What You Might Not Have Realized About Kwik Lok Bag Closures

Most people have seen a bread clip, the small and flat pieces of plastic that are used to keep various types of bread fresh and safe from contamination or spoilage in neatly closed bread bags. These clips are conveniently designed so they can be used time and time again. Although they're often overlooked and we don't think much of them, bread clips are more interesting than you might realize. For starters, you may be surprised to learn that these colorful clips are meticulously produced by a single company based in Yakima, Washington, and it's called Kwik Lok. 

According to Southern Living, the plastic clips were invented as a way to seal and re-seal bags, and the most common use for them is with bakery products, but fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes and apples, are also often sealed with Kwik Lok clips. There are many different colors and sizes of Kwik Lok clips, and the expiration date is often printed on them so we can quickly check on the food that we're trying to preserve. These little helpers might not be a great hack for sealing a big bag of potato chips, but are still effective for other products such as small bags of nuts.

The Kwik Lok business stays in the family

The first Kwik Lok bread clips, now officially known as Kwik Lok Closures, were made by Floyd Paxton, the founder of the company, who was eating a complimentary package of nuts on a flight in 1952, and he couldn't re-seal the bag. Paxton then carved a bread clip by hand out of an expired credit card with the help of his penknife, and the rest is history (via Atlas Obscura). His inexpensive and simple invention for sealing open bags was soon patented, and Kwik Lok is still one of the only two bread clips producers in the world (the other one is a European company called Schutte). Alternatively, there are many TikTok food hacks that are game-changers when it comes to sealing your food and preserving your perishables.

Nowadays, Kwik Lok has 330 employees and six factories that, per Atlas Obscura, produce billions of bag closures annually. The family business was passed down to Floyd's son, Jerre, and is still owned today by his two daughters. 

If you're still unimpressed by these humble bread clips, try clipping them on the wheel spokes of your bicycle. The clips will produce colorful patterns and clicking sounds when the wheels spin.