Genpak Blog - The Latest On Foodservice Packaging & More

Genpak Packaging Goes Prime Time

November 10th, 2014

It’s always kind of cool when you see food packaging from your own company in national commercials.  Here’s some spots highlighting our awesome customers’ products using Genpak packaging.

This one from our friends at KFC features the FP016 microwave safe bowl.

Here’s one from Sabra Hummus using our SC017 container.

Outback Steakhouse always does a great job with our veterans.  This spot has their delicious bloomin onion, being served in our LW024 bowl.

I’ve also seen Genpak products in TV shows.


Food Packaging News

November 6th, 2014
  • Could anti-bacterial packaging be the next thing to come down the pike?  Would you purchase a food item knowing it was coated or treated with some type of anti-bacterial agent?  I’m not so sure I would.
  • An award was won for a dog food package shaped like a slipper.  Brilliant idea.  If you are a packaging person, you could spend all day looking at the cool designs on this site.
  • Stand up pouches are on the rise for candy makers.  This is something we are very familiar with as our own line of stand-up and pre-made bags have been in high demand.
  • Berkeley, CA has imposed the first ever tax on soda.  What do you think about that?  Government looking out for its citizens or reaching too far into people’s lives?  At least they did not try to ban it like Bloomberg did in NYC.  Instead tax it to death.

Food Packaging News

October 29th, 2014
  • The city of Yonkers will begin collection of #6 polystyrene for recycling!  Great news and way to go city leaders of Yonkers.  Finally a group of leaders who solve issues by creating jobs & commerce instead of banning what they don’t understand.
  • Is McDonald’s beef real?  Any pink slime, eyeballs or lips added?  Watch this video to see the truth.  (I’m off for a QPWC)
  • Taco Bell goes mobile with a new app allowing customers to order from their mobile devices and skip the lines to pick up their order.
  • Want to reduce greenhouse gases?  Use plastic instead of glass.  A study by Franklin & Associates may surprise you about the real story.
  • SKU rationalization and reduction is a hot topic.  Restaurant operators look to do more with less.  An excellent way to achieve this is with a hinged container that eliminates the need for side portion cups!

Recycling Polystyrene

October 17th, 2014

There is a belief by many out there that polystyrene and foamed polystyrene can’t be recycled.  Just because a local municipality chooses not to pick up products that carry a chasing arrows #6 “recycle logo”, certainly does not mean that material can’t be successfully recycled and turned into useful products that re-enter the world of commerce.  In fact there is a booming industry that employs many Americans to support this effort.  This video at 10 minutes is a little long, but well worth viewing.  It demonstrates the process from start to finish.


National Manufacturing Day

October 3rd, 2014

Today is National Manufacturing Day!  People ask me all the time who I work for and when I tell them it is Genpak, they usually say, what do they do?  My favorite thing to say is, although you likely have never heard of us, I can almost guarantee at one point in your life, you have used one of our products.  Whether it is the tray that held your pound of ground beef,  the container that housed your favorite take out meal or the packaging your local grocery store uses in their bakery department…there’s a good chance it was a Genpak product.  As a manufacturer ourselves, we support National Manufacturing Day!  It is companies like ours and countless others that have helped make America a great country.  Shake the hand of someone who works in the manufacturing industry today.  You’ll be glad you did!

Busting Polystyrene Myths

October 3rd, 2014

The American Chemistry Counsel has just published an excellent piece of literature that busts some of the crazy polystyrene myths that are floating around the internet.  These myths were developed by people and groups who have a specific agenda and are designed to frighten and intimidate people into their specific narrative.

Myth #1 – Foamed Polystyrene is not safe for food contact.  BUSTED – The US Food & Drug Administration has determined for over 50 years that polystyrene is safe for use in foodservice products.   In fact when asked to comment about the safety of foamed polystyrene products used for foodservice, the National Toxicology Program Director, Dr. Linda Birnbaum was quoted as saying  “…in finished products, certainly [poly]styrene is no an issue.”

Myth #2 – Foamed Polystyrene makes up a huge portion of litter.  BUSTED – According to a May 2012 national report by environmental consulting firm Environmental Resources Planning, foam foodservice items makes up 1.5% of all litter.  Having said this, we must state that ALL litter is bad!  In fact we’ve mentioned many times in the past within these blog pages that local governments should focus their efforts on busting litter bugs and educating people about litter instead of whipping out the “ban pen”.  It’s been proven in communities that have banned one type of material in favor of another, that it did nothing regarding litter except trade one type of litter for another.

Myth #3 – Foamed Polystyrene can’t be recycled.  BUSTED – 20% of Californians can now recycle polystyrene foam items in their local curbside programs.  There are other communities that have jumped on that bandwagon and we support and applaud those efforts!

Myth #4 – Styrene = Polystyrene.  BUSTED – Polystyrene and styrene are two different substances.  Yes, polystyrene is made from styrene, but equating the two would be like saying diamonds are the same exact thing as carbon.  After all, diamonds are made from carbon.  But anybody who has purchased a diamond knows they they cost a lot more than a lump of carbon.

