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Dinner’s Knocking at Your Door: Considering The Right Packaging for Meal-Kit Delivery Services.

February 2nd, 2018 RSS feed icon

Meal-kit delivery service has become one of the most transformative platforms in the foodservice industry. Companies like Green Chef, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron are shifting consumers’ eating behavior by the box, as they now gain the benefit of having delicious meals while cutting the preparation time in half. Starting as an unfamiliar practice with little recognition, the meal-kit trend is now disrupting the grocery retail industry, fast food chains, and e-commerce platforms. Even these sectors have adjusted to the radical change with the advent of their own meal delivery services.

When it comes to nutritional preferences, preparation time, and expenditure, meal-kit delivery services offer market flexibility as a powerhouse to those consumer needs. Genpak meets this demand with reputable innovations like  Oven Ready Food Trays, Smart Set Pro, Clear Hinged Foodservice Containers, and ProView to propel meal-kit industry growth. We offer various packaging options that support food creativity and diversity, which overlaps the recipe offerings that meal-kit businesses provide on a weekly basis.

These products help make fitting every ingredient in the box count:

 

 

MEAL SOULTIONS – GENPAK’S OVEN READY FOOD TRAYS

Genpak’s Oven Ready Food Trays are microwavable, oven-safe, freezable, top-shelf dishwasher safe. This product line combines product uniformity, strength and elegance coupled with durability. From sizes 8 oz. to 26 oz.

CLEAR FOOD PACKAGING

Our Hinged and Two-Piece container line has to be one of our most successful designs that may be used in a variety of applications. From sizes 4 oz. to 64 oz.

SMART SET PRO

Our Smart Set Pro containers are produced with a revolutionary ‘textured’ microwave-safe material that will wow your customers. This textured finish feels cooler to the touch when compared to traditional microwavable containers, even when hot food is the application. From sizes 12 oz. to 48 oz.

PROVIEW

Features the premium look that a black container offers food items and the superior food product visualization of clear packaging.

HARVEST PRO

Genpak’s Harvest Pro products offer an enhanced environmental solution for your food packaging needs.

 

As a forerunner in manufacturing premium quality, single-use foodservice packaging products, we ensure top quality food packaging that is sustainable and eco-friendly. To request free samples of any of the products perfect for meal-kit delivery services, click here.

Don’t Like When Your Food Touches? We Have the Solution.

January 26th, 2018 RSS feed icon

black food tray

What role does food separating or fork stacking play when enjoying a full plated meal?  The answer depends not on what you eat, but how you eat it.

As a southern-cuisine fanatic, nothing shouts “comfort food” to me more than a plate of turkey, macaroni & cheese, collard greens, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potato dessert, and a fully baked roll. I don’t have a problem with the some of the food touching each other. But here’s where my simple-classic meal gets complicated: the moment the juices from my collard greens and the runny gravy invade my freshly baked roll, then somehow gets trapped under my mac and cheese. That’s when I find myself having a 5-second moment of silence as I try to process the atrocity of my food drowning in a puddle of liquid.

But no need for sympathy. The worst-case scenario involves the food separatist who absolutely hates when their food touches. This fear can be identified as brumotactillophobia. It’s a mild form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), so most people who find themselves in this category simply enjoy each food item individually. Anyone with this phobia believes that food mixing & mingling is an utter corruption, and it takes away the control of how they want to enjoy their mealtime. Unless we’re talking about foods that are sandwiched between two burger buns, wrapped in a zesty burrito, or even tossed up to make a fresh salad (in other words, foods that are meant to be combined), then people with this problem prefer their appetizing meals, separately.

The cure is in the close-off.

Every consumer has a little brumotacillophobia depending on the meal, and Genpak’s Close-Off Food Containers are the best way to prevent any messy spills or clashing between food items. Since consumers are looking up to the foodservice industry to deliver the best food experience, the off-premise dining market is a hotspot for close-off food containers. They are perfect for take-outs, third-party delivery, and any other off-premise occasions. To condense your search for them, the containers are available in a free Close-Off Sample Kit, which can be found here. Check out our Close-Off To-Go Containers video below to see the food packaging at a glance.

Goodbye brumotacillophobia! Genpak’s Close-Off Food Containers are the cure!

