Thermoforming Packaging Outlook

When it comes to custom packaging, thermoforming is about as literal as you can get. 

Design and personalization appear in all of our projects. But when it comes to truly crafting packaging around a product, thermoforming provides the best amount of customization. This style of personalized packaging takes a sheet of plastic that is heated until pliable, and then molded to the desired shape. You've experienced a variety of thermoformed packaging, and maybe not even realized it. For example, any time you have opened medicine in a plastic container with a foil back... That's blister packaging. If you've slid a plastic tray out of a box... That's a thermoformed tray. 

The incredible array of possibilities for thermoforming is part of what makes it such a dynamic industry. Digital Journal projects that the market for thermoformed trays, blister packs, and more will see steady growth through at least 2026. Plastic trays and custom plastic packaging have become an important aspect of packaging. As more and more people turn to shopping online, the need for packaging stability and protection increase. Not to mention the ability to capture freshness and keep products firmly sealed. 


How Industries are Personalizing Thermoforming

When it comes to specific industries, thermoforming allows them to not only package with integrity, but also with precision and intentionality. 

Take a look at the image to the side. These cosmetics are packed in safely and securely, but also with an element of presentation. All users who purchase this product will be able to have a consistent experience, from any part of the country.  Not to mention that these containers, otherwise fragile and full of precious substance, are protected from the potential pitfalls of transit and retail shoppers. 

Healthcare packaging is another industry which often uses thermoforming. We discussed pill packaging above, but this style of single-servings also helps with compliance packaging. Compliance packaging ensures that users are taking the correct dosage/amount at the right time. Adding features to the packaging design, like a clock or other graphics, along with the individual blisters, assists users in being responsible and understanding how their medication works. 

Thermoforming Market Growth

These two industries are hardly the only ones out there using thermoformed trays, blister packs, etc. The food industry, horticulture, electronics/technology, and more have adopted thermoformed products as part of their packaging lineup. Learn more about the options we can provide to you to keep products safe and sound through our thermoforming options!

Compliance Packaging Spikes Innovation In Medical Packaging

Compliance packaging is a friendly way to help consumers take their medication on schedule. And blister packaging provides the perfect platform for it. 

Let’s establish why compliance packaging is such an important issue today. If you’ve ever been charged with taking a medication daily, there have surely been days when you forgot about it. Whether that lead to unintentionally skipping a day or just a few hours, it has an effect. Or maybe you’ve been prescribed a device that you’ve been using incorrectly. Inhalers are notorious for misuse. With over half of the US population on some kind of medication for a chronic condition, nonadherence is a big issue. So much so that a 2008 Medco survey estimates that half of those people don’t adhere to the given guidelines for their medication. A year later, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation cited this as responsible for up to $290 billion in unnecessary costs every year. 

How Thermoformed Blister Packs Aid Compliance Packagingcompliance packaging with blister packs

As mentioned above, compliance packaging makes it easy for users to to take the right dosage at the right time. Here are some examples from the 2016 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year winner of how they used blister packaging in their design. 

The winner created packaging for a two week dosing regimen. The blisters are designed like a calendar, with each box making up two two-week packs. With red arrows leading the user from pack to pack, it’s clear how they should progress and take the dosage. The thermoformed blister packs ensure that the user doesn’t take more or less than is prescribed. 

In addition to keeping the dosage consistent and accurate, blister packs play another role. With the aging baby boomer market, packaging accessibility becomes a consideration.  Being able to open pill bottles requires dexterity and hand strength… Something we tend to lose as we age. Blister packs allow for users of varying strength and dexterity access with ease. 

Implications in Other Industries

While the term is usually applied to the pharmaceutical or medical packaging industries, compliance packaging measures can apply everywhere.  Making retail packaging that’s easy to use, regardless of hand strength, is a standard to which all packaging should be held. Designing labels and lids for thermoformed packaging that inform and educate users is a great use of space. 

What measures has your organization taken to create a compliance packaging approach?

Car Marketing with Key Fob Packaging

Buying a car is, for most people, a process. From the financial considerations to what options are most important, it’s a decision-laden process. Not to mention stressful. At the end of the road, customers want to feel confident in the decisions they’ve made. As they drive off the lot, car dealerships should recognize that there is always another opportunity for car marketing. Key fob packaging and car marketing

Key Fob Packaging & Car Marketing

Key fobs are practically a standard in vehicles today. The use of the fob might vary, from just unlocking the car to starting it remotely, but there’s usually two identical fobs. One on the keys, and a spare. The spare is usually handed over, fairly unceremoniously, in an envelope. Which may or may not feature the brand. 

