Why some paper lunch boxes are more expensive?

If you have already started looking for packaging for your food, you may have noticed some price differences. The two paper lunch boxes seem identical to you, but one is more expensive than the other? This is no coincidence and we will decipher this together.

Together we will see several characteristic points of packaging and how they can influence the final price. First of all there is the material used, but also the coating used if there is one, the thickness of the paper, whether it is matt or glossy, whether it is printed or not, is the design customized, etc. In short, many factors can influence the price and we will see about that right away.

Paper Lunch Box

Material Used

Let’s start with the material used first. Indeed, different types of single-use food packaging exist and this first component has a major influence on the price. The packaging can be made of plastic, paper, bamboo or even corn starch. Here, we will focus on paper food packaging and especially paper lunch boxes.


Then a second element can fundamentally change the price of paper lunch boxes and it is the thickness of the paper. Indeed, there are several thicknesses of paper and packaging suppliers adapt it according to what their customers want to put inside their box. The thickness of the paper is measured in gsm and as you will probably have already understood, the higher the gsm is, the more expensive the raw material will be. Overall, the thickness of the paper used to make up food packaging usually varies between 250 and 400gsm.

Paper Lunch Box


Of course, let’s talk about coating now. What is the coating? Well, it’s very simple, it’s a thin layer of material that covers the paper to give it special characteristics. For example, with a suitable coating, a paper can become hydrophobic, greaseproof, leakproof, etc. Depending on what you want to put in your paper lunch boxes, the coating can be adapted. If you only put dry and low-fat biscuits in it, for example, you can go without any coating. This is the most economical alternative because the paper is raw. On the other hand, if you put noodles with the sauce you will need your paper lunch boxes to be leakproof but also greaseproof. For this reason, most suppliers use PE coated paper. PE is a derivative of plastic, when a very thin layer is applied to the paper, it makes the paper leakproof and greaseproof.

For an aesthetic look and a cleaner finish, most paper lunch box manufacturers use a clay coating on the exterior part of the paper. This makes the paper lunch box more “pretty” with a cleaner finish.

What influences the price is also the fact that the paper is coated on one or both sides. Of course, if it is coated on both sides it will be more expensive than if it were coated on only one side or if it was not coated at all.

Paper Lunch Box

Matt Or Shiny

Let’s continue with the particularities of paper. There are several paper finishes: matt or glossy. Glossy paper is visually prettier but more expensive than matt paper, which is a little less aesthetic. However, another flaw of glossy paper is that it tends to have a little more hand marks matte paper.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process also influences the final price of paper lunch boxes and this depends on their structure. Indeed if the box is only die-cut it will be quite cheap. In the opposite direction, if it has to be formed and glue points added, the labour will be more important and therefore it will have an impact on the production cost and therefore the final price.

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Finally, design also influences price. Whether you choose a plain white model or a custom design, the price will obviously not be the same. Most of the time, the more color you want, the more expensive the color block charge will be

As you will have understood, the price of a paper lunch box can be influenced by many characteristics. Knowing these characteristics will allow you to see more clearly in your future research for food packaging.

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