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Foodservice Packaging Delivers

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, in our industry, the packaging or the contents? This is a dilemma that foodservice operators are faced with — especially if they offer delivery. 

At the Food on Demand Conference earlier this year, I addressed the role of foodservice packaging as a key part of this innovative industry. How else can you have food delivery without packaging? Yet, you’d be surprised to know how far down the totem pole it can land. Sometimes the decision on how to package the products isn’t considered until the menu has been set, and they're scrambling to find a container to fit the food.

Here are some tips for foodservice operators as they consider packaging options.

  • DO consider packaging decisions early on during your food and beverage development.
  • DO communicate all the features and functions the packaging should have to your supplier.
  • DO test samples in actual use (delivered!), not just dry or empty.
  • DO consider the environmental attributes of the packaging.
  • DO consider using your foodservice packaging as potential advertising.
  • DON'T just use the low-cost option to save money.
  • DON'T assume that custom packaging is the best option.
  • DON'T assume that all foods and beverages can go in the same packaging.
  • DON'T forget to periodically assess your packaging to make sure it still meets the needs of you and your customers.
These tips are also included in FPI's Strategic Sourcing Guide. This free guide provides direction on where to source foodservice packaging and outlines purchasing considerations for foodservice operators. It also includes a sample request for proposal for use with packaging suppliers. Please feel free to download this and share with current and potential customers, or direct them to FPI’s website to download.

It doesn't matter how good the food tastes if the packaging doesn't deliver the goods. Consumers want their hot foods hot and their cold foods cold. Meals must arrive looking appetizing – just as if it had been served in the restaurant. This has always been the case, but there are additional performance pressures when it takes 45 minutes from kitchen to table, versus 2 minutes.

So, which came first, the packaging or the contents? Well, the contents, but hopefully the packaging was a close second. 

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 6/19/2018 10:49:55 AM