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Genpak on TV

January 19th, 2016

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.

Blue Apron Heirloom Tomato spot

Okay did you spot the packaging? I’ll give you a hint. The Colonel used one of our Smart Set Pro products and Blue Apron had one of our Clear Hinged Deli Containers.

Until next time…

NRA 2013

May 10th, 2013

NRA

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 black hinged containers

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.

Food Packaging – Yeah We Really Need It

March 5th, 2013

Superbags and packagingIt 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.

Dinnerware Options are Plentiful

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 SQ11 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.

HFSQ'sThere’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.

Food Packaging in the News

November 30th, 2012

Food packaging actually helps the environment. Think of all the food packaging that protects the foods you eat every day. Now think of what would happen to all that food if the packaging was not there.

Will the Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care) hurt the restaurant industry?  Many top level restaurant execs discuss their options moving forward.

Smart Phone use to find restaurants is on the rise. Personally, I’ve used my smart phone to find a place to eat many times.

Snack sized portions are clearly on the rise. When the worlds largest restaurant chain makes moves like this, you can bet serious research has gone into it. The good news for you all, is we have got snack sized portion food containers of all shapes and sizes from clear packaging to traditional insulated packaging.

Food Packaging & Food Industry News

October 18th, 2012

Packaging can make or break a meal. I could not have said it better.

Sustainable trends in food packaging. It seems packaging is constantly in the cross hairs, but there is no doubt the packaging industry is making great strides in reducing the amounts of materials used while still producing a functional part. The bullet points midway through this article really tells a compelling tale.

QR Codes are popping up everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I really like these little things. They make it very easy to inform customers about topics regarding a product.

Food Packaging in the News

October 4th, 2012

Sustainable mushroom packaging. Now that’s pretty cool.

More government regulations and delays are hurting the food and food packaging industry.

Occasion based wine, packaging tells the story of the grape. The last paragraph of this story is a testament to the power of packaging.

Ask for help when running your food service business. Okay so this one really doesn’t have anything to do with food packaging, but it does mirror a theme we’ve been preaching for some time now. That is to ask the experts in certain areas of your business for help before it becomes a problem. When it comes to food packaging, pick up the phone or type out an email and ask the question.

BPA deemed not a health risk from food packaging, in Canada. Just in case you were wondering, no Genpak products contain or have ever contained BPA.

Possible new substrate for food packaging. I’ll bet if some scientist worked hard enough, they could figure out how to use fingernail clippings as a suitable substrate. Okay that’s kinda gross, but you get the idea. The real trick is to introduce a substrate that packaging manufacturers can use on their equipment with little to know modifications and that is economically viable in the market.

Food Packaging And Container Needs For Fine Dining Restaurant

September 30th, 2012

[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

[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.

Food Packaging And Container Needs For Coffee Shops And Cafes

June 27th, 2012

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

People who have the drive to open or acquire their own coffee shop or cafe come from many backgrounds. Some have a passion for coffee, others love to make baked goods, while others enjoy greeting locals and commuters each and every morning. They love the core aspects of a cafe – the drink, food and people. What they don’t necessarily have a desire to do is get into the nitty gritty of which type of food packaging would work best to serve in house or takeout. That’s where this article comes in.

Here are some great tips on what to think about when placing your initial order of food packaging and containers.

Coffee Cups – Since you are a coffee shop, the plan is probably to sell a lot of coffee. This will be seen by more people than any other item in your shop. Be sure to think through how you want to be portrayed when choosing the best cups to serve your hot drinks in.

Innovative Bakery Containers – There are fantastic containers made specifically for baked goods in all shapes and sizes. This includes disposable bakery containers that can go from the oven, to the customer, and then back to the microwave for a quick heat up. This is any baker’s dream. A no hassle way to get food from your oven to the customer.

Paper or Plastic (or Foam) – What will you serve your food in or on? Will it be plastic, foam or biodegradable plates? What works best with your food offerings? What will your customers expect? Be consistent.  Staying with one material provides customers with a better experience.  Each material has its own set of benefits including strength, color options, appearance (with your specific food options) and versatility.  We can help you make the choice that is best for your particular scenario.

Utility Bowls (with lids) – You’ll want to have on hand some bowls that can be the solution in multiple situations. Utility bowls offer a medium for you to serve hot or cold, liquid or solid, group or individual servings. And by ordering bowls with pairing lids you instantly make them more useful by turning a dine-in packaging option to a take-out package.  Utilizing food packaging that have multiple uses is a huge money saver!

Plates – Having the right plates on hand is critical, especially if you are serving both baked goods (smaller sized plates) and meals. This allows your artistic talents to shine as you can better control how your food is presented. Not only will the configuration of the plate (round or square) play a role in your food appearance, but the color plays a big role as well.  Food operators are switching to a black plate option as many foods really pop against a dark background.

Takeout Containers – You’ll want to have takeout containers on hand for carryout or delivery orders. Sturdy hinged containers can now stand up to the most demanding foods, and many have compartments to keep sauces and dressings separate. As you place your takeout container order, you’ll want to think about which of your food items customers are most likely to take home with them or want delivered (if that is a service you offer).  Again, we can help guide you through the many choices available to the right package for you.

Eco Friendly – If your business is located in an area where legislation limits your choice of materials or your customer base prefers a biodegradable option Genpak can fill those needs as well with our Harvest® line of products.  We offer a full range of food packaging options that are third party certified compostable, source reduced and those that container post consumer recycled content.

Utensils – You’ll need to consider if you want to offer metal utensils or single use utensils. What would the customers expect, based on the type of business you are and the food they are ordering? Don’t be worried about choosing single use utensils. There are eco friendly options now available made from natural, annually renewable starches from our Harvest Starch line.

In addition to the above basics, some other items you may want to consider initially are:

  • Plastic cups with lids to hold desserts
  • Clear cups for serving water
  • Portion cups for condiments
  • Napkins
  • Straws
  • Presentation accents (likes doilies or toothpicks)

For operations looking to build a strong brand, flexible packaging and custom printing make perfect sense. Adding your logo to cups, branding your takeout bags and offering to go items in sharp looking packaging is just the start. Be sure to keep this in mind as you move forward with your cafe.

Remember, for all your food service packaging needs, Genpak is here make this process easy for you. Are you opening a coffee shop and would like some guidance? Have you found any of our other containers to be extremely useful in your business? Please let us know. We’re happy to assist you in any way we can, and are always open to any feedback you may have.

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