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The Power of Prepared Meals – Foodservice Trends You Need To Know

July 17th, 2018 RSS feed icon

Prepared meals are a two-way street. Between c-stores, and meal kit companies, these competitive channels are developing new ways of introducing prepared meals to-go to meet specific consumer demands. Prepared foods are attracting several quick stop customers greatly, which is high reflected in the numbers. These sectors have adjusted to the radical change with the advent of their own prepared meals services, which eliminates cooking time. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, prepared foods drove 69% of foodservice sales and profits in 2017. C-stores, which make up a $150 billion business have taken the initiative to provide more foods in the hot and frozen category.Smart Set Pro containers

Besides c-stores involve also meal-kit delivery services, one of the fastest growing platforms in the foodservice industry. Meal kits began six years ago with companies like Green Chef, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron . Today they are shifting consumers’ eating behavior with the business model that eliminates the need of going to the grocery store. Starting as an unfamiliar practice with little recognition, the meal-kit trend is now disrupting the grocery retail industry, fast food chains, and e-commerce platforms. However, meal kit companies have recently merged into the prepared meals market after acquiring new partnerships to mark their presence in brick-and-mortar stores.

Genpak meets the growing demand of prepared meals, whether hot or frozen, with reputable innovations like  Oven Ready Food Trays, Smart Set Pro, Clear Hinged Foodservice Containers, and ProView to propel meal-kit industry growth. We offer various packaging options that support food creativity and diversity, which overlaps the recipe offerings that meal-kit businesses provide on a weekly basis.

As a forerunner in manufacturing premium quality, single-use foodservice packaging products, we ensure top quality food packaging that is sustainable and eco-friendly. To request free samples of any of the products perfect for prepared meals, click here.

Understanding the Temperature Limits of Different Food Packaging

July 10th, 2018 RSS feed icon

 

In order for hot foods to stay hot and cold food to remain cold, it is important to understand the temperature limits of different containers in order to ensure the best performance. We often times receive questions from those who want to know if a foam container is microwave-safe or if our oven-safe products can go in the freezer. So, here’s a helpful guide that will help you understand your temperature limits to determine the proper use of Genpak products.

Polystyrene (Foam) Containers, Cups, and Dinnerwarefood container temperature chart

Foam has excellent insulation properties and decent thermal resistance making it applicable for both hot and cold foods. Hot foods will stay hot longer and cold foods will stay cold longer in a foamed PS container. Not only is it a popular choice due to its sustainable qualities, but it is also the most versatile substrate and very economical for a variety of food packaging applications. Temperature limit for Genpak’s foam products is 150°F

PET – Deli & Bakery Containers, Oven-Ready Containers, and Drinking Cups

PET is a solid plastic material most often used to produce water and soda bottles. PET is a versatile substrate that is widely accepted by most municipalities curbside recycling programs. Genpak’s PET containers included up to 30% post-consumer recycled content, in our conservational efforts to eliminate waste, and reduce the burden on the environment. There are two types of Genpak PET products that each have very distinct purposes: APET, which is safe for freezing and room temperature display and CPET, which is safe in the oven, microwave, and freezer.

  • APET – Every food item has an expiration date, and APET is a great candidate for offering a longer shelf life. If you’ve ever come across any of our APET products then you’ve probably encountered our Clear Hinged Deli Containers, Clear Hinged Bakery Containers, Supermarket Containers, or Cold Drink Cups. Our clear APET products are perfect for savory, natural snacks, cookies, cakes, pastries, confectionary items, cold drinks and much more. Its structural integrity serves as a defense against oxygen to prolong the lifespan of a food item. This substrate also works well under cooler temperatures up to -20◦F, safe for a refrigerator or freezer. From transporting the container from one location to the next, consumers can ensure that it’s effective in preserving a food item without caving in or cracking open.
  • CPET – CPET material is simply a crystallized form of PET, which is able to withstand very high temperatures for oven ready applications. Great care must be taken when using these products in the oven and we offer a Use & Handling sheet that can guide you through. These products are perfectly safe in the oven, microwave and even the freezer as it can withstand temperatures of up to 400°F.

