Consumers are continually increasing their search for convenient and fresh foods. According to instore’s report What’s Driving Retail Foodservice Consumers, published in October, grab-and-go convenience is the biggest reason retail foodservice purchases are increasing. In fact, 67 percent of respondents to the survey listed convenience as a reason — 20 percent more than the second-place response, improved food quality.
And with such a focus on convenient foods comes a big need for corresponding packaging — easy-to-handle, easy-to-open, durable, tamper-evident containers that serve to further enhance consumer ease.
“The key is to define features into the packaging to achieve these specific benefits,” says Inline Plastics’ Jack Tilley.
As an example, Tilley details Inline’s Safe-T-Fresh Grab & Go line of packaging, which he says combines a tamper-evident perimeter closing system that strengthens food safety and extends shelf life. Other features can be added to the benefit of grab-and-go consumers, too. “These containers have recently been enhanced with SureGrip Technology, which provides a textured surface, making the robust lid simple to handle and makes resealing easy,” Tilley says.
Fabri-Kal’s Greenware On-The-Go Boxes are billed as an option for stacking shelves with creative food combinations, perfectly packaged for on-the-go consumption. The company says the boxes are durable, allowing no flavor or odor transfer, and are made to be compact and stackable to maximize space on shelves and in cold cases. The sturdy, crystal-clear containers come in everything from one-cell to four-cell designs with flat lids that fit all of them.
The Greenware line is made from Inegeo biopolymer, a PLA resin derived entirely from plants that are domestically grown and annually renewable. The line of products is also totally compostable.
As more and more convenience stores are looking to their foodservice as a means of boosting profits and standing out, the need for convenience-minded packaging that targets grab-and-go consumers becomes even more important with each passing quarter.
“Convenience stores are increasingly beefing up their foodservice offerings, attracted by the high margins foodservice brings to the store,” Tilley says. “As c-store customers generally don’t eat in the store, smaller grab-and-go food offerings are increasing to allow consumers to grab specific items to build a meal or simply pick up a snack. These increased offerings drive demand for packaging to fill these needs.”
Tilley mentions Inline’s array of tamper-evident rectangular, round, and square containers in a wide breadth of sizes to meet many food packaging needs. The company’s latest innovation is its RoundWare line of 4-inch tamper-evident round containers geared toward produce, deli, candy, dried snacks and other-grab-and-go foods.
Also along these lines is Inline’s Safe-T-Fresh Hangables line, which features a built-in hang tab that allows hanging of the product for a more enticing presentation. “The Hangables containers are tamper-evident and have a molded-in hang-tab to enable merchandising on racks and pegboard displays throughout the store,” says Tilley, mentioning that the containers are ideal for supermarkets, c-stores, and even warehouse clubs. “C-stores often utilize these containers on counters or floor racks, which helps them save valuable shelf space for other offerings.”