How Reusable Packaging Keeps Your Customers Coming BackSmart restaurant owners give customers an added value after they leave the store with reusable packaging.
"In our throwaway society, which is oriented toward convenience and consumption, reusability often is far down the list of potential packaging options. In many cases, however, it might be an excellent option," Packaging Digest magazine reports.
There are several ways customers can get more use out of their meal or its packaging. Diners might choose to reheat their meal and want the convenience to use its original cup, bowl or rectangular container. Microwaveable packaging is a hassle-free way for customers to enjoy their food purchase at home. Additionally, a plastic container gives customers the chance to wash and use the packaging again - both a convenient and earth-friendly practice.
One Sauce Doesn't Fit AllMarking a trend in foodservice, QSR's online magazine recently profiled the growing push for individualized meals for customers and highlighted how restaurant owners are creatively meeting this need by looking beyond the main course.
Side dishes made for customer's specific tastes allows take out restaurants to serve a tailored dining item and still control cost.
"Restaurants are increasingly using various sauces and dips to provide customers with the ability to construct their own flavor profiles built around existing menu items," the QSR author writes.
According to QSR, restaurants owners need to strike a balance between cost-effective meal choices and serving the specific needs of a customer. Restaurant owners have found a solution, QSR reports, in disposable packaging in portion sizes for sauces and side dishes.
Time and expense lead customers to prepared meals at the supermarketA new report on the growing popularity of prepared food meals indicates an increased opportunity for sales of take out fresh food. Fresh food businesses are benefiting from a consumer shift to one-stop food shopping. In an article from QSR magazine online, industry professionals are finding that consumers, pressed for time and money, look to grab prepared meals to go at super markets.
Citing a study on consumer behavior and prepared foods, QSR reports that 64 percent of survey respondents said they had purchased ready-to-eat or heat-and-eat food from a grocery store within the last month.
Combining the elements of fresh food with to go containers, the study suggests, offers a chance to meet more consumer needs.
Information from QSRmagazine.com, "Competition on Aisle Five" July 2010.
Catering businesses and restaurants show strong growth in summer
The National Association of Catering Executives reported several positive signs for the industry in May. Compared to last year, caterers report quickening business and discussed the unique features of the recovery. The NACE conducted a survey with their members and asked them to share insight on their business in 2010. Thirty percent reported that expenditures increased for each event. Even more caterers saw the total revenues on the rise. Overall, the total number of events has grown over last year and almost 50% more weddings took place above 2009. NACE and members saw that lead time for events has shortened (people waiting longer to schedule and book their event). This report, NACE says, shows that consumers are approaching their spending differently but are now more willing to make a purchase.Restaurants are expected to add 428,000 jobs this summer season, a 4.6 % increase over the March 2010 employment level, according to National Restaurant Association projections released last month. The restaurant industry is not the only group benefitting from the upswing. According to the NRA news release "every dollar spent in restaurants generates an additional $2.05 spent in the overall economy."
Industry Professionals Express New Confidence in 2010 Foodservice Market
Judging from the results of a recent survey from Foodservice Packaging Institute in Falls Church, Virginia, mounting confidence is signaling an encouraging new year.
"We've been doing this for awhile," John Burke, President at FPI says about the yearly industry survey. "Bottom line, our members (food packaging manufacturers and suppliers) are very optimistic about recovery in 2010."
FPI members gave their opinions on their profits, volume and earnings in 2010 compared to last year. The members responded positively, adding that they have confidence in more than one area of their business.
Burke reported that "they expect to be pushing more out the front door as well as increases in terms of profit." Specifically, 18 of 33 converters said they expected their profits in 2010 to be higher than last year, and including those who responded that they expect to be equal to the previous year accounted for 25 out of 33.
These answers, Burke said, speak to the resilient nature of the industry and the unique advantages manufacturers, distributors and food packaging resources possess.
These survey results also indicate that manufacturers have an eye toward expansion and re-emerging purchasing. Specifically, businesses are now primed to expand their existing plants or grow with mergers and acquisitions. Both in North America and Europe, business leaders who represent manufacturers, suppliers, operators and distributors responded with indications of healthy operations.
Even in lean times of recession the food industry weathers challenges and continues production. Particularly quick service restaurants, coffee shops, delis and foodservice retailers have continued to do business.
Now, indispensables like to go/take out products, foam containers, paper coffee bags, aluminum foil sheet and beverage cups are poised to assist retailers get a leg up on the new wave of rising sales. The durable aspects of the foodservice business are based a solid relationship with consumers and their continuous demands.
John Burke describes his insight into the matter of "recession-resistant" industry. Individual businesses and chain retailers have withstood and survived a challenging marketplace, ready to thrive (along with the foodservice packaging industry) in the present and future.
Though shifting economic demands will always keep manufacturers poised to meet each challenge, Burke says he's pleased with the genuine outlook of these industry professionals. "They're looking like a fairly optimistic group."
Sidebar: What the New Study Says About Consumer Dining Priorities
As encouraging news arrives for manufacturers, customer concerns continue. For this reason, the food packaging and manufacturing industry stands at a unique place in the market place.
John Burke, of the Food Packaging Institute, shares more of his opinions on the state of the industry and its distinguishing markets.
As we saw in FPI's study, things are looking rosier for food packaging. Burke points out specific realities of end-users who are dealing with economic troubles and what the industry's future holds.
"It's not that our members are not affected by the recession," Burke says. "If people stop going out to eat, then that would have major impact on us." However, he says, consumers are mainly adjusting their food behaviors.
"Basically what takes place (and consumer trends) is what makes us what I call recession-resistant." Burke describes the new patterns of customer spending as "dining down."
Customers might dial back their visits to white linen tablecloth establishments and replace it with a single-use, take-out restaurants. Quick Casual, Quick Service restaurants have supplied a different kind of eating opportunity for the public, Burke says, and it marks steadfast output for the industry.
In sum, the industry continues to meet the needs of consumers at each level of dining. Each demographic and generation looks for a different delivery of their food packaging, and so Burke says, continue industry's opportunities to serve.
PRI strives in being a leader in the packaging industry. We are devoted to your success by offering the best solutions to your packaging needs. Your complete satisfaction is our ultimate objective.
Home | About PRI | Products | Markets Served | Case Studies | Contact Us | Industry News
Copyright © 2010 PRI Packaging. All Rights Reserved.