Celebrating 50 years of Quality Food Packaging

Tips from the Packaging Pros

Are Your Leftover Containers Microwave Safe?

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Microwave

In today’s day and age, convenience is key. And that carries over into food service.

There’s no doubt about it. Leftover food that can be reheated right in the leftover container is just plain convenient for your customer! That’s one less dirty dish for them to clean.

Microwave safe leftover containers are a premium feature for your restaurant. But what exactly makes a container microwave safe? We answer that question in addition to other benefits of microwave safe containers below!

What Makes a Container Microwave Safe?

Not all plastic containers are created equal. There are many different types of plastics used for food containers, and just because a container looks microwave safe doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

The truth is, there is no federal regulation that determines which plastics are considered microwave safe vs unsafe. That designation is up to the manufacturer to decide and label.

However, there are some characteristics that set microwave safe plastic containers apart from the rest. Generally speaking, plastic containers that are safe in the microwave are sturdy, resistant to high temperatures, and after microwaving still feels cool to the touch. Containers made from polypropylene, or plastic #5–like our Clover and ProView containers–are generally considered microwave safe. Containers made from polystyrene, or plastic #7–like styrofoam–are not.

Unsure if your Genpak container is microwave safe? Check out our past blog on ‘How To Tell If a Container Is Safe to Microwave.’

Additional Benefits of Microwave Safe Containers

Besides convenience, there’s a few other pluses to microwave safe leftover containers you may not have thought about…

Customers Can Re-Use for Leftovers at Home

For eco conscious customers looking to reduce their waste, microwavable containers are sturdy enough to be washed, re-used, and reheated again!

It’s Dishwasher Safe Too

If a plastic container is microwave safe, it is most likely top-rack dishwasher safe, too. That means you don’t have to hand wash it. It can go right in the dishwasher with your dinner dishes!

It’s The Green Choice

Microwavable containers are ultimately a greener choice for your customers because they can be reused again and again, which reduces disposable container waste, and saves valuable resources.

Shop Our Microwave Safe Takeout & Leftover Containers

Want a container that looks great and can stand up to the heat of the microwave? Genpak has a microwave safe container for every food application. Shop our microwave safe containers including our Clover and ProView lines!

How to Make Your Food Pop in Takeout Containers

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Genpak Proview Containers

As the old adage goes, you eat with your eyes first. With take out and food delivery on the rise, more and more meals are being consumed away from restaurants and at home. So how do you ensure customers achieve restaurant quality presentation at home?

The truth is, food presentation for takeout is largely dependent on your takeout container. The wrong takeout container can make your food soggy and messy-looking. In other words, your takeout container can make or break your customer’s experience with your food. Below, we review some key factors to look for in takeout containers to enhance food presentation.

Food Presentation Tips for Take Out: What to Look For in Take Out Containers

When choosing a take out container that will enhance your food’s presentation, be on the lookout for these four features:

Transparent Lid

First impressions start even before your customer takes off the lid! Rather than a solid or translucent lid, a transparent lid allows the customer superior product visualization so customers get a richer experience by being able to see the delicious food inside!

Lid Vents

It’s no good having a transparent lid if food visibility is obscured with condensation that collects on the inside of the lid. Lid vents are essential to ensure your lid stays crystal clear for maximum visibility and prevents your food from getting soggy, especially if you are serving grilled or fried food.

A Black Base

A black base is the perfect backdrop for showing off everything from salad to burgers to sushi to dessert. Why? Black makes food colors pop, enhancing product visualization, as well as giving the container a sleek, premium feel.

Separation Walls

If your sides and mains are in the same container, keeping foods from sliding around during transport is essential, so that once the customer finally lifts the lid, they’re not met with a messy meal. A closed-off compartment food container provides separate compartments for sides and mains, so foods don’t merge during travel.

