In the dates that dash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, I see quite a bit of foodservice packaging. No, not just here in my professional experience at FPI, but in my daily personal life as well. It seems like the opportunities for restaurant meals are much more frequent between the middle of November and the first of January. Shopping and social gatherings fill up the calendar and leave me many opportunities to check out all the foodservice packaging at its point of origin. It’s amazing how many different foodservice products are being utilized. For example, my family and I were recent diners at a restaurant offering a promotional menu. If you ordered an entree off of that menu, you got a second entrée to take home with you. I took them up on the offer. So, not only did I have the leftovers from my first meal, but I had an entire second meal to go home with me afterwards. My leftover entree came home in one packaging type, the leftover bread in another package and my second entrée in yet a third type of packaging. Yes, it’s a lot of different packaging for one take out meal, but having various packaging types and designs are meant to optimize my experience with the products inside. And my experience in this case was great! Which is exactly what we all want - a great foodservice experience, both in the restaurant and when we bring it home to eat.
We see this all the time at FPI. Each year, our industry surveys tell us that performance is the number one thing that foodservice operators want out of their packaging. If I take off my FPI hat, I think it’s true of us as consumers as well. I love a good take out package that keeps my hot foods hot, my cold foods cold and doesn’t leak sauce all over the bag or the floor of my automobile. Foodservice packaging that allows me to eat on the go or take home to reheat offers me options and those are great to have. Even when I’m not working and out in the world, I can appreciate utility and design in my packaging, those things that make foodservice packaging convenient and allow me to get on with my holiday shipping and shopping.
So, as we all bustle along during this holiday season, I know I’m not the only one shoveling in dinner while sitting in my car…okay, bringing dinner home after a seasonal outing…the next time you’re in my boat, remember that the package that meal came in is offering the convenience we all need this time of year.