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Tips from the Packaging Pros

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

ProView on the Move

March 20th, 2018 RSS feed icon

Casual dining is taking new shapes. Dining at a restaurant may soon be a thing of the past. Frequency of to-go orders are higher than its ever been. Technology changes how consumers order food. Whether it’s through a restaurant app, a third-party app, online, or voice-activated, making the consumer experience a positive one from start to finish should be a high priority.

ProView assists operators with order accuracy, sustainability, and deliverability. Designed with optional vents, anti-fog lids, and black bases to make menu items pop. Branding opportunities available on lids. Close-off sizes provide compartments that seal off to eliminate cross-contamination.

Developed with off-premise delivery and take-out in mind, ProView offers restaurants a sophisticated container with all the amenities customers are looking for. With the rise of takeout, more consumers are looking for restaurants to provide containers that can be reheated. ProView is safe for the microwave, meaning customers are able to enjoy menu items as intended at home or in the office.

Check out our newest video for more information on ProView & off-premise dining.stack of ProView containers

Are These Containers Safe In The Microwave? How To Tell If Something Is Safe For The Microwave.

March 5th, 2018 RSS feed icon

We have all been there. The moment you go to reheat your leftovers and you’re not sure they can go in as is. Below are some instructions to ensure your container can handle the microwave.

  • Check the bottom of the container for a symbol. Microwave safe is usually a microwave with some wavy lines on it. If they container has a #5 on it, it is made from polypropylene, PP, so it is generally considered microwave safe. Smart Set Pro and ProView are perfect for microwave applications.microwave safe iconsSmart Set Pro food containers
  • CPET, #1 is safe for the microwave. These containers are usually used for oven ready applications like our meal solutions and bakery trays. Not to be confused the APET, CPET has been crystallized meaning it can withstand much higher temperatures.  CPET products are NEVER clear.
  • APET(E), #1 is not safe for the microwave. These are deli containers, supermarket containers, water bottles, and most containers used for cold foods and display packaging. They are recyclable but not safe to reheat in.
  • PS, polystyrene, Styrofoam, #7 is not safe for the microwave. Most take out containers and clamshells are made of foam for its insulation properties. They keep food warm during transport so you don’t have to reheat them. Be sure to put your food on a plate or other safe container before zapping them in the microwave.
  • Harvest Fiber containers are not recommended for microwave use. They are all natural and compostable.Harvest Fiber food containers
  • Paper products should not go in the microwave since many of them are coated, sealed, or glued to stay together. These additives could leak into your food.

Dinner’s Knocking at Your Door: Considering The Right Packaging for Meal-Kit Delivery Services.

February 2nd, 2018 RSS feed icon

Meal-kit delivery service has become one of the most transformative platforms in the foodservice industry. Companies like Green Chef, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron are shifting consumers’ eating behavior by the box, as they now gain the benefit of having delicious meals while cutting the preparation time in half. 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. Even these sectors have adjusted to the radical change with the advent of their own meal delivery services.

When it comes to nutritional preferences, preparation time, and expenditure, meal-kit delivery services offer market flexibility as a powerhouse to those 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 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.

These products help make fitting every ingredient in the box count:

 

 

MEAL SOULTIONS – GENPAK’S OVEN READY FOOD TRAYS

Genpak’s Oven Ready Food Trays are microwavable, oven-safe, freezable, top-shelf dishwasher safe. This product line combines product uniformity, strength and elegance coupled with durability. From sizes 8 oz. to 26 oz.

CLEAR FOOD PACKAGING

Our Hinged and Two-Piece container line has to be one of our most successful designs that may be used in a variety of applications. From sizes 4 oz. to 64 oz.

SMART SET PRO

Our Smart Set Pro containers are produced with a revolutionary ‘textured’ microwave-safe material that will wow your customers. This textured finish feels cooler to the touch when compared to traditional microwavable containers, even when hot food is the application. From sizes 12 oz. to 48 oz.

PROVIEW

Features the premium look that a black container offers food items and the superior food product visualization of clear packaging.

HARVEST PRO

Genpak’s Harvest Pro products offer an enhanced environmental solution for your food packaging needs.

