How to Package Food to Sell

To package food with the intention to sell, consider these guidelines: The package must be appropriate for the food item, the package label must adhere to federal rules and the package design should appeal to potential customers.

Select a proper vessel to house your food product. The package should be air-tight, water-tight and resistant to moisture, grease and odors. Also, ensure that the packaging material used is approved by the FDA to have direct food contact (if it will be directly on the food) and indirect food contact (for the outside packaging. Ideally, any designs you want to showcase your product should be preprinted on the packaging material. This can be done by local package manufacturers. Some of the packaging choices include bags, shrink wrap, and plastic or glass containers.

Affix a label that has all the federally required information printed on it. The federal government requires certain information on food products: The name and complete address of either the manufacturer, packer, or distributor; the net amount of food in the package in metric and English units; the common name of the food; ingredients in descending order; and any allergens such as milk, peanuts, eggs, etc. in the product. Printers can create these labels for you and can even print the information directly on the package while printing the rest of the package design.

Process the food product at a certified or commercial kitchen, such as in retail or wholesale food establishments. Food cannot be processed for sale in private kitchens.

Put on single-use gloves and use utensils (when necessary) to transfer ready-to-eat foods to the packaging. Make sure there are no bare-hand contacts with the food and that all handlers have washed their hands, are gloved and not ill.

Insert the food product in the packaging and ensure the seal is tight. If using a sealable bag, make sure to remove all the excess air before sealing. Hermetically seal the container (jars and cans) under steam pressure or pack the products under the supervision of the Department of Public Health.


  • Work with a package designer or a graphic designer to design the package or package art to be eye-catching.



About the Author

Jorina Fontelera has been writing about business since 2003, covering the printing and manufacturing sectors, as well as the global accounting and financial industries. She has contributed to "USA Today," "Milwaukee Business Journal" and several trade publications, also writing about parenting, animals, food and entertainment. Fontelera holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Marquette University.