Polypropylene Containers – Proview, Smart Set Pro, & Harvest Pro

When microwave safe options are required for food packaging, polypropylene is the best choice of materials. Smart Set Pro, ProView, and Harvest Pro are the three product lines that you will want to consider. They are offered in colors such as black and white. We are also the only company to offer a unique textured PP material that allows us to produce products that are up to 20% lighter in weight than most other competitive items, without sacrificing strength or functionality. This translates into much less raw materials being used and lower product cost to our customers. Genpak’s microwave-safe containers include Proview, Smart Set Pro, and Harvest Pro. Temperature limit for Genpak’s microwave-safe, polypropylene products are 210° F.

Biodegradable & Compostable Products

Genpak Harvest Fiber material is manufactured from renewable resources and is 100% BPI certified compostable. The base fiber material for all of our products is bagasse, which is a byproduct of the sugar industry. Harvest Fiber products are microwave safe and grease & water resistant. Each item is engineered with ease of use in mind. Perfect for preserving temperature, whether hot or cold. In addition to our compostable products, the Harvest Paper product line consists of our paper cone, portion and drink cups. They are produced from raw materials originating from forests managed with Sustainable Forestry Practices and are all compostable. All of our Harvest Paper product configurations are engineered for maximum strength and durability utilizing box pleats, concave surface areas and rolled rims. Temperature limits for Genpak’s biodegradable and compostable products are 210° F.< For more information on temperature limits of Genpak products, you can always go to our Materials page where you can stay informed on different types of food packaging and recommended uses.

Solution-Based Packaging that Greatly Impacts Consumer Lifestyles

June 26th, 2018 RSS feed icon

In the world of “to-go”, there are constant changes being made to food packaging, restaurant design, and overall operations in order to achieve a consumer-focused experience. Some changes aren’t always so complex, but convenient- and that’s a characteristic that Genpak lives by. Here are 3 modifications to our food packaging that greatly shapes the modern day consumer lifestyle, helping save time and money.

Close-off food packaging3 compartment closed off food container

Compartmented containers are always convenient for side portioned food items, which require separating. Years ago, we at Genpak launched our first close-off container with the 203CO, and have since translated that feature over to our microwave-safe and APET products. Our close-off solution has addressed food migration concerns by adding compartments in the base of a container and the lid. We are capable of promoting zero food migration with durable packaging that reigns superior against our competitors.

Stackable feature

There is nothing worse than carrying multiple containers, only to have them collapse after taking a few steps or when placing them in the car. With the emergence of optional take-out family meals that can be enjoyed at home, work, or school, Genpak’s stackable feature helps consumer meals go the extra mile. We have engineered our stackable containers in such way that will secure multiple containers in place, for portability and carrying with ease.

Vented-Lid and Anti-Fog

clear food containers stacked

A8801 & AS8802 – stackable, lightweight, and easy to carry

Perhaps everyone loves food right off the grill, and it’s even better when enjoyed anywhere, everywhere, and at any time. We’ve caught the drift with our vented-lid and anti-fog feature, which is found in our new black and clear ProView container, which reduces condensation for a clear view. Everyone wants to see their food, especially when it’s fresh off the grill. So, this feature makes it even more convenient for both the operator and the consumer by providing food authenticity and order accuracy.

Genpak products are still in the mix as you can spot our sustainable packaging across several establishments. Our products offer market flexibility as a powerhouse to consumer needs. Genpak meets this demand with reputable innovations like ProView, Smart Set Pro, Clear Hinged Foodservice Containers, and Oven Ready Food & Bakery Trays to propel foodservice industry growth.

Stay locked in for the next line up of features that define convenience for today’s consumer lifestyle.

How Erik Waterkotte Carried His Industry Vision Forward at IDDBA 2018

June 19th, 2018 RSS feed icon
IDDBA conference

Image by IDDBA

Erik Waterkotte, Chairman of IDDBA (International Dairy Deli Bakery Association) and Sr. Director of sales for Columbus Crafts Meats drove this year’s tradeshow with leading-edge research and technology. 10,000 attendees and many retail buyers, merchandisers, brokers, distributors, and manufacturers gathered at the New Orleans Ernest Morial Convention Center to hold one of the most important buying and educational events of 2018. In a world of evolving dynamics in the global food system, attendees and exhibitors were able to engage and exchange information on key industry insights that would drive business growth, while gaining an all-encompassing view of the newest merchandising concepts. There were also innovative products ready to be unveiled and released to the market.