Sunrise Packaging (Blaine, Minnesota) recently started working with car dealership marketing teams to create a kind of welcome kit for customers. This kit affirms that they’ve made a great choice not only in their vehicle, but choosing the dealership as well. It boosts confidence and makes customers feel secure. 

These presentation packaging pieces, or FobPads, feature the best in our design department. In the examples pictured for Sunrise Auto Family, you can see several elements at work: 

  • Construction: these pads utilize custom thermoformed foam inserts to keep the fob and business card firmly in place. They’re also tied together in the customer’s mind. The pad construction, mimicking our FlashPads, is sturdy like a hardbound book. 
  • Design: car marketing is all about impressions and prestige. We’ve designed a packaging solution that’s intuitive and attractive. Sunrise can design with your brand in mind, and take your vision to the next level. 
  • Content: from the visuals to the words, there’s a message here. It’s adventure on the open road. It’s a warm handshake. A possible future referral for your dealership. Keep it simple, but significant.

Custom Key Fob Packging for new car salesAdditionally, these FobPads are keepsakes for the customer. The fob is safe in a recognizable space, ensuring that it’ll be kept in the house for a long time. 

Continue Selling After the Car Leaves the Lot

New cars come out all the time. Dealerships exist in nearly every town in America. What makes your dealership stand out?

We know pricing and financing are one thing, but it really comes down to dealership and car marketing. As a family welcomes a new car into their life, so can a dealership welcome them to their family.

Be one of the early adopters in this exciting new opportunity. Contact Sunrise today to start!


Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

For good reason, retailers and companies are increasingly concerned with the re-usability of packaging. Using materials that can be recycled and reused is not only good for the environment, but a selling point to eco-conscious customers. Recycling thermoformed packaging is one reason Sunrise Packaging loves promoting our thermoforming processes, but not the only one.

We turned to the current industry analysis and trends on industrial thermoform packaging material market to find out why this style of customized inserts and packaging is rapidly increasing in popularity.

Reasons to Love Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

It’s good for the globe.

Recycling plastic leads to a robust second life for a variety of products (see what kinds of plastics can be recycled). With the majority of thermoformed materials meeting the requirements for recycling initiatives, it allows consumers to buy with confidence. On a grander scale, it reduces greenhouse gasses and pollution, as well as the waste filling up dumps and natural environments. 

It’s good for the consumer.

And in more ways than you might think. It takes less energy to make products from recycled plastic than it does using virgin materials. It saves on oil, which in turn makes more oil available for heating homes and other uses. That’s just one example of how recycling thermoformed packaging helps the collective and not just individuals.

It’s good for your organization.

Thermoforming has a lot of advantages. It’s ligthweight but solid. It’s environmentally-friendly while providing stiff storage for products. Additionally, more and more products require the versatility offered by custom plastic packaging. Wood and glass can’t promise a moisture-free, odor-free environment that also blocks light. Oh, and while keeping weight and shipping costs down. 

Upcycling For The Greater Good

Upcycling‘ is becoming an increasingly popular term to further clarify recycling. It means taking a product and reusing it for a new purpose. But in such a way that creates a product of higher quality or value. It’s not exactly a new idea–there must have been some inventive upcycling going on through the Great Depression, right?–but it’s gained traction in our eco-friendly society. 

Choosing packaging that can be re-purposed is more than just a fiscal decision. As people become more educated about making choices, trends show that the demand for recyclable packaging will grow. Get ahead of the game by working with Sunrise Packaging to create recyclable thermoformed packaging!

Custom Blister Packaging Gets Smart

It’s not enough for custom blister packaging to provide security, support visual elements, and address security concerns. It has to be smart, too. 

To be fair, this idea of ‘smart packaging’ has been around for a while. It evolved out of ‘active packaging.’ Active packaging simply refers to some kind of function beyond containment of a product. Something as simple as an expiration date meets this criteria. As technology embeds itself further and further into the fabric of our lives, from smartphones to AI systems, this expectation of engagement extends to packaging. Intelligent or smart packaging refers to some method of information transfer between users and packaging. 

