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By Erin Brereton
Interest in environmentally friendly materials, such as napkins made from recycled content and packaging that can be recycled or composted after it’s used, is currently the biggest packaging-related movement, according to Dyer. "I hesitate to even say it's a trend because it's just a part of doing business now," she says.
To emphasize these attributes, specific nutritional information is included on labels placed on its grab-and-go items sold in gyms, coffee shops and other locations around Los Angeles and Orange County, California.
“We test it out—put different products in the packaging, and let it sit, beat it up,” Rollo says. “We call it the two-year-old’s test. [New packaging] has failed 99 percent of the time, but that’s why we put it through that.”
Often foodservice operators don't think about packaging until the very end of the R&D cycle, according to Dyer. But it may be wise to move packaging testing and decisions up in the schedule—and think about the future. “Can your packaging perform in a slightly different way for catering? Is your packaging drone-delivery ready?” Dyer asks. “These are things, depending on your brand, you really do need to keep thinking about.”
With a number of new dining innovations on the horizon that stand to change the way fast-casual and quick-service food is served, restaurants need to be ready and willing to find new ways to meet consumer demand for easy, on the go, and environmentally-friendly eating.