Nobody ever claimed that working for a food packaging company was a glamorous detail. Generally speaking, most consumers really don’t know who makes the food packaging that carries their favorite to-go meal, dip, almonds or cup cake. But, after you work in the food packaging market for some time you start to spot packaging whenever you see it used in commercials. Especially if it is a package made by the company you work for. Here are a couple of very recent commercials for household name brands, that feature great food…and a Genpak container. If you can spot them, congratulations, you are a food packaging nerd. If not, don’t worry, we will not hold it against you. Enjoy!
The second one is from our friends at Blue Apron. It’s not a You Tube, but click the link to go to the ad.
Initially I was going to entitle this blog entry as Foam Food Packaging Gets A Victory, but the more I thought about it, the real winner here is the consumer. In New York City, the appeals court upheld the New York State Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned NYC Mayor de Blasio’s ban on foam food service packaging. You can read about that here, but in a nutshell the Restaurant Action Alliance and the coalition of Restaurant Owners in NYC filed the lawsuit. The NYS Supreme Court and now the Appellate Court both agreed and the ban has been overturned. Who wins?
Consumers – the price for your favorite to go meal should not go up due to increased packaging costs
Food Service Workers – nobody should be laid off due to increased operating costs caused by increased packaging costs
Food Operators – you are free to choose the type of packaging you and your customers want. Nobody is forcing a certain type of packaging down your throat. You can stay with foam food packaging or, if you want explore other options, no problem. The point is the government is not forcing you one way or the other which is a good thing.
The Environment – according to the EPA, one of the best ways to reduce items heading to a landfill is to recycle. According to this article, the city has an offer to help recycle 100% of its foam products. If they choose to ignore it for political reasons, they’ve nobody to blame but themselves.
Being a company that produces products from foamed polystyrene, which is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam, we often get asked about recycling. There is a common misconception that foam polystyrene products can’t be recycled. Foam polystyrene can and is being recycled. Please keep in mind, just because your local municipality may not accept products that carry the recycle symbol does not mean it is not recyclable. Check out this awesome video from the good folks at Chic-Fil-A to see what they do with their used foam drink cups.
Wouldn’t it be great to know, as food operators, what is in the mind of the consumer? What do they like or dislike and what keeps them coming back for more? Luckily for us, our very good friends at Technomic make it their business to keep a pulse on the food service industry. Not just what’s trending with consumers, but also what outside forces effect our industry such as the minimum wage hike debate. Check out this video which outlines 10 of the top trends that could very well effect your food service operation in 2016.
Perhaps some of these resonate with your business. There is one trend we have notice which is the continued desire for environmentally friendly food packaging options. One thing is for certain, no matter what your food operation is, Genpak is here to be Your Food Packaging Company!
One of the things that sets Genpak apart from other food packaging manufacturers is that we ask out customers questions then actually take action upon those suggestions. For example, one of our recent surveys asked which product offering they would like to see us expand in. Clearly, the overwhelming choice was for more environmentally friendly food packaging. We heard that loud and clear and have recently launch three new Harvest Fiber products!
The microwave oven has become a necessity in every kitchen. Try to go more than three days without microwaving something. Whether you are warming or actually cooking food items, the microwave is here to stay. When it comes to food packaging for the microwave, not all items are created equal and not all items are safe for the microwave. Foods can reach temperatures up to 210° F. Typically, polypropylene is the material of choice for this type of application. It can handle the high temperatures and may be formed into many different configurations and is curb side recyclable. Genpak’s Smart Set Pro series of microwave safe food packaging is by far our most popular. Benefits include:
Unique textured finish offer a cool-to-the-touch experience and allows us to use less virgin material without sacrificing any functionality!
Super clear, microwave safe lids allow for maximum food product visualization.
Rectangular sizes are also available in a clear material for excellent shelf merchandising.
Now customers may emboss their logo on right on the lid to enhance their branding message (minimums do apply).
Curb side recyclable.
According to our customers, expanding our microwave safe offering is second only to more compostable products. And as you may know, Genpak actually listens to its customers and acts upon those suggestions. Today we are launching a new lid to the Smart Set Pro family of products. The FPR932S is a low profile, ultra clear lid that allows customers to display their food products at an angle while keep the contents secure. Check out this great grocery store display of these lids in action with the FPR024 base.