You’ve probably heard the word ‘smart’ appended to other things. Smart phones, most commonly, but also smart houses, smart cars, etc. When it comes to packaging, it has just as many possible variants. Moisture control. RFID tags. Oxygen control. The list goes on. But when we talk about custom blister packaging, there are some interesting immediate applications we’re seeing in the real world. 

Custom Blister Packaging for PharmaceuticalsThermoformed blister packaging

IMC is one company leading the way when it comes to smart packaging, specializing in pharmaceuticals. These kinds of specialized packages need to combine branding and functionality seamlessly. Custom blister packs meet the bill. 

Blister packs allow custom-fit cavities to adhere to a cardboard or other sturdy packing. It allows users to see the product while giving package designers some leeway with the hard backing. And this is what draws IMC to custom blister packs. While traditional pill bottles–even with smart bottle caps–the space to embed electronics or other elements necessary for smart packaging is limited or non-existent. With blister packaging, it’s easy to encase something in the backing. Whether it’s an electronic designed to monitor dosage or help users with the product, it offers a different kind of experience. 

One of the more practical reasons for this kind of smart packaging is that adherence to prescribed routines is a major issue for patients and doctors. HealthPrize Technologies estimated in 2016  that such non-adherence lead to $637 billion losses in treatment for chronic conditions. Adding functionality that can, for example, remind users when to take their medication could lead to a decrease in  major medical events. 

Custom Forming & Smart Packaging

Thermoforming in any incarnation–trays, blister packs, or clamshells–can work with the demands of smart packaging. Easy to customize for any product, all of them offer a high degree of branding and functionality. Contact a representative today to learn more!

Flip Lid Packaging Options

The flip lid is a great option for packaging for a couple reasons.

First of all, as packaging accessibility becomes more important, the flip lid is easy to open. We’ve written in other posts about the effect of the aging baby boomer population on the packaging industry. Nearly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 everyday; they have a massive amount of economic influence.  You might have already noticed increased accessibility elements on products. Pop tabs on cans, larger type and simplistic design elements on packaging to reduce visual clutter, and closures that simply take less effort to open. As we age, we tend to lose strength in our hands (a cumulative effect). A flip lid takes minimal pressure and exertion. 

Secondly, flip lid boxes create literal stages for products. They’re perfect for presentation packaging, particularly with magnet closure (like our Netbox style) and some other select finishing designs that complement the product and package as a whole.  Imagine you’re the customer. You have a gorgeous box in front of you, waiting to be opened. You slip your fingers under the lid, popping it open, and inside are the perfectly-arrayed products with accouterments.

Whether you’re looking to make an impact with a marketing kit, sales presentation or an influencer box, get creative with the lid. Here are some types of packaging we recommend. 

Types of Packaging Featuring a Flip Lid

luxury brand packaging with flip lid

Cigar Boxes

Cigar boxes are one of the most popular styles of boxes with a lid to flip open. Some organizations choose to magnetize a flap for extra security, or some extra element of closure depending on the product. In the example to the right, the luxury packaging displays a high-end product in all its glory. The packaging doesn’t detract from the product, but rather adds to it. Like we said above, it gives it center stage. 

Custom cigar boxes can be customized further with inserts, like thermoformed trays or die cut foam. Foil stamping, embossing, and more can further dazzle customers. 

thermoformed clamshell, custom box design, custom thermoformed tray, manufacturing, Products, retail display box, thermoforming, Thermoplastic Materials with flip lid

Thermoformed Clamshells

Depending on what you need to house with your packaging, custom thermoformed clamshells might be ideal. Hinged plastic clamshells add a layer of security in a couple ways. First, simply by protecting products with a bit of cushion, which might be helpful in transit. Additionally, if your product is sitting on a store shelf, it can deter shoplifters. Or those who want a closer look (and don’t really care about destroying packaging to do it). 

Plastic clam shells are made-to-order, ensuring a perfect fit for your product and accompanying materials. They’re frequently used for medical packaging due to the easy-open nature of the flip lid, but can be found in nearly any industry. 

Your Customers Will Flip For Flip Lids

(Okay, we know that was terrible, but some puns are just unavoidable, you know?)

Contact Sunrise Packaging today to discover more innovative ways to meet your packaging needs!