Achieve Restaurant Quality Presentation with ProView

Our ProView containers combine these four presentation features into one convenient packaging solution. With crystal clear transparent lids, optional lid vents, a sleek black base, and closed-off compartment options, you can ensure restaurant quality presentation from kitchen to home. 

For more information on the ProView product line, check out our ProView Hinged Container product page!

Why Vented Food Packaging Matters

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Vented vs nonvented takeout containers

It’s all happened to us before. You order takeout from your favorite restaurant, you bring it home ready to munch on crispy french fries or fried chicken wings and… your food is soggy.

Nothing spoils a takeout meal quite like wilted and soggy food. That’s why many years back, Genpak developed the first vented food container. Since then, we’ve made many upgrades to our vented container to continue to keep foods restaurant-quality for our customers.

If you’re not yet utilizing vented takeout containers for your business, let’s see if we can change your mind. Below, learn about the benefits of using vented take out containers like our Clover and Proview containers, and how vented food packaging keeps food crispy and fresh!

What Are Vented Takeout Containers?

Simply put, vented takeout containers are typical takeout containers with one major difference: they have holes in the lids to help steam escape. That being said, not all vented takeout containers are created equal. Let’s go over two qualities in our Clover and Proview containers that set Genpack’s venting technology apart:

Permanent Venting vs Optional Venting

Traditionally vented takeout containers will contain permanent holes in the lids. Optional vented takeout containers feature perforated tabs you can push down for ventilation. This versatility allows you to use the containers for foods that don’t need to be vented as well, in addition to giving you the option to partially vent the container.

Venting While Stacked

Since many customers are ordering more than one item, it’s critical that once you stack these food containers on top of each other, vent holes are not blocked and venting can still occur. Our Clover hinged containers have vents that stay activated even when stacked.

How Does Venting Work?

Fried, grilled, and crispy food’s number one enemy is moisture. When hot food is placed in a closed container, it lets off steam which collects on the lid of the container and forms condensation. This condensation then collects and drips back down to food, making it soggy.

Genpak’s superior venting technology allows steam to escape the container, preventing condensation from forming in the first place. That way, during the ride from restaurant to home, food doesn’t get soggy, and when it’s time to eat, your takeout still has the taste and texture the restaurant intended it to.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Vented Takeout Containers?

Considering using vented takeout containers for your restaurant? Here are the major benefits you’ll get by utilizing vented containers like our Clover and Proview containers:

Keeps Food Crispy & Fresh

As we’ve recapped above, our containers are engineered to preserve the temperature and texture of fried, grilled, and crispy foods longer. No more soggy food!

Vent Only Where Needed

Optional venting, allows for you to vent certain areas of your container, like the compartment holding fries, allowing the rest of the entree to remain unvented.

Great for Reheating

Vents aren’t just great for takeout, they also help with heating up leftovers! Because our containers are microwave safe, customers can reheat their leftovers right in the container. The vents allow for steam release in the microwave without expelling all of the moisture from the food.

Learn More About Our Vented Takeout Containers!

At Genpak, we take pride in continuing to offer vented food packaging options for restaurants and eateries. If you’ve got questions on our food venting technology or would like a free sample to try it for yourself, contact us!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Foam Alternative Food Packaging

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If local laws are dictating you use foam alternative packaging at your restaurant for takeout and delivery, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There are many polystyrene-free packaging options out there to consider, and various packaging features to weigh as you make your choice.

Foam Alternative Food Packaging

Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing new packaging for your business? In order to make this process a little easier, we’ve put together a guide to some of the most important factors to keep in mind as you’re researching your foam alternative options.

Selecting The Right Foam Alternative Food Packaging: What To Consider

There are dozens of factors you will ultimately have to consider as you search for the right non-foam packaging. These seven factors will likely play a large role guiding you to the best packaging for your food.

1. Appearance

This time is a great opportunity to rethink how your packaging reflects your brand. Does the way your packaging looks live up to your brand identity? Breaking free of the classic styrofoam clamshell leads to many new opportunities in size, shape, and material. Try to pick a combination that best showcases your branding, mission, and of course your food.