Take-Out Occasions

January 16th, 2018 RSS feed icon

While I’m not ready to have a drone deliver my food, I am a strong believer in take-out food. Whether it’s being delivered straight to my door, or I pick it up on my way home from my favorite restaurant, when someone else cooks for me it’s a delight. Here at Genpak we think every take-out occasion should be special. Food arriving as you expect it, hot and mess-free. There’s nothing worse than getting your food home, or delivered, and it’s all shaken around, French fries sitting in some sauce that came on your burger, or worse yet, cold and lack luster fries from your favorite restaurant.

compartmented food containers

Smart Set Pro containers are recyclable, reusable, and microwave safe.

Genpak has containers to make every off-premise dining experience a great one.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when sauces are spilling out of the container and all over the bag and subsequent containers. I received Asian food one time and the containers were stapled all the way around… um, shouldn’t they work the way they were designed? Genpak’s Smart Set Pro containers are microwave safe and leak resistant. No staples needed.

Order accuracy is another hot button issue of mine. I want what I ordered. Is that too much to ask? Clear topped containers, like Genpak’s new ProView containers, are great for helping get orders right. These containers are also microwave-safe so I can zap it in the microwave if it doesn’t arrive hot enough after a long car ride. ProView is recyclable so I’m not filling up my trash can with rubbish. These containers can be recycled into new products for some else to enjoy.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Genpak’s oven ready containers are great for bake and show applications as well. Genpak has you covered from appetizers through dessert.

Every take-out order should be treated as a special occasion. Someone else is fixing a lovely meal for you. Presentation is key to keeping customers returning. Packaging plays a big role in that. Plates to share, food to nibble, let Genpak help make your take-out occasion a special one.

APET or OPS? The Difference is CLEAR.

December 5th, 2017 RSS feed icon

APET vs. OPS

The Hard, Brittle Truth Behind OPS

Transparent food packaging is becoming a driving force in a faster purchasing decisions. So, when it comes to OPS and APET, the difference is clear. OPS is an oriented polystyrene that can be formed into plastic. This substrate is a cheaper option, but this low-priced material can only go so far. APET is anamorphous polyethylene terephthalate, and is uncompromising, safe, sustainable, and worth the investment. Here are the unparalleled qualities in APET that makes OPS “crack” under pressure.

1 | Unmatched Clarity

There’s nothing more important in food service than authentic food presentation. It benefits both the operator who displays the food item and the consumer who makes the purchasing decision. While OPS is usually made for bakery food items, APET material offers a heightened transparency.

Even with lids, APET is unmatched with superior clarity. You don’t have to confirm that you have Coke or tea, and water or Sprite. Since OPS lids produce haziness, you sometimes can’t help but lift the lid to guarantee that you have the right refreshment. APET on the other hand, is much more transparent where consumers can ensure that they have the right beverage without having to peep through a blurry lid.

2 | Longer Shelf Life

Every food item has an expiration date, and APET is a great candidate for offering a longer shelf life. Its structural integrity serves as a defense against oxygen to prolong the lifespan of a food item. This substrate also works well under cooler temperatures up to -20◦F, safe for a refrigerator or freezer. From transporting the container from one location to the next, consumers can ensure that it’s effective in preserving a food item without caving in or cracking open.

OPS is limited in versatility when it comes to preserving food items at room temperature or in a cooler setting. It’s very brittle and is more likely to shatter. Oxygen can easily seep into a container made from this substrate and cause food spoilage.

3 | Strong and Safe

APET is durable, cut resistant, and uncompromising when handled. OPS tends to be rough around the edges, making it difficult to get along with. As a company that thrives off safety, we recognize that OPS is a risky investment because it is a firm plastic that’s prone to cracking. Brittle substrates like this can challenge your safety, causing scratches and cuts. It leaves behind sharp edges when cracked, which is why it is not a recommended substrate for drinking cups.

4 | #1 Curbside Recyclable

APET is a versatile substrate that is widely accepted by most municipalities curb side recycling programs. Most recycling firms do not accept OPS because it is more difficult to break down and reconstruct. Genpak’s transparent containers are constructed with APET and up to 30% post-consumer recycled content, in our conservational efforts to eliminate waste, and reduce the burden on the environment.

At Genpak, we’re passionate about engineering products that perfectly blend with immediate packaging needs. These options can be found in our Hinged Deli Containers, Hinged Bakery Containers, Supermarket Containers, Hinged Food Containers, and Cold Drink Cups. We ensure a forerunning spot in markets where APET products are needed.

clear deli containers - APET

Home Delivery Explosion Continues – Are you ready?

