Celebrating 50 years of Quality Food Packaging

Product Spotlight – September

By Jeff Cole
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Sorry I missed last month’s Product Spotlight. I could lie and say I was traveling or buried in work or something along those lines, but the truth of the matter was I was on vacation and never got to it. Anyway, before we talk about this months spotlight, I need to vent about something so bare with me.

What ever happened to value? It is fast disappearing everywhere you look. Your dollar’s buying power is steadily going down hill. Look at flights. The ticket price used to include things like your luggage a beverage and a bad sandwich on the longer flights. Now it only includes half a soda (no ice) and a bag with 4 pretzels in it. And that bad sandwich, well that’s extra now. Yes I get the fact that the airline industry is in trouble, but you’d think with the cuts being made, they’d make it up elsewhere. Maybe I’m missing it but it seems like every flight is overbooked and there are fewer and fewer personnel to answer questions making taking a flight as pleasant as having your gums scrapped.

It seems the single use food service packaging market is not immune to this devaluation process. Over the last several weeks we’ve seen some of our competition take the tactic of simply removing part weight from a product in a race to the gutter on pricing. At first glance this lower price may seem attractive to some operators, but what’s really happening is the products are being made thinner, lighter and cheaper and subsequently less valuable to you and your most valuable customers. The first time a food service operator gets a cleaning bill because a take out container has broken apart on the trip home will not only negate any savings, but more importantly will have caused the loss of a customer.

So, all you restaurant owners and food service operators out there, I submit to you, when you get that hot deal from a Genpak look alike, make sure it’s an apples to apples comparison and not a container that’s half the weight and subsequently half the strength. You may save a couple pennies up front, but a lost customer will cost you more to get back.

I feel better now. Tell you what, when writing this Product Spotlight piece, I’ll write “value” in parenthesis every time we cover something that’s a value added feature Genpak offers.   

Let’s talk about dinnerware. It’s something most everybody uses every single day of the year. If you sit down to eat, chances are pretty good your food will be in a bowl, plate or platter of some sort. Many fast casual and quick service restaurants use single use dinnerware items to serve their fare which is where Genpak comes into the picture. 

All told, we have 83 different items across 4 different substrates (that’s a fancy way of saying material). It is safe to say, if you can’t find the dinnerware item you are looking for with us, then we haven’t invented it yet.

With so many options, you may think it can get confusing when choosing the right item for your application. Not to worry. It really comes down to three choices. Do you want a light, medium or heavy weight part? That’s pretty much it.

Our Celebrity plate and bowl products would fall into the light or economy option. Produced from foamed polystyrene, these products are generally used for lighter fare food items such as sandwiches, wraps, burgers & fries and most breakfast items to name a few. Our Celebrity line has become veryCelebrity dinnerware popular in the hotel industry to serve their continental breakfast menu items on. Because our products are designed so well, I’ve seen them used with other, heavier food items such as Asian meals. If you are unsure, you can always ask us for some free samples (value) to do your own testing. 

Our Elite line would be considered a medium weight offering. These items are the same as the Celebrity products, but produced with a laminated, foamed polystyrene material. This layer of lamination on the top or usable elite dinnerwaresurface offers extra strength and a cut resistance feature. Pretty much any menu item can be served on our Elite food service dinnerware items (value) making it extremely versatile and probably the most popular of our lines. Elite products are offered in either white or black to match your particular motif.

Our new S4 line is also made from a laminated material but instead of a traditional round configuration, we developed a contemporary, square geometry to offer a very up scale appearance, but at an economy priceS4 dinnerware point (value), which is something that has our competition scrambling. I won’t go into great detail on this one since we covered the line on a previous Product Spotlight which I’m sure, you’ve all read and put to memory.

Our Sihouette and Aristocrat plastic dinnerware plate and bowl lines would be considered heavy duty products. These are both made with solid aristocrat-silhouette dinnerwarepolystyrene plastic and can hold any menu item imaginable. Many times you’ll see these types of dinnerware products used by catering companies and fast casual restaurants for their dine in service. 

We also offer single use dinnerware items produced from annually renewable resources, that are also BPI certified compostable. I’m talking, of course about our Harvest Collection line. These products look and feel like our traditional plastic products, but have the added benefit of being made from plants (value).

I was going to include our Specialty Bowls and Smart Set serving platters, but I see now that I’ve rambled on for too long and you are probably getting tired. We’ll save those for another time, but I would be remiss if I did not mention our clear lids that accompany those dinnerware lines just discussed. Especially since we are just now introducing most lids with an anti-fog feature at no additional charge (value). When is the last time a company added a new feature or upgrade and didn’t want an up charge? Well you still may have to pay if you want that really bad airline sandwich, but we’ll keep doing everything we can to make your single use food service spending dollar stronger than ever before.