 

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 meal-kit delivery services, click here.

Don’t Like When Your Food Touches? We Have the Solution.

January 26th, 2018 RSS feed icon

black food tray

What role does food separating or fork stacking play when enjoying a full plated meal?  The answer depends not on what you eat, but how you eat it.

As a southern-cuisine fanatic, nothing shouts “comfort food” to me more than a plate of turkey, macaroni & cheese, collard greens, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potato dessert, and a fully baked roll. I don’t have a problem with the some of the food touching each other. But here’s where my simple-classic meal gets complicated: the moment the juices from my collard greens and the runny gravy invade my freshly baked roll, then somehow gets trapped under my mac and cheese. That’s when I find myself having a 5-second moment of silence as I try to process the atrocity of my food drowning in a puddle of liquid.

But no need for sympathy. The worst-case scenario involves the food separatist who absolutely hates when their food touches. This fear can be identified as brumotactillophobia. It’s a mild form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), so most people who find themselves in this category simply enjoy each food item individually. Anyone with this phobia believes that food mixing & mingling is an utter corruption, and it takes away the control of how they want to enjoy their mealtime. Unless we’re talking about foods that are sandwiched between two burger buns, wrapped in a zesty burrito, or even tossed up to make a fresh salad (in other words, foods that are meant to be combined), then people with this problem prefer their appetizing meals, separately.

The cure is in the close-off.

Every consumer has a little brumotacillophobia depending on the meal, and Genpak’s Close-Off Food Containers are the best way to prevent any messy spills or clashing between food items. Since consumers are looking up to the foodservice industry to deliver the best food experience, the off-premise dining market is a hotspot for close-off food containers. They are perfect for take-outs, third-party delivery, and any other off-premise occasions. To condense your search for them, the containers are available in a free Close-Off Sample Kit, which can be found here. Check out our Close-Off To-Go Containers video below to see the food packaging at a glance.

Goodbye brumotacillophobia! Genpak’s Close-Off Food Containers are the cure!

Take-Out Occasions

January 16th, 2018 RSS feed icon

While I’m not ready to have a drone deliver my food, I am a strong believer in take-out food. Whether it’s being delivered straight to my door, or I pick it up on my way home from my favorite restaurant, when someone else cooks for me it’s a delight. Here at Genpak we think every take-out occasion should be special. Food arriving as you expect it, hot and mess-free. There’s nothing worse than getting your food home, or delivered, and it’s all shaken around, French fries sitting in some sauce that came on your burger, or worse yet, cold and lack luster fries from your favorite restaurant.

compartmented food containers

Smart Set Pro containers are recyclable, reusable, and microwave safe.

Genpak has containers to make every off-premise dining experience a great one.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when sauces are spilling out of the container and all over the bag and subsequent containers. I received Asian food one time and the containers were stapled all the way around… um, shouldn’t they work the way they were designed? Genpak’s Smart Set Pro containers are microwave safe and leak resistant. No staples needed.

Order accuracy is another hot button issue of mine. I want what I ordered. Is that too much to ask? Clear topped containers, like Genpak’s new ProView containers, are great for helping get orders right. These containers are also microwave-safe so I can zap it in the microwave if it doesn’t arrive hot enough after a long car ride. ProView is recyclable so I’m not filling up my trash can with rubbish. These containers can be recycled into new products for some else to enjoy.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Genpak’s oven ready containers are great for bake and show applications as well. Genpak has you covered from appetizers through dessert.

Every take-out order should be treated as a special occasion. Someone else is fixing a lovely meal for you. Presentation is key to keeping customers returning. Packaging plays a big role in that. Plates to share, food to nibble, let Genpak help make your take-out occasion a special one.

APET or OPS? The Difference is CLEAR.

December 5th, 2017 RSS feed icon

APET vs. OPS

The Hard, Brittle Truth Behind OPS

Transparent food packaging is becoming a driving force in a faster purchasing decisions. So, when it comes to OPS and APET, the difference is clear. OPS is an oriented polystyrene that can be formed into plastic. This substrate is a cheaper option, but this low-priced material can only go so far. APET is anamorphous polyethylene terephthalate, and is uncompromising, safe, sustainable, and worth the investment. Here are the unparalleled qualities in APET that makes OPS “crack” under pressure.

