May 10th, 2013
Did you know we will be at the National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago? You should stop by our booth (#1626) to chat with us about our new Harvest Pro line.
More and more restaurants are moving to a more environmentally friendly option. Our Harvest Pro line combines quality and responsibility to bring you a recyclable, non-absorbent, cut resistant, microwavable clamshell. Produced with 40% natural minerals Harvest Pro offers a great way to reduce your environmental impact, but not reduce the quality. Harvest Pro is also leak resistant because of the double lock closures with tab opening. These containers also come in a vented option for hot foods. These options are everything you could ever want in a hinged container.
Harvest Pro comes in a range of sizes, from the most popular size, 9” x 7”, general purpose container for burgers and fries or chicken wings, to the 6” x 6” sandwich container. If portion control is an issue Harvest Pro offers two three-compartment containers. Having different size options helps with portion control but also keeps your look consistent.
Harvest Pro is:
- Non-absorbent – your food isn’t soaked into the container. You don’t lose any flavor in your meal.
- Cut resistant – you don’t end up cutting your table, losing dressing or sauce due to slices in the packaging.
- Microwave safe – heat up your leftovers without burning your hands, melting the container, or blowing up the microwave.
- Recyclable – when you are through, toss it in with the rest of your recyclables.
Did you say you wanted something with a design on it? Well Harvest Pro can do that too. We have embossing options available to suit your needs.
Remember Genpak’s Harvest Pro next time you are thinking about being “Responsible, Renewable & Reliable.”
Stop by our booth for a chance to win a Summer Survival Kit containing cutlery, cups, plates, and bowls; everything you need for a party! See you soon.
March 22nd, 2013
Okay remember how I’ve ranted before that politicians like to tell us what we can and can’t do, what we can and can’t eat and what we should and should not think in the form of bans. It seems that at least one of those crazy bans has been disproved. Specifically Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on foam food packaging. A new study by third party research firm has concluded that a the ban on foam food service for New York City, in which the mayor said would be seamless and not cost anybody anything, would in fact cost $100,000 per year. Conclusions were a foam ban in NYC would have serious economic impact not only to city businesses, but state businesses as well while having little to no effect on waste reductions or other environmental concerns. Job well done mayor.
March 20th, 2013
Let the super thirsty rejoice! A beacon of light has shown through these dark times of goofy governmental bans and food operators of NYC can continue to serve beverages greater than 16 fluid ounces without fear of the soda cops bearing down upon them. A New York Supreme Court Justice has blocked the ban calling it “arbitrary and capricious”. I could not have said it any better.
March 5th, 2013
It seems like every time I turn around there’s yet another municipality or some internet “guru” throwing stones and food packaging. It’s the same old tired blah blah droning going on. “There’s too much of it, it’s toxic, it gave me acne”…the list gets more ridiculous and far fetched with each new post. The problem is, there are not enough people or organizations firing back about the actual TRUTHS and virtues of food packaging. The real experts about food packaging are those companies who actually produce it, and the companies who directly use it, such as food processors and restaurants. Therefore is seems to make sense that we should be the source to talk about why food packaging is in fact, necessary. Here’s a list I came up with, in no particular order of importance.
- It protects our food from damage. Think of your favorite brand of cookies. Now try to picture buying those cookies from a bulk bin like you might buy nuts or granola. Not a very pretty image is it, that is unless you like crumbs. That’s just one example. Without food packaging, I’d wager 90% of what you buy at the supermarket would not be possible.
- It prevents food from spoiling. Again, using the supermarket as an example, think of those wonderful bags or clear containers of cut lettuce. By placing those delicate produce items in packaging that protects it from the outside environment, the shelf life is extended both at the supermarket and when you get the products home. This allows you to consume all the food before it goes bad.
- It educates consumers on what’s actually inside. Allergic to gluten, nuts or wheat? Your food packaging allows for great graphics that will tell you all the pertinent nutritional values needed to make informed decisions before purchasing. Caloric count, ingredients, allergens…you name it and the packaging can advise it.
- Keeps foods at temperature longer for an enjoyable experience. This also goes back to the spoilage issue. You are more apt to throw food away if it is not at the desired temperature, be it hot or cold.
- It simply fits our lifestyle. Statistics show more and more of us order take-out meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why, because we are busy. More demands on us to do more and be more productive chews up time. It would be very difficult to have a take-out meal without take-out packaging.