March 15th, 2017 RSS feed icon

The home delivery explosion isn’t ending any time soon. Are you ready? Every restaurant should be at least thinking about making this option accessible to their communities. On-demand food service delivery brings food directly from your restaurant to the customers, driven through mobile apps and online ordering.

Millennials are driving change in many different areas, food service included. As you might have guessed, Millennials are tech savvy, typically using up to two or three different devices each day. They are using said devices to connect with friends and companies, to research and review products, and to place food orders for delivery or take-out. They already love coming in to your restaurant, so why not connect to them when they don’t feel like eating out.

The restaurant industry is a roughly $490 billion market. Food delivery makes up 43% of that marketing and is continuing to grow. Engage with your loyal customers in and out of your restaurant. Millennials and Baby Boomers, alike, want great food at their finger tips.

RestaurantBusiness.com has a great article about how to get started with food delivery. There are lots of questions to ask before you get started in offering your food for delivery. Which service should I use, how will this change my business? Are we prepared to take on the increase in take-out orders? Do we have the right packaging for full meals to travel?

Genpak is here to help. Take a look at our home delivery video to get free samples, request a call, and learn more.

 

Easily Bring Recycling Into Your Restaurant Or Foodservice Business

January 8th, 2015 RSS feed icon

recycling chartThere are different ways in which food service businesses are environmentally friendly. Some use locally grown produce. Some offer reusable containers and packaging, or allow customers to bring their own in. Some use containers that are compostable or made of recycled content. Others use eco friendly chemicals for cleaning. Some find ways to conserve water doing dishes, while still others Use solar power or wind power to generate electricity. The list goes on and on, and many are finding new ways to make Go Green part of the way they do business.

For those businesses that have not initiated any eco friendly movements yet, or think it may be too hard to get started, we want to provide steps to incorporate one of the easiest eco friendly things you can do: Read the rest of this entry »

Food Packaging Decisions

June 16th, 2014 RSS feed icon

I can’t tell you how many times I get calls from food service operators, confectioners and food processors looking for custom food packaging to fit their new creation or menu option. Now that by itself sounds great, and it is. The problem arises when the packaging to transport these culinary works of art are at the bottom of their to do list when it should really be the second item on the list.

The reason for this is the cost to make custom shapes and sizes can be a significant dollar amount. Without getting too technical, I can tell you it can get into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A capital outlay of this magnitude is often something people just weren’t thinking about. Especially when they were probably thinking the packaging would be around 2%, maybe 3% of their overall cost. Now a whole new set of costs need to be justified for the operators. Often times on a brand new menu or food item, the “for sure” sales volume is not there to support such an expense. Sure we do get those calls from the larger, national food processors or foodservice operators who can handle this sort of thing with the power of their particular brand to support custom food packaging, but for the small and mid-sized companies, an extra $100,000 would kill the whole deal. They’d now be faced with going out and finding a smaller, custom forming company who might be able to make what they need without the large tooling costs, but their final part price will be 30% or more than what they were hoping which is no bargain either.

There is hope! Just move the packaging part of your new food product equation up to the number two spot.  A early on call to your friendly food packaging specialist could save thousands later down the road. We can work with you to design a packaging solution utilizing our massive inventory of existing footprints. 90% of the time we already have a design that will work perfectly. But for that other 10%, sometimes just a minor tweak to the food item or perhaps a simple count change (6 muffins instead of 9) is all it takes to design that perfect package. Perfect both economically and functionally. However if that packaging call is the last on the list and all other aspects are set in stone, it can sometimes be an up hill climb to find an economical solution.

So for all you food processors and foodservice operators out there who like to create new tasty items for us to eat, do me and you both a favor and bump your food packaging decision a few notches up the to do list.  I guarantee you’ll be glad you did!

 

Choosing The Right Take-Out Container

October 15th, 2013 RSS feed icon

For me, the first change in how restaurants view take out packaging, began shortly after 9/11. Late September and October traditionally offers and abundance of Distributor food shows (both in the Fall and Spring). As I attended these shows a common theme came from the restaurant owners that attended these show. Their dine–in business was down but their take out business had increased. This was due to a nervous public not feeling safe to dine out just yet but they still wanted to enjoy their local restaurant’s signature entrees. The traditional doggie bag packaging did not fully represent their “Brand”. This gave rise to decorated containers and black take out packaging Texas Take Out(highlights the food and not the package).