For more truthful information regarding foamed polystyrene and other environmental related questions, please visit our Green Room.  We’ve done our best to provide as much spin free truths that are readily verifiable.

Garbage to Energy Technolgy

September 25th, 2014

How cool would it be to some day take your garbage and turn it into energy?  It looks like those possibilities are right around the corner.  I for one would love to take my non-recyclable materials and use them to fill up my home fuel oil tank.  Sounds kind of like Mr. Fusion is being realized!


Foam Food Packaging Gets A Win

September 11th, 2014

Despite what this person writes in this article for the Huff & Puff Post, Congress has made the right choice.  What this author fails to mention is all the alternatives they would so gladly replace foam food packaging for, is made in China.  How typical of the stone throwers.  Ban or make illegal what you do not understand or that which does not fit into their agenda.  The facts are:

  • Foam food packaging has been used safely for over 45 years.
  • Foam food packaging is still the most economical choice of any material out there.
  • Alternatives or biodegradables disposed of in a landfill will not “go away” in our life time.
  • Alternatives or biodegradables littered into the environment will not magically go away.  In communities that have banned foam, studies done afterwords show the amount of litter had not decreased, but rather only the type of litter changed.

As I’ve said many times in this blog, if consumers want to switch away from foam, then so be it.  That’s how supply and demand works.  In fact we offer a whole host of alternative packaging options.  But let the consumer make that decision instead of forcing a change down their throats with legislation and fear mongering.

Clear Plastic Food Packaging

August 28th, 2014

Recently the Wall Street Journal posted a story on how see through packaging boosted retail sales of food items.   While this article mainly talked about flexible packaging like chip, snack and power bar films, we have seen the same trend in solid, plastic food packaging as well.  The demand for our Clear Hinged Deli containers has never been stronger.  Customers & consumers alike love the crystal clarity these containers offer PLUS the added protection and shelf life a rigid hinged container offers.   Another added benefit of these containers is they way they may be merchandised.  Here’s a great example of our delis in action at Holly Land Bakery & Deli in FreshToGoDeliMinneapolis, MN.  They do a wonderful job of displaying the product inside and also offer a surface area for the nutritional label.  In this instance the containers are being used for all sorts of confectionery delights. Our clear food packaging is not just for the bakery section though.  They are also used to package dried fruit, nuts, cheese, deli meats, candy as well as cut fruit and cut vegetables as seen here.  The broccoli and cauliflower really pop in a clear hinged container, don’t you think?

Another example of clear packaging making huge gains for real estate space on retail shelves is the explosion of hummus.  Walk down any grocery store in American today and you will find a very large section set aside for hummus.  Nearly all of the packaging used is a clear, round two piece container, we refer to as our Supermarket Containers.  Produced from the same material as our clear hinge deli, these containers are all #1 curb side recyclable and are also produced with 30% post consumer recycled content.  So not only do they perform wonderfully
on the retail shelf displaying and protecting the food products within, they also have a very nice environmental message to tell as well.  It’s a win win no matter how you slice it!  Here we see that familiar red lid of the Sabra Hummus packaging.  Delicious hummus in a very nice package that allows consumers a view of their favorite garnish option.  I’m a roasted red pepper guy.  What’s your favorite?


Food Operators Fight Back

June 26th, 2014

Cheers to Harris Sukita owner of Simply Ono lunch wagon and Jennifer Hino who sells specialty desserts in Hawaii, for standing up to big brother government out there.  It seems that City Councilman Stanley Chang is trying to strong arm them into using one type of food packaging over another.  Mr. Ono and Ms Hino both call out valid reasons why this “law” would hurt their businesses by means of lost profit and poor product presentation.  Mr. Ono stated it best when he said, “When government starts telling me that I have to start giving up some of my profit to put into somebody else’s pocket, that’s when it becomes an issue”.  Well said sir!

This is yet another prime example of a grossly misinformed politician who is trying to score cheap points by targeting small business owners.  Councilman Chang points out that foam food packaging will not breakdown in our lifetime.  Perhaps Mr. Chang should do his homework on modern day landfills.  They are designed so nothing breaks down…not even organic materials.  Also, as the opponents to this bully in the hallway bill point out, most foam food packaging is turned into electricity at HPOWER along with other refuse.  Mr. Chang also claims that foam food packaging contains an substance that may cause cancer.  This again is a typical scare tactic used to frighted and intimidate people.  Foam food packaging has been used safely, with zero incidence of cancer for over 40 years.   What more proof does he want?  It’s like saying I won’t drink water because it contains two hydrogen molecules and I’m worried I will explode if I drink it.  It’s absurd as is his bill.

Again, I’m not against compostable food packaging.  Far from it.  At Genpak we sell our Harvest Fiber & Harvest Paper products by the truckload.  What I’m against is the government telling us what we can and can’t use to serve food in.  This should be decided by the food operators and their customers.  If the desire is to move from one type to another, fantastic.  I’m on board.  But when big government moves in like Mr. Chang is doing, and starts strong arming its citizens, that’s when it becomes a problem.  Keep up the fight Mr. Sukita and Ms. Hino!


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