Erik Waterkotte

Erik Waterkotte, IDDBA Chairman – Image by IDDBA

Among the large crowd of attendees were several key speakers like Daymond John, CEO & Founder of FUBU; Ginger Hardage, Former SVP of Culture & Communications for Southwest Airlines, and many more decision makers who shared their understandings of the business, the economy, the consumer, and current trends. Key presenter Mike Eardley, IDDBA President and CEO, also discussed six IDDBA influencers: People, consolidation, food safety, competition, technology and community.

Waterkotte has carried the vision of the industry in a changing market to help drive the deli and bakery industry forward by offering an interactive marketplace for this year’s attendees. He also presented the 2018 Chairman’s Award to Bill Klump, Chief Marketing Officer for Butterball, who demonstrated an important leadership role during a dramatic shift in the organization.

The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association is a nonprofit membership organization serving the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese and supermarket foodservice industries. For more information about the IDDBA go to www.iddba.org

As a forerunner in manufacturing premium quality, single-use foodservice packaging products, we ensure top quality food packaging that are both sustainable and eco-friendly. Here, you can find the latest food trends, product spotlight, and additional tips from your packaging pros.

Creativity in a Container: The Perfect Match for A Vibrant Summer Menu

June 12th, 2018 RSS feed icon

Summer food packaging

The Summer is fast approaching and consumers want more convenient packaging solutions with a vibrant, modern appearance. Good news: whether it’s for a bakery or deli establishment or anywhere in between, Genpak’s food service containers have several features and benefits that meet consumer needs. They offer a bright and modern appearance for some of your most innovative food trends, and are perfect for produce, natural snacks, confectionary items, salads, and so much more. These clear packaging solutions make all the difference as they are made of PET plastic and up to 30% post-consumer recycled content. Here’s a lineup of some of our clear packaging solutions that will make your menu items look more compelling:

clear bowls filled with fruit

Bringing your menu to life.

When it comes to today’s menu, it’s not just old-fashioned or black and white. 21st-century food trends are vibrant, as consumers are shaping 2018 with more interest in colorful menu styles and cleaner labels. This summer, vibrant natural foods are key contributions to menu items. As the saying goes, life can be a bowl of cherries, so why not take advantage with natural foods that promote good health and are delicious. Our PET serving bowls are great for an upscale presentation of salads, soups, or deserts. They are offered in a variety of popular sizes, ranging from 12 oz. to 64 oz.

Along with fruit bowls and multi-colored salads, there is a high demand for some creativity in your cup. Bright, clear cups are helpful when choosing beverages of bright, and vivid color. Our Crystal Clear Choice Cups are offered in 9 oz. to 24 oz. sizes., and are great for cold drinks when you want to cool down next season. They’re also great for colorful ice cream if you up for the unicorn ice cream dessert trend.

Dessert and confectionary trends always stay sweet and hardly ever die down. You can store your best treats and other snacks in our Clear Hinged Deli Containers. Offering strength and security, these containers have a secured button-lock closure system to keep snacks from spilling. Even if you want to brighten things up with “glonuts” (read my last blog post), our containers will make your snacks shine while delivering an environmentally friendly message.

Choose Genpak’s clear packaging solutions when an upscale presentation is needed. Check the latest video featuring our clear containers, where I walk you through the best options for food innovation.

Next Generation of 21st Century Dining: Food Halls

June 5th, 2018 RSS feed icon

Food halls, home to a mix of local artisan restaurants, butcher shops and other food-oriented boutiques, has officially become the next generation of 21st century dining. Flourishing in America, the emporium offers an open social environment and a new concept of cross meal-ordering for spontaneous eaters. It’s success in the states and expansion across the globe proves the potential longevity of a trend that won’t die down anytime soon. Since settling in America’s busiest cities, it’s been hit by urban consumers and a melting pot of inquisitive tasters. From Bourdain Market in New York to Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, here’s where you can find the most anticipated food halls in America:

Ponce City Market, Atlanta

Image result for Ponce City Market, Atlanta food hall

Ponce City Market, newest food hall in Atlanta, quickly gained much recognition after it’s renovation last fall. It has since been open to several eateries like Marrakesh Mediterranean Market, second-floor restaurant The Mercury, and Jia restaurant with a Sichuan cuisine.

Latinicity Food Hall and Lounge, Chicago

Latinicity Food Hall and Lounge is a Latin-focused food hall introduced by celebrity chef and restaurateur, Richard Sandoval. Opened in April 2015 it offers 11 food stations with 350 seats, according to Eater Chicago.

