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Why are Clamshells Important for my Produce?

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Snap! Snap! You’ve just served yourself a portion of fruit, snapped the tabs of a clamshell package in place, and put the remainder of the fruit back in the refrigerator, safely preserved for future snacks. Clamshells easily open and securely close, protecting your product just like the namesake animal protects a pearl. The practical clamshell can enhance produce by keeping food fresh, safe, and visible to the end consumer.

Fruit in clamshell containers

Clamshells Protect Produce.

Containing your produce in a clamshell will protect it from outside elements. Produce in a clamshell is less likely to bruise during display and transport than food without packaging. Also, once the product arrives at the consumer’s home, the clamshell provides a convenient stack and store container that will continue to protect produce, thus prolonging shelf life.

Clamshells Keep Produce Fresh.

Prolonged produce shelf life is another pro for clamshell packaging. Plastics plays a vital role in keeping food fresher for longer. When food is less likely to spoil or be damaged, it is consumed and reduces food waste, a global environmental issue. When food is wasted and landfilled, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that according to the EPA, is up to 36 times more potent than CO2.1 Resealable packaging and maximizing shelf life through advanced barrier technology are just some of the ways the packaging industry is responding to the food waste crisis.


Clamshells Provide Visibility to Shoppers.

Consumers value transparency. With clear packaging, shoppers can pick up the packaging and peer inside to ensure the produce meets their standards. The clear plastic clamshell allows shoppers to see your product before purchasing. Knowing the state of the produce can lead to increased confidence in the value of the purchase compared to purchasing a product masked in colored packaging.

Clamshells Transport Efficiently.

Nested clamshells allow for optimized pack outs. This space-saving capability with clamshells results in storage and shipping savings. It also helps the environment by reducing transportation emissions.  

Sonoco’s Clamshell Capabilities

Sonoco has a broad list of produce packaging offerings, including clamshell containers. From snack size samplers to bulk trays and from hole vents to denesting lugs, we’ve got the size and features to meet your unique produce packaging needs. To meet the demand for more sustainable packaging, our EnviroSense® line of PET containers uses a minimum of 50% recycled content. In fact, each EnviroSense® strawberry clamshell we make has the recycled content equivalent of three recycled water bottles (16.9oz). We also offer recyclable labels for our clamshell packages. Search our produce product catalog here.

If you’re looking to snap up a clamshell packaging partner, let’s talk! Please contact us at:

1 Environmental Protection Agency. “Basic Information about Landfill Gas,” 2020.