2. Heatproof

Heatproof material is another important factor to pay attention to. If you want to give customers the option to microwave leftovers in the container or wash their containers on the top rack of their dishwasher for reuse, you should pick a material that stands up to the heat.

3. Venting Options

Just like with foam containers, when choosing foam alternative packaging, you have the option to have solid, vented, or optional vented containers. If your restaurant serves up a lot of fried or grilled food, vents will ensure steam can escape to keep foods crisp and fresh.

4. Food Product Visualization

If you’ve previously used styrofoam containers, you didn’t have to worry about how your food looked inside the packaging, as your containers were opaque. But now in the realm of foam alternative containers, you get the option of having a clear lid, which brings up more questions to ask yourself. Do you want your customers to be able to see your food through the lid? Do you want the base to be clear? Or have a black backdrop to make your food presentation pop?

5. Space for Branding

Customizing your food containers is a pro-move for branding your business and making your containers stand out from competitors. If you want space to slap on a sticker with your logo, you need to pick out a container that can accommodate that. A container with a large, flat lid offers a great space for custom branding of your choosing.

6. Cost

Cost is always a factor when it comes to choosing something new for your business. You were used to the cost of your foam packaging, and now you have to set a whole new budget for your packaging needs. The price of packaging is highly dependent on the materials (polypropylene, paperboard, natural fibers, etc.), and the number of packaging features. Be aware that the more specialized the packaging, the more expensive it will be. Across the board, you will find foam alternative packaging to be more expensive than your previous styrofoam containers.

7. Environmental Friendliness

If your restaurant or customer base is environmentally conscious, the environmental impact of your food packaging is another important factor to weigh. Biodegradability, recyclability, and sustainability will be key factors to look for. Additionally, some state and local governments may have their own environmental restrictions, which may narrow down your packaging options significantly.

Choose the Right Take Out & Leftover Packaging for Your Restaurant

Be sure to take these important packaging features into account as you shop your foam alternative container options. It may take a lot of shopping around and careful consideration, but choosing the best packaging for your food can make a huge positive impact on brand recognition and customer satisfaction in the long run.

Looking for some advice or guidance when it comes to selecting new food containers for your restaurant? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Genpak has helped both big and small companies find the perfect container for their food needs.

Give us a call today at (800) 626-6695 or contact us online and our packaging experts would be happy to assist you.

Hinged vs Non-Hinged Takeout Containers

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two piece vs hinged takeout containers

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make when shopping for takeout containers is whether you want hinged or non-hinged containers.

This often overlooked decision actually has long term effects in terms of convenience, ordering, product versatility and appearance. Learn more about the differences between hinged and non-hinged containers and how to decide which container is right for you!

What’s the difference between Hinged & Non-Hinged Containers?

The difference between hinged and non-hinged containers is quite simple. While non-hinged (otherwise known as two piece) containers are composed of a separate tray and lid, the tray and lid of hinged containers are attached together. Hinged containers are commonly referred to as ‘clamshell containers’ in the industry.

Both hinged and non-hinged containers can come in a variety of colors, materials and appearances.

Are Hinged or Non-Hinged Containers Best For You?

Which type of container is best for your restaurant? Below, we weigh in on the benefits of both!

What are the benefits of Hinged Containers?

  1. Convenience- The major benefit of a hinged container is not having to fumble with a lid when securing or removing it. A hinged lid simply flips down or up, making it much easier and more convenient for restaurant and customer to use.
  2. Order Ease- Staying stocked and keeping inventory are much simplified with hinged containers. Because the tray and lid are all one, you never have to order two separate pieces or worry about running out of lids.

What are the benefits of Non-Hinged Containers?

  1. Versatility- With non-hinged containers, lids are optional, which means containers can have a dual purpose and can be used to eat-in or takeout. This may help you save on packaging costs in the long run, as you won’t be giving lids to customers who don’t need one.
  2. Modern Appearance- Hinged containers are commonplace after having long been used in the takeout industry. Two piece containers can allow for a unique appearance and more upscale display.

