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Deliver on summer LTOs with innovative packaging

huhtamaki drink
Photograph courtesy of Huhtamaki

Summer drinks and frozen desserts are among many diners’ favorites as they look to enjoy the warmer temperatures with cool treats. But one often overlooked aspect of these menu additions is the need for proper packaging—especially with the continued trend of increased takeout and delivery. After all, who wants to order a tasty frozen treat only to have a melted mess arrive?

If there’s a choice between ordering directly from a restaurant or using a third-party delivery service, 74% of consumers favored the restaurant option, 11% preferred a third-party delivery service and 15% had no preference at all, according to Technomic’s Evolution of Delivery and Takeout report from Q1 2019. A big reason cited by consumers for this preference was trust. About 35% of consumers said they trusted restaurant employees more than third party delivery employees, while 29% said they don’t trust third party drivers to handle the food properly.

Trust is something no business wants to lose. Huhtamaki’s wide variety of packaging products are one great way to ensure restaurants maintain that trust and to ensure that all of the delivery needs and expectations of consumers are met, especially when it comes to summer menu additions. Packaging that keeps hot dishes hot and cool desserts cold is essential all year round, but especially in the summertime when more deliveries might include those cold or frozen items.

Summer sips and more

Many summer menu options are new takes on classic drinks. Watermelon frozen beverages have increased on menus by 6.5% year-over-year, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor. Cool items such as a watermelon smoothie or iced tea are a perfect way to incorporate this flavor trend as a popular summer LTO. Some other summer drink ideas include sweet berry infused lemonade, pineapple lemonade and raspberry iced tea, and packaging them in cups with tight-fitting lids ensures delivered drinks get to their destination spill-free, and easy-nesting cups help keep the line moving quickly so drinks and meals can be prepped fast and sent out.

Proper packaging isn’t just essential for summer drinks, either. Fresh produce can transform sandwiches into lighter summer fare and their proper delivery is important to taste integrity. Some sandwich menu ideas that shout summer include a chicken banh mi with roasted or barbecue chicken, piled high with pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber and cilantro. Another great summer option is Thai lettuce wraps made with sliced beef or chicken that can be topped with ingredients like cabbage, carrots and snow peas. Make sure to package these in containers that keep cold ingredients separate from hot ingredients, so that the meal arrives in great condition, not soggy and lukewarm. For instance, Huhtamaki’s molded fiber containers and clamshells insulate and reduce condensation to keep food fresh and are also made of recycled materials. These 100% compostable containers help operators keep ingredients and sides separate—whether through compartment containers or with individual-lidded food containers.

No matter what summer menu choices restaurants make, they can be sure that some consumers will be ordering the item for delivery or takeout. In 2018, more than half of consumers ordered food for delivery or takeout at least once a month, and 18% did so more than 10 times per month, according to Technomic’s Evolution of Delivery and Takeout report.

Huhtamaki’s diverse packaging options can ensure that these summer menu options arrive as intended.

This post is sponsored by Huhtamaki