It doesn’t take much looking around to see that the consumer trend of practicing portion control is still hanging around. Not only are consumers practicing portion control, but the role of snacking has been on the rise over the last few years.

“Study after study has highlighted that consumers are practicing portion control in their eating habits,” says Jack Tilley, market research manager for Inline Plastics. Consumers want to indulge in decadent desserts without as much guilt. Others practice self-imposed dietary restrictions. Younger shoppers, mainly millennials, tend to consume several smaller meals per day instead of the traditional three square meals.

It all adds up to the need for more manageable pre-packaged options for retail foodservice providers. In turn, their providers need to provide more packaging options. Packaging has evolved to reflect the smaller portions as suppliers have developed broad lines of packaging sizes to meet this trend.

Inline, for example, has added 6-ounce and 20-ounce container sizes – in addition to its standard sizes of 8, 12, 16, 24 and 32 ounces – to its tamper-evident Safe-T-Fresh line of containers. “This will help complement the line and meet customer needs,” Tilley says.

Innoseal is a leader in tamper evident bag closing systems. Jeff Rebh, the company’s president and CEO, says portion control plays a major role in Innoseal’s business and its customer’s demands. Many of the company’s pizza customers use Innoseal’s products for portion control, reducing inventory shrinkage and waste.

Inline has also developed its Grab & Go line of rigid plastic containers, which can be geared toward the portion-control consumer base. The containers include rigid stacking rails for enhanced, reliable stackability and can increase impulse purchases with clear, eye-catching displays. The tamper-resistant, tamper-evident Safe-T-Gard tear strip provides consumer confidence, too.

Tilley says this line is ideal for c-stores and other retailers looking to offer decreased, portable portions.

“Convenience stores can capitalize on these trends by offering an array of snack and dessert foods in small portion sizes,” he says. “This line also includes snack cups, hangable packaging and sandwich containers that are ideal to merchandise these small portion sizes.”