Shop Both Hinged & Two-Piece Takeout Containers at Genpak!

Ultimately, whether you choose hinged or non-hinged takeout containers are up to you and your business’s needs! For Hinged containers, be sure to check out our Clover, Harvest Choice, or ProView lines. Our Harvest Fiber line comes in both hinged and two piece options.

SFI Certified Food Packaging: What You Need to Know

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In today’s increasingly eco-conscious society, more and more consumers are demanding environmentally sustainable products on everything from clothing to household products, and even down to their food packaging.

That’s why Genpak is proud to offer Harvest Choice Containers, which are made from paperboard material sourced from SFI Certified forests. But what does SFI Certified mean and why is it important? We explain below!

What does SFI Certified Sourcing mean?

SFI Certified Sourcing is a certificate granted by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, a North American organization that aims to promote sustainable forest management in North America and responsible procurement of forest products around the world.

When you purchase a product–like our Harvest Choice Containers–that has a SFI Certified Sourcing certificate, it means the product was made from materials sourced from a forest that adheres to SFI’s rigorous responsible procurement standards.

SFI standards are constantly evolving to respond to the latest ecological findings and sustainable forestry practices. From protecting water quality and biodiversity, to keeping sustainable harvest levels and adhering to prompt regeneration, SFI ensures sustainability is first and foremost.

What are the benefits of SFI Certified packaging?

Why choose food packaging made from SFI Certified sourced material for your eaterie? Check out the ways this sustainable packaging benefits not only your business, but the world:

1. You Help Bring Sustainability to Food Service

All industries have the opportunity to contribute to our country’s environmental sustainability, and Food Service is no exception. Historically towing the line between convenience & sustainability, with sustainable packaging made from SFI Certified Sourced Materials, food packaging now has the opportunity to do both. Purchasing products sourced from SFI certified forests ensures sustainable forestry practices continue. 

2. You Help Supports US Family-Owned Forests

According to SFI’s 2015-2019 Fiber Sourcing Standard, approximately 10 million family-owned forests account for over 60% of the private forests in the United States. The SFI Fiber Sourcing Certification helps these families make money from their forests and encourages them to sustainably maintain their forests. By purchasing food packaging made from SFI Certified Sourced Materials, you help support these family forests and their sustainable practices.

3. Your Customers Want It

The trend for sustainable packaging is ramping up, especially when it comes to where product materials are sourced. According to The FoodService Packaging Institute’s April 2019 Consumer Survey, food service packaging “made with renewable resources” ranked number two on their list of consumer-ranked most important environmental attributes.

Interested in Purchasing SFI Certified Food Packaging for Your Restaurant?

Whether you’re looking to make your business more sustainable, support national family-owned forests, or you’re simply meeting consumer demand, food packaging made from SFI Certified sourced material is available right here at Genpak!

Check out our Harvest Choice Containers made from paperboard material sourced from SFI Certified forests.

What Are the Benefits of Using Foam Alternative Packaging for Food Service?

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Harvest Fiber Foam Alternative PackagingAre local laws dictating you use foam alternative packaging at your restaurant? In the past few years, major metropolitan cities like New York, San Diego, Miami Beach, Seattle and Washington, DC have banned styrofoam packaging, also known as polystyrene, for environmental reasons.

While this has shaken up a lot of the ways restaurants traditionally thought about takeout and leftover containers, there are several key advantages foam alternative packaging can bring to customers, the environment, and your restaurant!

Whether you are in an area of the country where foam containers were recently banned, or you are considering switching your current foam packaging to foam alternative containers, learn about some of those benefits and the different foam alternative packaging options we offer below!

The Benefits of Foam Alternative Food Service Packaging

Switching from styrofoam packaging to foam alternative containers? Learn about the benefits and packaging options it can bring you!

