Why is food packaging important?

Even though this technical design drawing represents a product that we associate with “fun food”- this image shows evidence of important science and industrial design taking place. Industrial designers and food chemists work closely tighter to ensure our food is packaged in the best possible way.

This drawing was made in the 1960’s. What is it ?
Why would the food producer chose this kind of packaging?
Why would the food transport company prefer this kind of packaging?
Why would the food consumer prefer the food inside, compared to other brands, if away on a camping trip?

Food Package
Looking forward to your answers,
Regards Dr Mackey at the Smithsonian

18 thoughts on “Why is food packaging important?

  1. Hi Dr Kathy Mackey

    The answer to question one is: A Pringles Packet! I knew this quite quickly because the shape of the food packaging and then I looked on the contents inside of the package which was Pringle chips.
    The answer to question 2 is: I think the food producer made the packet this shape and size( a long tube with curved chips inside to evenly fit in the casing ) and also that this type of packaging is different to any other type of chip packet, so are the chips themselves
    The answer to question 3 is: This type if Food Company would have preferred this type of packaging because it is a light thin tube that can be fitted into a packaging box easily/quickly without trouble
    The answer to question 4 is: The packaging is good for a camping trip because it is a light snack inside that is easy to fit in with all your other accessories on a camping trip, the chip packet is water proof, sealable unlike other chips Doritos, honey soy chips, and you can reuse the packet except you can’t do this with any other buyable chip packet.

    1. Hi Gilbert , yes you are correct , it is a Pringles packet.
      You have been very observant that the long tube can safely carry many chips and can easily be stacked in a carton. I hadn’t thought about recycling the container when camping, that is a great idea.
      Keep up the good work,
      Regards Dr M

  2. Hello Dr Mackey!
    The sketch is of Pringles and its packaging. I think that the producer chose this packaging because it is airtight, using a small amount of space so that a lot of chips could fit in it and it will keep them fresh. The producer would prefer this packaging because it looks good, it is easy to hold and again, it fits a lot of chips in. these chips and packaging will be handy for a long camping trip because most chip packets are filled only to about three quarters full. Pringles are filled to the brim and keep extra fresh because you can re-seal it, waterproof and the alfoil and hard cardboard protects them too. A couple of extra points are that you can re-use the packet and it has minimum space and waste!
    Looking forward to next lesson.

    1. Hello Greer
      Well done , yes it is a Pringles container. As well as being light and space efficient, the fact that the package is well designed makes it stand our from its competitors . It is really important to design with the recycling possibilities in mind.
      Talk next week,
      Regards Dr M

  3. Hi Dr Mackey,
    My answer to the first question is that they are Pringles in a cardboard cylinder so they did not get smashed and broken.
    My answer to the second question is that it helps preserve the food and no ants could get into the food.
    My answer to the third question is because it would help it to stay intact from water or getting smashed up.
    My answer to the fourth question is because it can last longer and it is resealable so they can have a few each night or something like that.
    Thank you for the question! I really enjoyed them! 

    1. Hi Lou Lou,
      Yes you are right , the Pringles will not get damaged in this container and they will stay fresh and protected. the container keeps them fresh , and as other classmates have said, is strong enough to be reused again. keep up the great work,
      Regards Dr M

  4. Dear Dr Kathy Mackey,
    Q1: I think that the cylinder in the picture is a box of pringles
    Q2: Because it has a lot of space to store food inside and is side completely sides top and bottom and is easy to open.
    Q3: I think that the food company would like this packaging because it is small and light weight.
    Q4: I think that the food consumer would like this packaging because no insects or rodents such as rats and ants can get inside because it is fully sealed top bottom and sides.
    This challenge was fun and looking forward to next weeks challenge.

    1. Dear Lochy
      Yes you are correct , the drawing is a plan for the Pringles container. Your answers are fabulous, the manufacturer was aiming for a strong , light reseal able container. Have a great Week , Regards Dr M.