4th Street Market, Los Angeles

Image result for 4th Street Market, Los Angeles

Santa Ana developer Ryan Chase introduced this food emporium in February 2015. The 30,000 square-foot food hall has introduced a vibrant concept in the heart of Orange County. Current line includes popular Asian fusion food truck Dos Chinos, Latin-inspired seafood shack Mar, Ink Waffles, and Electric City Butcher.

St. Roch Market, New Orleans

st roch market

This modern, upscale food hall began as a 19th century market and is now occupied with the most innovative eateries in the Bywater District. Lineup includes Tallulah’s, Coast Roast Coffee, Elysian Seafood, and more. According to Eater New Orleans, the food hall is making its expansion to another spot in Miami.

Genpak products do not back down from the competition when it comes to innovative dining spots like food halls. Our repuatable innovations like Smart Set Pro, Oven Ready Food Trays, Clear Hinged Foodservice Containers, and ProView are reliable for off-premise dining, food halls, grab n’ go, and even home delivery. We strive to deliver top quality packaging as your food packaging company.

Food Packaging Has Changed At NRA 2018

May 24th, 2018 RSS feed icon

hinged food containers filled with food

One of the largest restaurant shows was over the weekend in Chicago. National Restaurant Association Show (NRA) brings together everything you could possibly need for a restaurant, commercial kitchen, and startup. Walking the show you’re sure to get 10,000 steps in for the day, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

During our walk of the nearly 2,500 vendors you could see the clear growth into technology. There’s an entire section now devoted to making restaurants more efficient. From foodservice orders of food packaging and disposables, to front of house ordering systems, there’s a digital solution for everything.

The food packaging sphere at the show has changed a bit. The industry has been transitioning away from polystyrene containers to more recyclable options with a better life cycle story. At Genpak we are working on broadening our microwave safe, reusable containers, as well as our compostable product offerings. With focus on better treatment of the environment all plastics manufacturers are looking to streamline processes to protect Mother Earth. Bamboo and molded fiber had a major presence at the show. Check out our Harvest Fiber containers to learn more about our compostable and biodegradable products. Our Green Room has great information highlighting our processes as well as end of life plans for the containers used in restaurants.

Genpak Can Help Deliver the Goods. More on Amazon’s $14 billion Acquisition of Whole Foods

May 22nd, 2018 RSS feed icon
amazon Whole Foods Market storefront

MarketWatch photo illustration/Bloomberg

Who’s Whole Foods’ daddy now? Amazon. Delivery/pickup is not your average trend but a lifestyle that’s expected to reach exponential growth and become more modified. E-commerce giant Amazon has dominated the fresh territory of grocery retail after it’s nearly $14 billion acquisition of the high-end grocer back in 2017. The e-commerce giant has addressed the need of consumers who are accustomed to the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores. They have benefited customers in price, online shopping convenience, and engaging platforms that will drive its business forward. A new ad campaign with slogan, “Whatever Makes You Whole” targeted millions of shoppers who are seeking variety in the stale grocery market.

How are consumers adapting to the new trend?amazon stat

Although it’s impact has reached several grocery stores across the market, deli and bakery items are not excluded from the adjustment. Progression is a noticeable factor for Amazon accounts, but not so easy for a grocery chain selling food with an expiration date. Because of this, Amazon hasn’t completely withdrawn Whole Foods shoppers from the brick and mortar scene, but they have provided consumers with another method of shopping for convenience. Grocery delivery services are recognized as need amongst shoppers with fast-paced lifestyles. Thus, Amazon has introduced technologies such as kiosks, tablets, and mobile devices to improve the grocery shopping experience.

Genpak products are still in the mix as you can spot our sustainable packaging across grocery chains, restaurant chains, supply stores, food trucks, and more! When it comes to the grocery retail market, our products offer market flexibility as a powerhouse to consumer needs. Genpak meets this demand with reputable innovations like  Oven Ready Food Trays, Smart Set Pro, Clear Hinged Foodservice Containers, and ProView to propel foodservice industry growth.

What are your thoughts on grocery delivery?

Join us on our social media platforms for a chance to be featured on our page! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and simply hashtag #GenpakAdvantage to your next post!