1. They May Be Biodegradable

Biodegradable, or compostable, refers to material that is capable of being broken down by bacteria and other natural processes in a reasonably short period of time. This compost can then be used as a conditioner to soil to help grow future plants! While polystyrene is not biodegradable, there are foam alternative materials, such as natural plant fiber, that are, which can make your food container 100% compostable.

Our Harvest Fiber container line is completely compostable, which means when placed into a professionally managed compost facility, Harvest Fiber items will turn into compost within 90 days!

2. They May Be Curbside Recyclable

One of the best ways to reduce excess waste in landfills is by recycling. Unlike styrofoam containers, foam alternative products can be made from materials that are curbside recyclable. That means less amount of waste in landfills from food packaging!

Our Proview Hinged Containers and Clover Hinged Containers are both made from polypropylene and do not contain foreign mineral fillers, which means they are recyclable in most communities.

3. They May Be Dishwasher Safe

For customers who want to wash and reuse take out containers, having containers that are dishwasher safe is essential. Using foam alternative containers made from materials that can withstand the heat of dishwashers allows you to provide containers customers can conveniently wash and reuse.

Our Proview Hinged Containers and Clover Hinged Containers are both top rack dishwasher safe, so customers can wash and reuse again and again!

4. They May Be Microwave Safe

Leftover containers that are microwave safe provide an easy and convenient customer experience so customers can reheat leftovers right in the container. While styrofoam packaging is not meant for the microwave, foam alternative packaging can be made from materials that are microwave safe.

Our Proview Hinged Containers and Clover Hinged Containers are both microwave safe, so customers don’t have to dirty another dish when reheating leftovers!

5. They May Offer Superior Food Product Visualization

We’ve all heard the saying “You eat with your eyes first.” And by using clear tops as opposed to foam lids, you have the opportunity to do so! Foam alternative containers with clear lids allows customers to view the deliciousness of your food before they eat it!

Our Proview Hinged Containers showcase food on sleek black bases with clear lids. Whether it’s filled with restaurant leftovers or a grab-and-go meal, food can be viewed with restaurant quality presentation.

6. They May Be Made From Sustainable Materials

Sustainability is the key to ensuring the planet is not depleted of resources for future generations. By using styrofoam alternative containers, you can choose containers made from sustainable materials like bamboo, hemp, and plant fiber.

Our Harvest Fiber products are made using Bagasse (sugar cane fiber), an annually renewable resource, which means those resources can be restored naturally within one year. Likewise, our Harvest Choice Containers are made from paperboard material sources from SFI certified forests, which mean materials come from sustainably harvested forests.

7. Customers Are Asking For Them

Consumer demand drives change. There’s no question that our culture is increasingly becoming more eco-conscious. And as recent policy changes have shown, that has a profound impact on our lives right down to our restaurant takeout containers! More and more consumers are demanding that the restaurants they frequent utilize foam alternative packaging to match their lifestyles and views on environmental sustainability. Show customers you are listening by adopting foam alternative packaging.

Interested in Learning More About Our Foam Alternative Containers?

Whether by policy change or by choice, if you’re new to the world of foam alternative packaging for food service, we’re here to help!

Ask our packaging experts a question or contact our sales team for more information on purchasing our foam alternative food containers.

Genpak’s GrubHub Top 10 Ordered Items of 2018

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Looking back on the year of 2018 in food service, we’ve witnessed technological advancements in operations, the release of Genpak’s new products Clover and ProView, and at the heart of it all, new food trends that won the appetites of consumers. One of the most popular food trends stemmed from health consciousness, and it has been a driving force behind consumer food diet this year. Highly requested on the ordering app of America’s top delivery service, GrubHub, these new food cravings made their way to their list of top 10 most ordered foods. According to GrubHub’s latest food report, the bean burrito superseded some of America’s most beloved meals like the baby back pork rib (coming in 4th place) and the chicken sandwich (coming in 6th). Take a look below and let us know what your top favorites are from the list.