  5. Hi Dr Mackeys

    1. Pringles
    2. Because the packaging it is compressed- there is limited air inside meaning that the product (pringles) stays fresher
    3. The packaging preserves it very, very well keeping it fresher (Pringles )
    4. The packaging preserves well, its cylinder shape means you can stick it into your bag easier- it can be packed easily. It is a sealable container, it is water proof and it protects the food inside. It is light weight meaning you can carry it around easily.

    1. HI ladies , yes you are correct , the answer is Pringles and your comments are fabulous. You really understand how design can support freshness and the way in which a product can be neatly stacked .
      Keep up the terrific work,
      Regards Dr M

  6. Hello Dr Mackey,
    The picture is of a pack of Pringles and is tube/bottle packaging and I think they would use this packaging because the Pringles shape is curved and the bottle can contain them instead of the Pringles cracking, also if it was in a plastic bag like other chips the Pringles would get cracked because they are thin but the tube container is thick so it will keep it safe.
    For your third question people would prefer the Pringle packed better because when you are on a camping trip and you are in a tent or caravan there are bugs and the container is so the bugs can not come into the container and eat the chips also because when you are camping you have to keep your rubbish with you and the Pringles container is heavier than a plastic wrapper for other chips so it will be easier to remember to collect also you could reuse the container so instead of keeping the container with you and carrying it you could re-use it and put biscuits or fruit in there.
    Thank you for this week’s questions as I enjoyed them very much.

    1. Hello Dr Mackey,
      Hi Jorja , Yes it is a Pringles tube and well done for pointing out that the tube is thicker and stronger than other chip packets. The fact that it is strong makes it like a lunch box. well done , Regards Dr M

  7. Dear Dr Kathy MacKay
    For Q1 I think the answer is Pringles.
    For Q2 I think they would choose this type of packaging because they are easy to open and if you don’t finish the packet you can put the lid back on without any ants eating it.
    For Q3 I think they would prefer their food in these types of containers because it is easy to carry around and storage.
    For Q4 I think that the food consumer would like this packaging because the bugs and insects won’t be able to get into the tube. Also the chips won’t be able to get crushed.

    1. Dear Matthew, you are correct , the container is designed for Pringles and it is famous for its resealable lid. You are right, nobody likes crushed chips.
      Chat next week, Kind Regards Dr M

  8. Hi Dr Mackey
    If you didn’t get an email from me last week that my computer deleted it as it deleted my message FOUR TIMES and now maybe five!
    Anyway the answer to the first question is that the packet/tube is of Pringles as I recognize the packaging, the layout and the shape.
    They could have done this packaging so the ants can’t get in, because sometimes they are water proof and also to maybe keep the flavour in or sometimes to keep it fresh like those cup of soup when they have those little packets of flavour or just to make sure it keeps dry and to reseal them if you don’t finish them.
    The transport company would prefer this rather than the packaging of red rock as the packaging is hard so they will not be a mash at the end of the trip and because they hold a lot more than even a big air filled packet.
    Especially for camping lots of people would choose this mainly for the reseal and insolation (so the ants can’t get in).
    Thanks Chloe

    1. Hi Chloe , what a shame you had computer problems . That is terrific that you have noticed the layout of the design and shape of the package to refine your answer . Campers would really appreciate how this package can be reused. well done,
      Regards Dr M

  9. Hi Dr Mackey,
    Before I begin I think the picture (question 1) is of a Pringle chip packet because of the shape of the chip and packet- I compared it with a normal pringle chip and packet and it looked very similar.

    I think the food producer made the chip (pringle) packet hard because it stops the product getting crushed- when being transported- also easy to stack, when being kept in bags (going away) and because when you open it unlike other crisp packets you can close it (seel it) to stop bugs from getting into it.
    Thanks heaps,

    1. Hi Zara, Yes it is a Pringle packet . You are correct in saying that it is easy to transport, stack, reseal and recycle. Chat next week , Regards Dr M.

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