My challenge is for you to think of all the positive ways food packaging fits into your life. Then try to picture a day without it.
February 14th, 2013
I tried to stay away from posting on all the bans our elected officials like to impose upon us, but I can’t ignore this one since it’s happening in Genpak’s home state. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, has decided that not only should he ban large soda’s from you, but he’s now going to impose a ban on the vehicle in which you get your drinks. Not only cups, but your hinged containers, soup cups and anything else produced from foamed polystyrene will be banned if he gets his way.
I’m not sure what it is with politicians, that they like to impose their will upon us? Were they picked on as little kids, stood up on their first date or just need to fuel their massive egocentric appetite to reign supreme? I don’t know. But what I do know is, if he is successful and this thing passes, the results will be:
- Your bill for whatever you just ordered will go up in price as “green” alternative packaging does not have the same economies of scale as traditional plastics.
- NYC will trade one type of litter for another. Studies done at municipalities that have banned certain types of plastic in an attempt to reduce litter have found all that has happened is the type of litter has changed from one type of material to another. I’ve no studies to prove this, but knowing a package is “environmentally friendly”, wouldn’t they be even more apt to chuck the hamburger container out the window of their car?
- The higher cost of alternatives will likely force some food operations to reduce their staff (layoffs) or simply close up shop.
- The alternative packaging will still go into a landfill where it will stay for years and years.
- Your taxes will go up. Why? If public schools are forced to move away from their current school tray programs, they’ll be forced to either pay for more expensive trays or buy expensive and costly to run/maintain industrial dish washers that require a ton of water and chemicals. Who’s going to flip that bill? Taxpayers are.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say these bans do not work. It is a FAR better solution to let the market place decide where this goes simply by the actions of the consumer. Not a politician. If consumers decide they want to eat out of a container that is say, compostable, then so be it. Consumers have never been shy in telling their merchants what they want. After all, it’s their hard earned money that’s being spent and merchants in turn will find a way to get it done. The point is, the market place is dictating the terms…not a… well you know.
Please don’t get me wrong here. We fully support the wishes of the market place and long ago have offered 100% natural, fully compostable food packaging. In fact we have many alternative materials that we offer to our customer base that are either compostable, or source reduced. We would just rather let the market place decide on the type of packaging used and not a politician.
February 4th, 2013
People seem to spend a lot of time talking about take-out hinged containers and other types of food packaging while the not-so-sexy plate and bowl category sits around quietly in the background. I’d like to change that for two main reasons. First, the dinnerware market is far bigger in terms of both units sold and dollar value than other category and the second is, there are plenty of options to choose from including some exotic offerings.
Considering disposable dinnerware choices is a bit more in depth than just saying “I need to source a 9″ plate”. If you are not looking to make a statement and simply need a vehicle to serve you particular fare, which isn’t overly heavy, then yes, go with an economical option such as our Celebrity line of foam plates and bowls. For a heavy duty, yet still economical option, you can look at our laminated foam Elite dinnerware products. If you want to upscale…just a bit, go with our Elite products, but in black which always does a great job of showcasing food.
For food operators who want to break away and go with a unique style plate, yet still not break the budget look no further than our exclusive S4 Dinnerware products. The square configuration coupled with our black laminated foam finish will bring an upscale appearance to any table setting while the laminated foam substrate will keep your costs down. These disposable dinnerware products can also double as convenient take-out containers as well by simply adding their corresponding crystal clear lids. SKU reduction is something most food operators strive for and this is a great way to achieve that end.
There’s no denying the trend toward “green” options in food packaging. A recent article from Restaurant.org stated well over 50% of food operators plan on adopting greener operations from the front of the house to the back. Once again, plates and bowls will dominate that market. There are varying levels of green depending on where you live…right down to the specific municipality, but in terms of dinnerware, our Harvest Fiber products are second to none. They are 100% all natural and BPI certified compostable. Probably most important though is they are extremely functional. Many “eco” plates offered out there will fold like a cheap suite the moment something hot or high moisture content is added. Genpak Harvest Fiber dinnerware have been proven to be grease/water resistant longer than all others. We have had many large chains test and use our products for that reason alone. Hey don’t take my word for it, shoot us a note and request a free sample kit. Do your own testing.