The second change I noticed was when my wife and I decided that, because we now had two young children, it was time to join the “Family Van generation”. As we shopped for this family transportation device, I noticed that a big selling feature was the multiple cup holders and easy folding tray tables these vans offered. We are truly a mobile society and the growth of the internet and social media makes that growth much faster. Imagine telling your parents back in the 1960’s, that the delicious looking sandwich you were eating came from…..the local Gas Station?

The take out industry has exploded in every shape and variety. Statistics show that more people take out their food than eat it in the restaurant. I used to tell distributor sales people about our products and how they function; now I tell them to ask the question to the restaurant owner. What do you want out of your take out program? Having a solid to go program helps you realize a tremendous source of profit. No wait staff, no waiting for table turnover, and no dish washing.

They say “you eat with your eyes” and if your brand is your food, then choosing take out packaging in this day and age is critical to your bottom line

Food Packaging And Container Needs For Fine Dining Restaurant

September 30th, 2012 RSS feed icon

[This is a continuation of our “Starting A Food Business” Series]

Thinking about starting a fine dining restaurant? Or maybe you just opened the doors on your new establishment? Whatever stage your business plan is in, you may have a mindset that paper, plastic and foam food containers are not part of your future. If this is the case, take a few moments to realize that it may be time to revisit your restaurant plan.

Paper. Plastic. Foam. These are not words normally associated with a fine dining Read the rest of this entry »

Food Packaging And Container Needs For Food Delivery Businesses

August 20th, 2012 RSS feed icon

[This is a continuation of our “Starting A Food Business” Series]

Is it time to start thinking about adding food delivery as an option to your customers? Or are you just starting your food business, and want to use delivery as the primary way to get food into your customers’ hands? Whichever case, being prepared for the challenges will make it a great deal easier and make your customers much more satisfied.

And one of the most pressing challenges is how to keep the food your customers will eat, tasting (and looking) just as good as if they ate it as soon as you plated it. Now, time from packaging your food to getting to your customer’s door is an important factor, but that’s not our expertise. A critical factor we’re prepared to help you with is the packaging and containers you should consider when looking to start delivery, or to improve your current delivery operations.

Why is this such an important element? Because poor food packaging can lead to spills, messy looking meals, food that needs to be reheated, cold food that is too warm or countless other mishaps that could yield a poor customer experience. That is something all businesses want to avoid. So here are some of the top things to consider when setting your food container and packaging plan for your delivery operations.

  • Think of your image. If you serve family style or catering sized meals, you must think of the image you want to portray for your business. If you are a more upscale type brand, high quality plastic plates will go over a lot better than regular paper plates, which would work well for a local barbecue business.  Remember who your competition is, as well as what your customers expect from you. And then go out and exceed all expectations.
  • Microwave Safe Containers can be useful. Does your food need to be finished off once it arrives at your customer’s house? Is it likely that the portion will be eaten over a few days? If this is the case, a microwave safe container is a great option to have on hand. Most of these containers have a stylish look, and show the customer that you really do have their interest in mind.
  • Hinged Containers make it easy. For individual meals, a hinged container can be a life saver for a delivery business. You don’t have to find a matching lid each and every time you pull a meal together. Just grab one of the hinged containers and start plating. And many hinged containers also have compartmented styles, so you can keep each item of the meal separate.
  • Ensure your customers remember you. Branding delivery bags or pre packaged foods can go along way in keeping in the forefront of your customers minds. Flexible packaging and branded solutions ensure that your name (and hopefully contact information) stays with your customer longer than just when they answer the door and pay the delivery person.
  • Give your cups lids. A piece of foil just won’t do. If you are giving your customers the option to order individually sized drinks, make sure that you have a large supply of quality cups with matching secure lids.

When you are delivering food to customers, be sure that you are delivering in the best way possible. You want their entire dining experience (from calling in and placing the food order to first opening up the container and seeing how good the food looks to diving in and eating) to be as enjoyable as possible. Any hiccup along the way could be just the reason for them to call a competitor next time around.

Remember, for all your food service packaging needs, Genpak is here make this process easy for you. Have you recently added food delivery to your business? What obstacles have you run into? Let us know what questions you have and we will help you out.

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