1 | Unmatched Clarity

There’s nothing more important in food service than authentic food presentation. It benefits both the operator who displays the food item and the consumer who makes the purchasing decision. While OPS is usually made for bakery food items, APET material offers a heightened transparency.

Even with lids, APET is unmatched with superior clarity. You don’t have to confirm that you have Coke or tea, and water or Sprite. Since OPS lids produce haziness, you sometimes can’t help but lift the lid to guarantee that you have the right refreshment. APET on the other hand, is much more transparent where consumers can ensure that they have the right beverage without having to peep through a blurry lid.

2 | Longer Shelf Life

Every food item has an expiration date, and APET is a great candidate for offering a longer shelf life. 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.

OPS is limited in versatility when it comes to preserving food items at room temperature or in a cooler setting. It’s very brittle and is more likely to shatter. Oxygen can easily seep into a container made from this substrate and cause food spoilage.

3 | Strong and Safe

APET is durable, cut resistant, and uncompromising when handled. OPS tends to be rough around the edges, making it difficult to get along with. As a company that thrives off safety, we recognize that OPS is a risky investment because it is a firm plastic that’s prone to cracking. Brittle substrates like this can challenge your safety, causing scratches and cuts. It leaves behind sharp edges when cracked, which is why it is not a recommended substrate for drinking cups.

4 | #1 Curbside Recyclable

APET is a versatile substrate that is widely accepted by most municipalities curb side recycling programs. Most recycling firms do not accept OPS because it is more difficult to break down and reconstruct. Genpak’s transparent containers are constructed with APET and up to 30% post-consumer recycled content, in our conservational efforts to eliminate waste, and reduce the burden on the environment.

At Genpak, we’re passionate about engineering products that perfectly blend with immediate packaging needs. These options can be found in our Hinged Deli Containers, Hinged Bakery Containers, Supermarket Containers, Hinged Food Containers, and Cold Drink Cups. We ensure a forerunning spot in markets where APET products are needed.

clear deli containers - APET

Home Delivery Explosion Continues – Are you ready?

March 15th, 2017 RSS feed icon

The home delivery explosion isn’t ending any time soon. Are you ready? Every restaurant should be at least thinking about making this option accessible to their communities. On-demand food service delivery brings food directly from your restaurant to the customers, driven through mobile apps and online ordering.

Millennials are driving change in many different areas, food service included. As you might have guessed, Millennials are tech savvy, typically using up to two or three different devices each day. They are using said devices to connect with friends and companies, to research and review products, and to place food orders for delivery or take-out. They already love coming in to your restaurant, so why not connect to them when they don’t feel like eating out.

The restaurant industry is a roughly $490 billion market. Food delivery makes up 43% of that marketing and is continuing to grow. Engage with your loyal customers in and out of your restaurant. Millennials and Baby Boomers, alike, want great food at their finger tips.

RestaurantBusiness.com has a great article about how to get started with food delivery. There are lots of questions to ask before you get started in offering your food for delivery. Which service should I use, how will this change my business? Are we prepared to take on the increase in take-out orders? Do we have the right packaging for full meals to travel?

Genpak is here to help. Take a look at our home delivery video to get free samples, request a call, and learn more.

 

Easily Bring Recycling Into Your Restaurant Or Foodservice Business

January 8th, 2015 RSS feed icon

recycling chartThere are different ways in which food service businesses are environmentally friendly. Some use locally grown produce. Some offer reusable containers and packaging, or allow customers to bring their own in. Some use containers that are compostable or made of recycled content. Others use eco friendly chemicals for cleaning. Some find ways to conserve water doing dishes, while still others Use solar power or wind power to generate electricity. The list goes on and on, and many are finding new ways to make Go Green part of the way they do business.

For those businesses that have not initiated any eco friendly movements yet, or think it may be too hard to get started, we want to provide steps to incorporate one of the easiest eco friendly things you can do: Read the rest of this entry »

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