The pandemic has changed our lives completely from the way we work to the way we shop to the way we dine, and the key change is driven by consumers’ growing demand for safe, convenient sustainable packaging. The foodservice industry undoubtedly experienced the largest impact and inevitably shaped new consumer behavior. Restaurants had to pivot in order to service customers as well as to survive which led to innovative solutions including quick curbside pickup and app-based food delivery that consumers loved. Now businesses must learn to accept and build on pandemic operations seeing that they’re here to stay.
To-Go Packaging Safety
Since food deliveries have become more prevalent, so has the rise of food theft. App delivery drivers have been reported eating or stealing customer’s orders 1 which costs restaurants and impacts customer experience. Tamper resistant packaging is a solution to provide peace of mind and restore trust in consumers. Both tamper resistant containers and tamper evident stickers ensure orders are well protected against food tampering.
Convenient To-Go Packaging
Consumers prefer to spend less time in restaurants and shops thus turning to convenient ready-to-eat meals. The ready-to-eat market has seen significant growth recently2 leading to a need for clear round deli container or hinged containers because the clear visibility of contents help consumer make quick selections.
They will also continue to utilize pick up options such as curbside or drive-thrus at restaurants. The convenience of ordering through technology and simply driving up for a prepared meal has gained a lot of appeal. As a result, the need for to-go packaging and disposable restaurant supplies has increased. If restaurants have not done so already, they need to adapt quickly by implementing seamless ordering systems as well as stocking cutlery kits and take out boxes for convenient off-premise dining.
Sustainable To-Go Packaging
The shortage of to-go packaging during the pandemic caused businesses to revert to plastic containers just to meet demand. However, consumer pressure for sustainable packaging is high now that life is returning to normal. That combined with more local governments banning single-use plastics, eco-friendly alternative packaging is a rising trend3. Businesses should be sourcing sustainable to-go packaging made from plant-based biodegradable materials for their restaurant supplies in order to show customers their support of consumer interest. Products such as paperboard food storage containers4 and PLA or bagasse hinged containers are expected to grow.
With increased takeout leading to higher production volume of environmentally friendly compostable to-go packaging, costs are expected to come down as well making it a more affordable switch. For suggestions on how to upgrade your cups and containers, check out The Karat Guide to Going Green.
For more information about latest news and trends, check out https://www.karatpackaging.com/latest-news/ .
1 Matias, Dani (2019, July 30) 1 in 4 Food Delivery Drivers Admit To Eating Your Food. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746600105/1-in-4-food-delivery-drivers-admit-to-eating-your-food
2Fact.MR (2021). Takeout Containers Market. Fact.MR. https://www.factmr.com/report/3951/take-out-container-market
3Cobe, Patricia (2020, December 20). Top Packaging Trends for 2021. Restaurant Business. https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/top-packaging-trends-2021
4Blueweave Consulting & Research Pvt Ltd (2021, April). Global Food Storage Container Market. Research and Markets. https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5321738/global-food-storage-container-market-by#rela0-4032367