  1. Bean burrito (276% more popular)
  2. Poke (205% more popular)
  3. Chicken slider (189% more popular)
  4. Baby back pork rib (165% more popular)
  5. Chicken burrito (164% more popular)
  6. Chicken sandwich (160% more popular)
  7. Cauliflower rice bowl (155% more popular)
  8. Chicken and waffle slider (145% more popular)
  9. Parmesan chicken (139% more popular)
  10. Buffalo cauliflower (124% more popular)

 

Genpak offers convenient food packaging solutions so that consumers can enjoy their favorite food items in a convenient way. They are microwave safe for hot food any time, vented for freshness and crispness, and recycled into decking, toys and nonfood times. They are also compostable, leak resistant, and stackable to save space. Check it the video below to view our best selections or customer’s most ordered packaging. For more information, click here.

Introducing The New Harvest Fiber Kraft Rectangles!

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Harvest Fiber Kraft Rectangle ContainersIntroducing the latest additions to the Harvest Fiber product line: HFR016, 16oz. container; HFR024, 24oz. container; and the HFR032, 32oz. container. The Harvest Fiber Kraft Rectangles are perfect for several occasions, including grab n’ go, takeout, and much more. They have superior strength, a modern appearance, and are also grease and oil resistant. Made from an all natural bagasse material, they are stackable lightweight and easy to carry. The Harvest Fiber Rectangle Container in size 16oz. can be paired with the matching lid FPR916, while the HFR024 and HFR032 best fit the FPR932 or the FPR932S. We are proud to say that this product effortlessly meets the demand for compostable and eco-friendly packaging.

As a leading manufacturer in environmentally sustainable products, we strive to meet your eco-friendly goals. To learn more about our BPI certified compostable Harvest Fiber Kraft products, click here. To request free samples, click here.

BPI Certified compostable | All natural, fiber substrate | GMO free | Genpak engineered designs

Enhance The Customer Experience with These New Food Containers

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Experience is more than just a word when it comes to consumers – it is in fact a high priority. According to TrustPilot.com, “customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your company. A successful strategy should be useful, usable, and enjoyable from the customer’s point of view.” With the following new lines of quality Genpak containers, you can ensure that they will offer your customers a convenient take-out/delivery experience.

 

ProView

solution-based sandwich container

ProView does not back down from the competition since it is a distinctive product line for innovative markets. This collection of microwave-safe containers prove to be reliable for off-premise dining, all-day breakfast, grab n’ go, home delivery, and even for the growing ethnic flair that consumers are readily exploring. It features a sleek black base for superior food presentation and a clear lid for authentic visualization, order accuracy, personal branding, and clear labeling. The containers are vented for breathability and have a secured button lock with an audible snap. They are also comprised of a thermoformed polypropylene material to complement a range of food establishments seeking optimum security, strength, and style. ProView offers a variety of sizes, widely ranging from a sandwich/snack container to a jumbo take-out container.

 

 

Clover

Clover hinged food container
When an economical alternative is required for food packaging, our brand-new Clover Hinged line will fit the bill. These new microwave safe, hinged food containers sport a clean, compact design that is perfect for any take-out program as well as for leftovers. The button lock, 360° leak resistant closure system ensures food products stay inside the container, and not on the delivery car floor. For more information on Clover, click here.

 

 

Harvest Fiber

Harvest Fiber Compostable Containers mark an organic print on the environment as it is BPI certified compostable.

Harvest Fiber Kraft hinged containerThe containers are comprised of a base fiber called bagasse, a by-product of the sugar industry. An exclusive snap-it closure system, moisture resistant technology, and stacking rims for multiple to-go meals are vital features that upgrade the Harvest Fiber Kraft collection’s on-the-go abilities for some of your best food choices. With a growing influence of recycling and environmental awareness, this product effortlessly meets the demand for compostable and eco-friendly packaging.

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