The lid is just the tip of the iceberg. You can expect more microwave safe product launches from us in the very near future.
To our current customers…thank you for the great suggestions and keep them coming. To those of you that may be new to Genpak, our goal is to be your food packaging company!
A new study was published by Packaged Facts entitled Food and Beverage Packaging in the US: Consumer Perspectives which analyzes the shifting and emerging trends in food and beverage packaging. There were 5 key trends identified which include:
Millennials: This group tends to like fresh, less processed foods as demonstrated by their preference for fast casual restaurants that offer freshly prepared foods as well as shopping the perimeter of grocery stores where fresh, non-packaged foods can be found
Smaller packages are a big trend in packaging: One and two person households represent 61% of all U.S. homes and package sizes targeting this demographic has become a major trend. Formats include single-serve packaging, meals for two, multi-packs of individual portions and resealable packaging. I’d like to focus on this particular point for a moment as it happily coincides with a push we, here at Genpak, have been focusing on. Check out this brief video on just what I mean.
Packaging for convenience: Packaging with features such as ease of opening, resealability, portability, light weight and easy dispensing are packaging benefits that influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.
See-thru packaging can boost sales: Marketers and food operators are placing their products in packaging that enable clear visualization. This transparency piggybacks on consumers desire to see how foods look and produced. This transparency by producers builds consumer trust and goodwill.
Eco-friendly packaging growing: Improved recyclability and sustainability will become ever more important for packaging.
I found these trends interesting as it is almost like reading right from our playbook.
I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing that ruins my half rack of ribs lunch meal, it is warm coleslaw. Not sure where or when it happened, but I absolutely love coleslaw. It hits the spot when scarfing down those ribs. However the slaw always ends up lukewarm or worse yet, it’s migrated into the ribs making them more messy than ribs already are. Same deal with the baked beans. The food packaging my rib place uses just doesn’t seem to do the trick. They always seem to jump from their home compartment into the ribs. Yuk. Why bring up this seemingly obscure topic? Well obviously because Genpak has the solution! Check out this video demonstrating our 203CO temperature control capabilities. It’s pretty neat stuff.
How “cool” is that? If this looks like something you want more information on, just follow this link. From it, you can read a little more and also order free samples to test for yourself.
Have you ever spent your hard earned money on the latest gizmo, gadget or widget only to realize that the gizmo, gadget or widget you have been using for years is just as good or in some cases, better? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased things in the past that I thought would work better, fit better, look better or just plain be better, only to be disappointed. Now to be fair, some of that could be attributed to the fact that I’m a poor shopper to begin with, which probably explains why I have so many pairs of shoes that don’t fit or how the people at the returns desk of our local retail shops are on a first name basis with my wife. But, that does not always apply. Many times the latest item is not really all that it’s cracked up to be.
I think that is definitely the case with the so called tamper evident packaging that has flooded the food packaging marketplace. So many designs that, in the end, really do not provide a true tamper evident solution. What they do provide is a more expensive package. Some are overly complicated, some require special equipment to use and some end up with extra pieces to be thrown away. I think sometimes companies are in such a rush to design a better mouse trap when all the time the solution is sitting right in front of them.
Take for example, our Hinged Deli Containers. Unquestionably they are the best selling line of clear hinged containers on the market today. Our sales continue to grow even with all these competitive, complicated contraptions entering the market. How is this possible? Easy, we in conjunction with our customers, have simply reviewed the current AD Deli line and how they are used. In every case, our customers place labels on the container. One for nutritional values and the other usually containing their brand message. So the suggestion was derived that the label become the tamper evident mechanism. Labels must be used anyway for retail shelf applications, so why not let them serve two functions? Makes total sense doesn’t it? Why pay more for overpriced, complicated designs, when you can continue using the packaging that has worked so well for so long? Our customers have embraced the solution and are enjoying the savings of not needing switch out their lines for something that doesn’t really work anyway. Check out this brief video demonstration showing exactly what I’m talking about.