Bespoke Boxes

Creating packaging isn’t so different from creating clothing. Both industries are subject to fashion and fads, with new trends drifting in and out. We watch things that were old become new again, things that were passe become trendy with enough time. Whether we’re talking tailoring or bespoke boxes, some features are just continuous classics. 

The word “bespoke” has a history tied to London, England. In the 16th century, “bespeak” meaning to order or arrange in advance. That evolved to refer to clothing or other things that a customer orders before creation. Traditional techniques are still in use on Savile Row, where making clothes is still seen as an art and not a science. 

Automation is increasingly a larger part of any enterprise, and custom boxes are no exception. However, while the manual parts of the process are less, well, manual, the artistry still exists. It takes time to craft truly bespoke boxes. Here are some examples: 

21st Century Bespoke Boxes

Custom magnetic boxesbespoke boxes

Sunrise Packaging’s Netbox, or customized magnetic boxes, reflect a true packaging classic: the cigar box. With an overlapping hard cover, magnetized for closure, ‘t’s ready for customization in any number of ways. These boxes are perpetually striking and can be further personalized through embossing, foil stamping, screen printing, and more. 

Prince Two Piece Setup Box and bespoke boxesTwo piece setup boxes

As a Minnesota-based company, we can’t have a post tying fashion to bespoke boxes without using a Prince example! This box to the left is an example of a two piece setup box.  They’re popular for luxury packaging, game boxes, and gift packaging. The turned edge corners ensure perfect fit from top to bottom. The strong chipboard can be wrapped in material that appeals to the senses, from a soft touch to glossier finish. Whatever you want to convey with your packaging can be done. 

ThermoformingThermoformend trays for the health and beauty products.

Thermoforming is truly one of the best ways to create bespoke boxes or custom packaging. Plastic molds are created to the exact specifications of your product(s) to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. It adds layers of protection and security to boot. Sunrise can create the perfect tray, clamshell, or blister pack to meet your requirements. 

Where Past Meets Present

As you can see, bespoke boxes and customized packaging take what’s best from the past and make it better with the present. Cigar boxes are a timeless style, but thermoforming ensures that the products inside are safe and secure. Using innovative practices paired with a respect for the past, Minnesota custom box creator Sunrise is ready for any challenge you can bring to us.

Contact our reps today to get started!

Custom Thermoforming Materials

Custom thermoforming serves a variety of industries. Its versatility is due to the process, which can work with a variety of plastics. Focusing on molding heated plastic, thermoforming is a growing industry serving many other industries, from healthcare to technology. Packaging systems can communicate value to customers. Custom thermoforming is an ideal solution that protects and organizes materials, creating a great experience for users. The aeasthetics don’t stop there, with a variety of plastics used for thermoforming.

These plastic thermoforming materials each have their own qualities and benefits.  Here’s a rundown of some of the materials with which we work at Sunrise Packaging (Blaine, Minnesota). 

Custom Thermoforming Materials & Properties

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)Thermoformend trays for the health and beauty products.

PET is a super-clear material, affording customers a great view of a product (we love it for custom vacuum-forming in retail packaging). Another reason why it’s popular? It’s easily recyclable. 

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC is one of the strongest custom thermoforming materials, but just as malleable as any other. PVC is versatile in other ways as well. It can be translucent or colored, opaque or clear. It’s also recyclable, of course. 

 PETG (modified Polythylene Terephthalate)

PETG is a modified version of PET that turns it it into a cross between PET and PVC.  It has a lower melting point than PET, and retains the strength and versatility of PVC. 

RPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Noticing a trend? PET is a popular base for custom thermoforming. This version–RPET–is made from recycled PET. It’s slightly weaker than standard PET, though. 

PS (Polystyrene)

Polystyrene is among the hardest and stiffest custom thermoforming materials. It’s a popular option for anything that needs to be punched or cut (think CD cases, smoke detectors, etc). 

Custom Thermoforming Applications

These different materials each have slightly different benefits and uses. Depending on what you need from your packaging, Sunrise can recommend the perfect solution.  Contact us today to learn more!

Thermoformed Clamshell Packaging for Health & Beauty

It’s tough work to meet the various packaging requirements for the health and beauty industry, but thermoformed clamshell packaging is almost like a silver bullet. 

Let’s back up a bit. 

