Posts Tagged ‘foodservice packaging’

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.

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

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 foodservice 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 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.

Post Consumer Recycled Content: Foam Food Packaging

May 1st, 2012

From time to time companies launch products that have the chance to make a real impact on the way we view things. For the food packaging industry, this is one of those times. Generations is the very first of its kind; foam food service packaging that is produced using 25% post consumer recycled content. What makes this so special you ask?  Well let’s cover the highlights.food containers made from recycled content

  • Purchasing products that contain post consumer recycled (PCR) content such as Generations, help divert millions of pounds of materials from landfills.
  • Products manufactured with PCR content help keep jobs domestic.
  • Generations foam food packaging products use less natural resources as a result of the PCR content.
  • Patronizing products with PCR content will help support local recycling programs. Remember, if there is no after-market for the recycled material, recycling efforts will fail. Generations foodservice packaging fills that previously unmet market.
  • Using Generations products helps sustain the environment for future generations.

And last but certainly not least…

  • Generations foam food packaging provides an economical solutions for customers that want a greener packaging profile but can’t quite afford some of the expensive alternatives available today.

Now, I’m not a big fan of throwing stones at the competition, but I do feel compelled to make you aware of claims being made regarding “recycled content” in foam packaging. Here is the straight skinny on that. Most all foam food packaging companies, us included, have always used their own internal scrap back into the production of their products. That is just standard operating procedure. Nothing new or special about it. But some companies are making claims that mislead consumers to believe their products contain post consumer recycled content. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is the case. Look for the words “post consumer” and only then you’ll be certain of the source for the recycled content.

In case you didn’t click the link up top, I’ll tell you our Generations brand products will consist of large & medium hinged dinner containers, large sandwich container, large all purpose container and a 5 compartment school tray. We should have all these products in stock and ready for sale by mid June. If you are traveling to the National Restaurant show this weekend (5/5), stop by our booth (#4045) and you can see some of the products first hand.

Food Packaging New: Trends for Food Packaging

March 9th, 2012

Flexible food packaging for processors is becoming all the rage. With good reason really. Lightweight, low cube, increased shelf life and great graphics to boot. The good news is, you don’t need to look far for good flexible packaging solutions.

Recycled content in food packaging plays a big role in consumer’s choices at the retail shelf. Packaging is playing a much more important role than in years past. Food safety, integrity and merchandising are all huge factors when choosing the correct packaging.

Panda Restaurant group is testing a brand new plate that allows consumer’s to choose three slightly smaller entree portions instead of two larger portions. I really like that design. That plate manufacturer is really on the ball :)

Campbell Soups decide to move away from BPA lining in soup cans. This is a case where a company was confident in the safety of its products, but still made the choice to make a change based on consumer demand. Who knows if there was a significant percentage of consumers that had strong opinions on this matter or not. My guess is probably not, but it still highlights the power consumers have in the products they choose to support.

Food Packaging Goes Hollywood

January 13th, 2012

The other evening I was watching a little TV and noticed one of our foam hinged take out containers being used during one of the scenes.  I knew it was a Genpak foam hinged container because I’ve worked here long enough to recognize our stuff at a quick glance.  Drives my wife nutty when we are out and I spot a Genpak item.  I’m driven to tell her the item code by the same instinctual drive that makes salmon swim upstream to their place of birth to mate.  But I digress.  Anyway, I thought it would be fun to spend a few minutes to try an find actual shots of our stuff being used in TV.  Here’s what I came up with.

The Big Bang Theory has quickly become one of my favorite shows. Here we see Sheldon and Leonard during one of the many meal scenes with our BLK10 and what looks to be our 20500. If you look really close at the inset picture in the lower right, you can see our signature mustache design which is the give away here.

food containers on TV

Since there are often take-out meal scenes in this show, it was easy to find several. Here is another scene Read the rest of this entry »

Packaging News Worth a Look

October 7th, 2011

I wish we spent more time talking about this topic of food waste. This short piece makes a lot of sense but is seldom discussed.

Really? Should it be up to the packaging companies to design their containers so skunks won’t get stuck in them? Maybe this blogger should spend more time throwing stones at the careless litterbugs out there.

Pack Expo breaks attendance records. It’s amazing just how large the packaging industry really is.

Food packaging news

September 15th, 2011

Horraayyy. Enough said.

Cup summit. Now this makes sense. Talk and brainstorm an issue to a resolution where everyone wins.

Styrene hysteria. Here’s a lengthy, but excellent piece on how misguided activists and over zealous, uniformed politicians can jeopardize an entire industry.

Food Packaging News

August 18th, 2011

Your old buddy Ken will be on vacation next week, but rest assured, he’ll be back the following week to keep you informed and entertained.

Packaging that extends food shelf life. Now that makes sense. Food spoilage/waste is a major contributor to the solid waste stream.

Sacramento legislature mulls over a bill that would most certainly kill jobs, stagnate local eatery businesses and drive up consumer prices. If you oppose this, email Alan Lowenthal who is the author of this job killing bill and tell him so. Instead tell him to support increased trash collection and to clamp down on litter bugs.

Salinas City Council has just passed a job killing bill that will do nothing more than put pressure on already strained local restaurant owners trying to make a living. Congratulations to all the council members for their incredible short sighted and misguided views. What better way to drive tourists and visitors away from a community than to make it more expensive to dine out. Why don’t these legislators listen to businesses?  Beats me.

Food packaging helps reduce the massive food waste issue. Here’s what the people on the Salinas council don’t want you to know.