What Is Clamshell Packaging?

The basics of clamshells:

  • Clamshell packaging secures product(s) between two hinged sheets of thermoformed plastic.
  • The plastic clamshell encloses the product on both sides and the plastic flanges (edges) can be heat sealed together.
  • Clamshells may be custom molded to follow the contours of an item, or serve as a clear plastic container for holding a number of small loose pieces together.
  • Tri-Fold or footed clamshells offer maximum versatility in merchandising. These packages can hang from a hook, stand alone on a shelf, or sit upright within a display or club store pallet.
  • A printed insert card sells the product with compelling graphics and product information while the clear plastic provides excellent visibility. When sealed on all edges clamshell packages are especially tamper and theft resistant.
  • Clamshells are recloseable and reusable if left unsealed.
  • Clamshell packaging is especially effective packaging option for heavy products, or items like electronics that are a target for theft.

What’s the difference between stock & custom clamshells?

Classic Stock ClamshellsRecloseable and reusable clear PVC containers.Come in many standard sizes to closely fit your product.Sealable for theft and tamper resistance.In-stock or produced to order, without the cost of tooling.Designed to hang from a peg. Footed stock clamshells, with proper weight distribution, may be displayed freestanding on a counter.Insert cards printed to match for a guaranteed fit.“Box” shaped protection to maximize product display.
Stock Platform ClamshellsRecloseable and reusable clear RPET containers.Comes in 20 standard sizes to closely fit your product.Sealable for theft and tamper resistance.In-stock or produced to order, without the cost of tooling.Designed to hang from a peg.Insert cards printed to match for a guaranteed fit.Matching insert card size offers greater graphic display.
Custom clamshellsCustom-molded hinged packages that follow the unique contours of your product.Formed using a mold specially tooled for a one-of-a-kind fit.Can incorporate special solutions such as try-me features, embossing, stability for heavy products, tri-fold or footed packages, club packs, or multiple contoured cavities.Designs may include recycled materials.Custom insert cards printed to match for a guaranteed fit.

 What types of products can be packaged in clamshells?

Clamshell packaging is used in a variety of markets and product categories, including:

  • Club Stores and Major Retail Chains
  • Home Improvement, Hardware, Tools
  • Health and Beauty, Cosmetics
  • Household Goods
  • Electronics
  • Office and Craft Supplies
  • Toys and Games
  • Sports and Recreation Equipment
  • Automotive

Combo-Pac: Custom Insert Cards for Less

The Andex Combo-Pac program offers you the same high-quality insert cards you get with a custom order, but lowers the cost of production to make your packaging dollar go further.

How does it work?

  • Customize your package with 4-color printing on the front, 14 pt or 20 pt card thicknesses, different corner shapes, simple contours, or internal cuts.
  • Then select from one of our specified Combo-Pac quantities—small to large quantities are available.
  • Schedule your order to be printed on one of our convenient Combo-Pac production dates. Your package components will be designed, manufactured, and shipped quickly to arrive right on time.

What’s the advantage? 

Lower costs! You’ll eliminate printing plate, cutting die and set-up charges as well as the fees for full production tooling. Get a customized package to fit your product at a very affordable price.

Andex is a convenient source for both thermoformed clamshells and printed insert cards, but does not seal products within the finished package. Ask your Andex account rep about the many options available for sealing clamshells.

Clamshells are sealed using a plastic to plastic heat sealing method to fuse the flanges (edges) of the package together. Andex can provide this simple JAWS hand held direct heat sealer for excellent tamper resistance and theft protection. 

Which Clamshell Option is Right For You?

ClamshellCustom Clamshell & CardDESIGN-PACSTOCK PLATFORMCLASSIC STOCK
Tooling Costs$$$nonenone
Material Thickness10-40 mil20 mil20 mil17.5 mil
Round, Square or Rectangular CavityXX  
Contoured (shaped to product)XX  
QuantityBased on SizeBased on SizeAs little as one caseAs little as one case
Multiple CavitiesXX  
Package Must StandX  Depending on weight distribution of product
Try-Me FeaturesX   
 Unique Package ShapeX   
 Material OptionsPVCs, PETs, ColorsRPETRPETPVC
 Cavity on Front and BackXX  
 Printed Insert CardsCustom Insert CardCombo-Pac Insert Card  
 4-color front, Black BackXX  
 PMS (Pantone Matching System) & Special Match Custom ColorsXAdded Cost  
 Colored BackX   
 Metallic InksXAdded Cost  
 Foil StampingXX  
 Card Thickness12 to 26 pt14 or 20 pt  
 Square or Round CornersXX  
 Unique Die cuts & ShapesXAsk Sales Rep