Knowing Your Plastics: Recycling Symbols No. 1 to 7

May 8th, 2018 RSS feed icon

plastic resin identification codes

Have you ever wondered what the number inside the arrowed triangle means at the bottom of a plastic product? That logo printed on your plastic is known as a Resin Identification Code or RIC, which a set of symbols used to identify the type of resin from which a plastic product is made. Created by The Society of the Plastics, the system was introduced to U.S. recycling facilities in the late 1980s as a method of reprocessing plastics for further use and manufacturing. Today, the resin code system has become a useful tool for consumers after an increased public awareness of recycling.

What is Resin?

Before plastic is transformed into a product, it starts out in the form of tiny pellets known as resin. Resin is the base of the manufacturing process and have various properties. The pellets undergo a molding method where the plastic is transformed; but the way a product is manufactured depends on the type of resin used. For example, the forming process from P.E.T. resin will be different from the forming process of polystyrene resin, which is why the RIC system is important.

Do Genpak products contain BPA (Bisphenol-A)?

BPA is not used either directly or indirectly with any Genpak products include polystyrene or foamed polystyrene products.

 

Genpak products can be broken down and reformed into more products.

Here are our recyclable plastics, which are safe and offer various features and benefits.

 

#1 PETE - Polyethylene Terepthalate

Polyethylene Terepthalate

stacked clear food containers

P.E.T. plastic products are the most common type of curb-side recyclable plastic. Genpak’s containers made of this material also contain up to 30% post-consumer recycled content, in our conservational efforts to eliminate waste. Genpak’s P.E.T. products include Clear Hinged Deli Containers, Clear Hinged Food Containers, Oven Ready Bakery and Food Containers, Hinged Bakery Containers, Supermarket Containers, Serving Bowls, Clear Cups as well as most of our clear Foodservice Lids.

 

#5 PP - Polypropylene

Polypropylene

hinged, clear top food containers

Another common, curb-side recycled plastic is polypropylene. This type of material is commonly used to produce microwave safe products and great for carrying heavy meals. At Genpak, we produce our Smart Set Pro, Harvest Pro and our new ProView products from polypropylene, which are microwavable and dishwasher-safe for convenience.

#6 PS - Polystyrene

Polystyrene

polystyrene hinged food containers

Polystyrene is a common type of food packaging material with the #6 plastic identification symbol. It has been safely used for nearly 50 years. Genpak products made of polystyrene material include our Smart Set Foam, Foam Hinged Dinner Containers, Foam Hinged Snack Containers, Dinnerware, and our Food Serving Trays. For more information about polystyrene, click here. Need to know where to drop off a Genpak foam product to be recycled? Click here to search for a foam recycling facility nearest your location.

 

At Genpak, we’re passionate about engineering products that perfectly blend with immediate packaging needs. Our history has demonstrated a consistency in developing new products that are both sustainable and recyclable. To request free samples, click here.

PCR process image

Enhance The Dining Experience Outside Your Restaurant

May 2nd, 2018 RSS feed icon

Eating is not a chore. Sometimes we may forget to eat because we are busy doing other things, but food helps us find nourishment every day. We are fortunate to have so many options at our fingertips. Restaurants have been seeing tons of changes these days. Not only are menus becoming more diverse in flavor profiles, but the introduction of off-premise dining has changed the way people eat. Where a person eats is now limitless. More consumers are ordering food for delivery than ever before.

Packaging plays a key role in safeguarding foods during transportation. The restaurant experience is no longer just inside those four walls. Dining experiences are happening at homes, offices, outdoors, and in cars. Food is on the move.

ProView containers with food in them, stacked

Let’s talk about specific takeout options.

Crispy foods are best served in a vented container. Vents allow steam to escape saving the food from moisture seeping back in.

Long delivery times plague everyone. Microwave-safe containers are great for items that need to be reheated.

People are busy so encourage grab and go applications with portion-controlled packaging and

Stackable containers, like our Harvest Fiber and ProView, keep foods from sliding around during transport.

Most consumers aren’t a fan of cross contamination. Keep foods separated with close-off containers.

Sustainability is high on everyone’s agenda. Items made from natural materials, like Harvest Fiber, and items that are recyclable, like AD Deli containers and Smart Set Pro send a message to consumers that you are thinking about the future.

Foam hinged containers are still have the best thermal properties to keep foods at optimum temperature longer.

 
 

Choosing the right packaging for your menu is hard. There are many options out there to pick from, from many different manufacturers. Genpak is a full-service packaging solution provider. Browse our website and contact us for more information. We are here to help you make the best choices for your customer.

Genpak AE04 close off container

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