with your values and objectives.

By considering these factors, you will be able to choose the right shrink film that suits your product’s packaging needs, ensures its protection, and aligns with your specific requirements.

How can shrink film help in cost reduction for packaging?

Shrink film offers numerous benefits for cost reduction in packaging. Firstly, its strength and durability allow brands to eliminate the need for corrugated packaging in multi-pack products. Heavy items can be securely wrapped in shrink film without requiring a corrugated tray, while lightweight products such as single-serve chips can be conveniently packaged in a polybag. This not only reduces packaging costs but also minimizes shelf space and creates more room in your facility.

Moreover, with the continuous advancements in technology, there are frequent opportunities to further optimize packaging for cost reduction. By utilizing techniques such as down-gauging or selecting a lower-width film, you can achieve additional cost savings. To explore these options, collaborating with a packaging specialist to conduct a comprehensive film audit for your packaging line is highly recommended. Through this process, you can discover the available options tailored to your specific needs and objectives.

What sustainability advantages does shrink film offer?

Shrink film offers several sustainability advantages that make it a favorable choice for packaging materials. One of the significant benefits is its recyclability. Unlike other types of shrink films, such as PVC, POF and PE shrink films can be recycled, aligning with the increasing importance of sustainability for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) businesses. This means that by adopting shrink film in their packaging, companies can contribute to reducing waste and promoting a more environmentally friendly approach.

In addition to recyclability, another sustainable aspect of POF shrink film is its heat-sealing process. Unlike PVC shrink film, POF does not release harmful vapors during the sealing process, thereby avoiding the potential negative impact on the environment and human health. By eliminating the release of harmful substances, shrink film manufacturers aid in creating a safer and more sustainable packaging solution.

Overall, the sustainability advantages of shrink film are evident. Its recyclability and the absence of harmful vapors during the heat-sealing process make it a preferred choice for businesses looking to meet sustainability standards and contribute to a greener future.

What is the difference between shrink film and stretch film?

Shrink film and stretch film may be easily mistaken for each other due to their similar appearance and material composition (polyethylene). However, they have distinct characteristics and are designed for different purposes:

Shrink film is used by loosely placing it over a single item or multiple items. When heat is applied, the film shrinks, creating a tight and tamper-resistant seal that protects the items. The primary function of shrink film is to provide a secure covering and safeguard the enclosed items.

On the other hand, stretch film is formulated differently to allow for stretching around items. Its elastic memory and ability to cling to itself enable it to form a tight layer of protection around the items. This type of film is mainly employed for palletizing or unitizing multiple items on a pallet, ensuring they do not shift during shipment. Stretch film can generally stretch between 100-300%, preventing breakage during the process. In comparison, shrink film typically only stretches to about 50-75% before reaching the point of breakage.

In summary, while both shrink film and stretch film are made of polyethylene, they differ in terms of their intended applications and stretching capabilities. Shrink film generates a sealed and secure package, primarily used for single or multiple items, whereas stretch film provides a tight layer of protection for pallets and prevents movement during transportation.

What are the different forms of polyethylene (PE) and their uses?

Polyethylene (PE) is a versatile type of polyolefin that is formed by adding ethylene during polymerization. PE is available in various forms, each with its own distinct properties and applications. The three most common forms of PE are High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE).

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is known for its high strength-to-density ratio. It is commonly used in the production of plastic bottles, corrosion-resistant piping, geomembranes, and plastic lumber. HDPE is often found in beverage bottles, personal care products, and household items. It is also employed in heavy-duty stretch-wrapping applications, such as bundling produce on farms.

Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) exhibits excellent resistance to impact, moisture, and chemicals. This form of PE is highly recyclable and finds wide applications where heat-sealing is necessary. LDPE is frequently used in the manufacturing of flexible lids, bottles, wire and cable insulation, and various packaging materials.

Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) is a flexible film that offers superior tensile strength and puncture resistance. Its primary application is in flexible protective packaging, including shrink films and stretch films. LLDPE stretch films are commonly employed for pallet wrapping, ensuring the secure transportation of goods. Additionally, LLDPE is utilized in agricultural films, garbage bags, and various other flexible packaging applications.

In summary, PE is available in different forms, such as HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE, each with its own unique properties and applications. HDPE is prominent in products requiring strength and durability, while LDPE excels in impact resistance and heat-sealing applications. LLDPE, on the other hand, is widely used for flexible protective packaging purposes.

What are the benefits of using Low-Density Polyethylene for shrink film packaging?

Low-Density Polyethylene offers numerous advantages when it comes to shrink film packaging. One such benefit is its enhanced strength and durability, making it suitable for securing heavyweight and bulkier items like beverage multipacks. Additionally, these films are printable, allowing for the inclusion of clear and visually appealing graphics without compromising the image or the required strength of the packaging.

Are there different formulations of shrink wrap film that may be more suitable for my product?

Yes, there are different formulations of shrink wrap film available that may be more suitable for your product. Many companies often overlook the fact that there is not just one type of shrink wrap film that works universally for all products. By exploring various formulations, you can potentially reduce the need for re-wrapping your product. It is important to consider that different formulations may offer distinct properties and characteristics, such as strength, clarity, thickness, and shrinkability. By trying different types of shrink wrap films, you can identify the formulation that best meets the specific requirements and protects your product effectively during transit or storage.

Work with Econo-Pak To Overwrap Your Food Product

Fresh aesthetics, reliable performance, and cost efficiency are at the heart of a good packaging design, and the team at Econo-Pak Team is committed to developing customized solutions for your specific products. Whether overwrapping for aesthetics, preservation, or standard protection purposes, we’ll work to find the best way to make your packaging stand out.

With top-of-the-line technology, over three generations of family business experience, and a full team of in-house designers and engineers, Econo-Pak leads the industry in modern food repackaging. To learn more about our overwrapping options, other in-house packaging services, or our custom design team’s capabilities, check out our package design page or reach out to us today.