Operations

Meet consumer demands for sustainability while ensuring quality of off-premise orders

Photograph: Huhtamaki

In recent years, consumers have started prioritizing sustainability more when choosing where to dine. Sustainability initiatives influence consumer opinion of restaurants, too—83% of consumers agree that sustainability is part of corporate social responsibility, according to Technomic’s 2022 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Multi Client Study. Some of the sustainability issues consumers are most concerned with include environmental protection, sustainable sourcing and energy efficiency. For restaurant operators who want to meet these demands, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start and figuring out which areas of the business will have the biggest impact.

One easy way to meet consumers’ calls for sustainability, however, is with the packaging used for takeout and delivery orders. Over the past few years, consumers have flocked to off-premise dining—first out of necessity related to the pandemic, but now because of convenience. As consumer interest in takeout and delivery remains high, restaurants have an easy way to tweak these services to be a bit more sustainable.

Traditional takeout containers may be made with materials such as Styrofoam or plastics that aren’t suitable for recycling, but there are new, better options available that are considerably more sustainable.

For instance, Envirable™ packaging products from Huhtamaki are made of fibers or plastics that contain one or more of the following sustainable attributes: compostable, recyclable, contains post-consumer recycled content or made with renewable resources.  Some of the products are made with fiber certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program which ensures that the fibers come from responsible and renewable sources, while others are made from fiber certified according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)® Mix 70%, ensuring that the fiber used in those products comes from responsible and renewable sources.

Envirable™ products, including paper food trays, two- or four-cup carriers, clear cups made from recycled materials and molded fiber lids, molded fiber bowls and plates and more are designed to deliver the same high-quality delivery and takeout foods, but in a more environmentally friendly package. For operators looking to expand their sustainability initiatives, changing packaging is a simple and easy-to-implement solution. Perfect for delivering hot or cold foods, these products are available in popular industry sizes to accommodate a variety of menu offerings. Additionally, some items may be customizable with restaurant branding to boost brand awareness.

As consumers continue to prioritize sustainability and make decisions on where to dine based on what restaurants are doing, operators have an array of initiatives to consider. Sustainable packaging from Huhtamaki can be a great introduction to—or expansion of—sustainable options in restaurants. To learn more about the Envirable™ packaging line, click here.

This post is sponsored by Huhtamaki

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