Hopefully I’ve given you something to consider when choosing the type of plates and bowls to use for your own operations, but if you are still uncertain or have questions, by all means give us a call. We’ll be glad to talk with you about the plethora of options that are available.
January 15th, 2013
We’ve all seen the musical greeting cards, but a musical product box? One word…Genius! I’m not sure if that could applied to take out food packaging, but it’s an intriguing thought.
Some not so great sales forecasts coming in from food operators. Look for value meals popping up in the near future.
Well here’s case and point to the previous topic. Value meals will be big in Q1 I think.
Big Apple’s big drink ban
is postponed for 90 days! Let’s hope the National Restaurant Association and American Beverage Association are successful in their arguments that the city has no legal grounds to issue such a mandate. Anyone who has read my previous posts on the large soda ban
will know how I feel about government bans.
Yet another value meal extension.
Here is a good example of a food service operator who really jumped into the “green” movement in a big way. The only thing missing from his line up of food packaging is our Harvest Fiber products, but that’s for another time. I wonder if the green packaging movement will continue to gain momentum if the sales forecast from the story listed above is accurate?
January 9th, 2013
Happy new year my friends! A new year brings new opportunities and trends to track. Here’s a list of interesting food trends for 2013 to check out. I don’t know about you, but brined Moroccan lemons won’t make my table this year.
Distributor relationships can help restaurants thrive. I’d take this article one step further and advise food operators to also forge relationships with the manufacturers themselves. As a manufacturer of food packaging, I can tell you we can bring expertise to our particular area of your business. Excellent distribution relationships are important to be sure, but don’t pass up the opportunity to pick the brains of your actual manufacturer as well. Have a question about food packaging, just let us know.
Now here are some beef trends that I could really sink my teeth into. The slow cooked meats have to be my favorite.
Students will be offered the opportunity to tag along with Supermarket industry veterans at the upcoming NGA show. What a great way to keep momentum alive within an industry.
Here’s an interesting opinion on how to up-sell at quick service restaurants.
RFID or radio frequency identification is now being successfully used at restaurants to streamline service operations. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of high tech gadgetry making it’s way into food service and even food packaging industries.
December 11th, 2012
When it comes time to research food packaging options, most food operators take the path most traveled and end up at the foam hinged door. True, foam hinged to-go packaging has many great qualities such as multiple configurations, decoration options, excellent thermal properties and of course, very economical. But I would like to submit for your consideration the option of a two piece, black and clear package. There are some advantages this type of food packaging can bring to the table.
- Food visualization – With our crystal clear, anti-fog lids, customers can see exactly what they are getting. Food operators make a living offering great tasting food with a top-notch visual presentation. Why hide that great looking food you worked hard to prepare? Show it off at its best. Your customers will appreciate it!
- Home style dinning – Eating out of our two-piece to-go packaging is just like eating off of a regular dinner plate. Consumers can simply remove the lid and eat right out of these stylish containers without the need to dirty their own dishes. Sometimes eating from a hinged container is difficult, especially if there is limited room at your table.
- Upscale look – Our Smart Set black, two-piece food packaging really looks sharp. Their unique designs offer a look and presentation that resonates with consumers as something apart from the everyday crowd.
- Decoration – We can still emboss your brand name right on our clear lids. What better way to further your brand image and remind the consumer where that great food came from.
I know what you are thinking. This is going to cost way more than foam hinged packaging. Yes, normally with some 2-pc packaging they can be quite a bit more expensive. But at Genpak we have made ours extremely economical by using a foam laminated base along with the clear PET lid. Other 2-pc packaging uses solid polypro or PET bases, but we find you can have the best of both worlds with our packaging…a very nice, upscale package at a not so upscale price. Drop us a line to learn more about these great to-go or dine-in packaging solutions.
2-Pc Packaging Video
December 7th, 2012
Will overseas restaurant business rise or fall in the coming months?
Domestic restaurant sales remain on the bubble. It seems like owners and operators are unsure about 2013 at the moment and are cautious about expectations.
Size matters. NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s crazy soda ban has far reaching implications that will effect many industries. From cold drink cup manufacturers to distributors to cup dispensers and everything in between. Will it work to curb obesity? What do you think?
Top chefs make their culinary predictions for 2013. Is it just me or do these trends look familiar?