Today, street food is at the height of popularity among British foodies. More and more food service operators are trying to keep up with this trend, by taking their food to the streets, and pop-up vendors are emerging in towns and cities to serve an estimated 2.5 billion people daily.
Creating exciting and tasty dishes is just one factor, vendors need to also be using the right packaging. So if you’re struggling to find the best packaging for your delicious street side morsels, then here are a few tips…
Convenience is Key
The foundations of the street food market is founded on the “grab and go” ethos. Therefore, when choosing your packaging, you should think about how to make the customer experience as simple as possible. For example, if you are thinking about offering dishes that can come with additional sauces, you need to think about investing in a packaging option that can hold many different parts in one container.
Can It Be Reheated?
While a lot of customers will hoover up their food as they wander around the market, or sit and enjoy it on the kerb with a beer, some people may want to eat it later on in the comfort of their own home. With this in mind, it is essential you choose a packaging which is made out of a material that can be reheated. For instance, PP provides heat resistance to handling and reheating. If you want to keep your branding on your packaging, then make sure your packaging supplier uses inks and coatings formulated with heat resistant pigments to meet EuPIA (European Printing Ink Association) guidelines.
Efficiency Is a Must
Street food packaging should always be robust, flexible and stackable. If packaging is not stackable, then these products could take up a lot of limited space which will lead to a reduction SKU’s and transport and storage costs. Investing in packaging that is interchangeable is also worth looking into, as you don’t want to waste money buying multiple different containers for different dishes.
Your packaging should reflect your food and your brand. Paperboard solutions are a great canvas to use to print brand logos and labels. You could even work with a supplier who can offer shorter print runs for seasonal packaging, and creative, on-board print which depict a specific look you are trying to achieve.
No Leakage Please!
Noodles and Asian style broths have become more popular with foodies. But these types of dishes pose a new problem for packaging as they are generally quite wet. So whatever packaging you choose, you need to make sure it offers the appropriate resistance. Greasy packaging can also put a lot of punters off, so using an inner coating of black PET on a paperboard base will provide needed protection for hot dishes and stop any excess grease from absorbing into the packaging. Your packaging needs to be able to keep food - such as soup or porridge - hot for an extended period of time, so using tubs with vent holes which allow the steam to escape is a necessity.
Consumers now expect to see all street vendors using environmentally friendly packaging. And this demand is making even the smallest of vendors take action! Now polystyrene and aluminium trays are being substituted with more environmentally friendly alternatives such as paperboard. One other factor to consider is waste disposal issues, seeing as their will be more food waste due to the rise of street food vendors. It should be any vendor’s primary thought to put in place a plan that will eliminate extra food waste.