Factors to Consider When Choosing Foam Alternative Food Packaging

If local laws are dictating you use foam alternative packaging at your restaurant for takeout and delivery, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There are many polystyrene-free packaging options out there to consider, and various packaging features to weigh as you make your choice.

foam food containers on picnic table

Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing new packaging for your business? In order to make this process a little easier, we’ve put together a guide to some of the most important factors to keep in mind as you’re researching your foam alternative options.

Selecting The Right Foam Alternative Food Packaging: What To Consider

There are dozens of factors you will ultimately have to consider as you search for the right non-foam packaging. These seven factors will likely play a large role guiding you to the best packaging for your food.

1. Appearance

This time is a great opportunity to rethink how your packaging reflects your brand. Does the way your packaging looks live up to your brand identity? Breaking free of the classic styrofoam clamshell leads to many new opportunities in size, shape, and material. Try to pick a combination that best showcases your branding, mission, and of course your food.

2. Heatproof

Heatproof material is another important factor to pay attention to. If you want to give customers the option to microwave leftovers in the container or wash their containers on the top rack of their dishwasher for reuse, you should pick a material that stands up to the heat.

3. Venting Options

Just like with foam containers, when choosing foam alternative packaging, you have the option to have solid, vented, or optional vented containers. If your restaurant serves up a lot of fried or grilled food, vents will ensure steam can escape to keep foods crisp and fresh.

4. Food Product Visualization

If you’ve previously used styrofoam containers, you didn’t have to worry about how your food looked inside the packaging, as your containers were opaque. But now in the realm of foam alternative containers, you get the option of having a clear lid, which brings up more questions to ask yourself. Do you want your customers to be able to see your food through the lid? Do you want the base to be clear? Or have a black backdrop to make your food presentation pop?

5. Space for Branding

Customizing your food containers is a pro-move for branding your business and making your containers stand out from competitors. If you want space to slap on a sticker with your logo, you need to pick out a container that can accommodate that. A container with a large, flat lid offers a great space for custom branding of your choosing.

6. Cost

Cost is always a factor when it comes to choosing something new for your business. You were used to the cost of your foam packaging, and now you have to set a whole new budget for your packaging needs. The price of packaging is highly dependent on the materials (polypropylene, paperboard, natural fibers, etc.), and the number of packaging features. Be aware that the more specialized the packaging, the more expensive it will be. Across the board, you will find foam alternative packaging to be more expensive than your previous styrofoam containers.

7. Environmental Friendliness

If your restaurant or customer base is environmentally conscious, the environmental impact of your food packaging is another important factor to weigh. Biodegradability, recyclability, and sustainability will be key factors to look for. Additionally, some state and local governments may have their own environmental restrictions, which may narrow down your packaging options significantly.

Choose the Right Take Out & Leftover Packaging for Your Restaurant

Be sure to take these important packaging features into account as you shop your foam alternative container options. It may take a lot of shopping around and careful consideration, but choosing the best packaging for your food can make a huge positive impact on brand recognition and customer satisfaction in the long run.

Looking for some advice or guidance when it comes to selecting new food containers for your restaurant? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Genpak has helped both big and small companies find the perfect container for their food needs.

Give us a call today at (800) 626-6695 or contact us online and our packaging experts would be happy to assist you.