Both industries are pretty heavily regulated (yup, make-up packaging is regulated, too…and with good reason). Outside of the product itself, the packaging must meet certain requirements as well. The products cannot be ‘adulterated or misbranded.’ This means that they have to be safe for consumers according to the labeling. Depending on the product, this could vary widely. Depending on the FDA classifications, it might surprise you to learn what’s considered a cosmetic, a drug, a medical device, and more. Each have their own criteria to meet. 

Beyond the regulatory necessities of health and beauty packaging, producers have to be concerned with maintaining the integrity of the product over its shelf life. In this industry, customers love to see the product before they buy it. If it’s expensive, they want to check the quality. If there’s a color, they want to see it. Not to mention that these products are also fairly-high theft items. Package designers need to take all these factors into consideration. 

The Answer: Thermoformed Clamshell Packaging

Why thermoformed clamshells?thermoformed clamshell

This style of packaging is custom formed to every product. It’s fully encased in place, in sturdy plastic. It can withstand the bumps of transportation and delivery. The plastic also ensures freshness of the product. Any factor that extends shelf-life is optimal. Plus, this might be something mandated from the governing regulatory agency.

Clear plastic offers more benefits. It allows customers to see the product prior to purchasing. They don’t have to open it to see the size and shape, the color and any other features.  It reduced the likelihood of damaged or opened product on the floor. Which in turn means less returned product for you. It also deters shoplifting. Thermoformed clamshell packaging isn’t necessarily difficult to open, but it does take a little more effort than cheap cardboard. Well, depending on the strength of the plastic and the determination of the shop lifter. 

And when it comes to labeling, custom printed inserts can meet that need. These inserts, encased within the plastic clamshells, can be personalized in any number of ways to meet the branding and regulatory needs of your product and organization. 

Secure, Durable Presentation

Thermoformed clamshell packaging is a popular option for many industries beyond health and beauty. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to learn more. 

Thermoformed Custom Trays Add Protection

Thermoforming is a process that allows plastic to be molded to fit whatever it needs to contain. Custom trays are an especially popular application for the process. They offer many benefits–

  • Organization
    In presentation packaging, it’s important for every thing to have it’s place..and for it not to shift in transit. It’s like a fisherman’s tackle box. If the lures and bait are all mixed it up, it causes chaos Thermoformed custom trays for the health and beauty products.and confusion. Custom trays are the perfect way to contain products, samples, etc. in specific spots for consistency and expediency. 
  • Versatility
    No matter what type of product or insert you want to include in your packaging, there’s a custom tray that will work. Trays can be used to keep marketing collateral in place in nearly any kind of packaging. Custom pads, magnetic cigar boxes, binders, the list is endless when it comes to what Sunrise Packaging can heat-seal. 

–But chief among these benefits is the protection provided by custom thermoformed trays.

Custom Trays Protect Materials

From CDs to pamphlets to flash drives, it’s important that your materials arrive in pristine condition.  The durable nature of custom trays ensures that whatever they encase will arrive without a dent or mark. They also defend against other potential contaminants, like liquid or water. 

Thermoformed custom trays, Blister Pack, Blog, RF sealing, heat sealing, clamshell, custom box design, custom thermoformed tray, manufacturing, Products, retail display box, thermoforming, Thermoplastic Materials

Protection against…

  • Physical harm.  It’s a wild world out there. Water and other liquids could ruin labels and packaging; your products could be jostled and chipped at any stage. Custom trays help lower the risk of these defects. 
  • Product fragility. Glass containers are beautiful and go a long way to convey luxury to customers. But it’s fragile. The same goes for some types of plastic containers, and a variety of products that can be easily crushed or their integrity otherwise compromised.  Custom trays add a literal layer to safeguard against this kind of damage.
  • Damage expenses. It’s true that there will always be some damage in transit, but it doesn’t have to happen frequently.  It’s also necessary to plan for rough handling in package sorting. Thermoformed trays can help reduce the possibility of breakage. As well as the expenses incurred from damaged products. 

Learn More About Custom Trays & Thermoforming

Custom trays are just one option when it comes to thermoforming. Custom forming is a service Sunrise Packaging provides according to customer requirements. Every project is unique and designed to your needs; the variety of options ensures that we can create the perfect solution!

Ready to learn more? Contact Sunrise today!