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  • The 2019 Foodservice Packaging Awards

    Restaurant Operations November 11, 2019 By QSR Staff
    Paper cups stacked on paper boxes.
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    istock

    The perfect package

    Is there a more underrated restaurant differentiator than packaging?

    Sure, high-tech tools are more fun, and stellar food is what hooks customers in the first place. But packaging—especially in a world increasingly dominated by off-premises business—offers restaurant companies both a branding and functionality opportunity that can set them apart from the competitors.

    Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), says consumers ultimately want their hot food hot and their cold food cold, but she adds that it’s becoming more challenging to do that in a complex restaurant world. Operators must consider several aspects of packaging when selecting the best product for their brand.

    “There are so many different options in the marketplace today, and the ‘best in class’ packaging balances all those options: performs well, uses recycled content or renewable materials, is designed to be recycled and/or composted, and, of course, comes  in at a reasonable cost to the operator,” she says.

    She adds that the most important thing companies can do in their packaging decisions is address the needs of the customer, “whether this means new packaging to support the growing delivery trend, grab-and-go options (with tamper-evident seals), or new products and materials designed to be recycled and/or composted.”

    QSR partnered with the FPI once again to assess the best packaging options across the limited-service industry today. Dempsey says this year’s candidates show just how seriously the industry is taking its packaging.

    “It wasn’t too many years ago when packaging really was an afterthought for most foodservice brands. Today, we’re excited about how much thought the brands are putting into the packaging,” she says. “It was interesting to see how many entries showed excellence in multiple categories. The ‘Foodservice Package of the Year’ is a great example.”

    To which package is Dempsey referring? You’ll just have to read on to find out.

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Excellence in New Menu Launch

    1. KFC’s Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits

    The entry:

    KFC was looking to release a new limited-time-only Dessert Biscuit, which consisted of KFC’s biscuits topped with Cinnabon cinnamon brown sugar glaze and cream cheese frosting. KFC approached WestRock to design a functional and appealing folding paperboard carton to launch it.
     

    Judges say:

    “This is exactly the kind of package we had in mind when we created this category. The product itself is a clever combination of two iconic flavors, and the package KFC created to launch it fits the bill perfectly. Really, this packaging has it all: branding, functionality, convenience, and even manufacturing innovation. Bonus points for the audible click on closure. This is tops not only in the category, but in the entire competition.”

    THE OVERALL PACKAGE OF THE YEAR

    KFC's Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits packaging was also named the 2019 Foodservice Package of the Year.

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Excellence in New Menu Launch

    2. McDonald’s Cheesy Bacon Fries Carton

    Submitted by WestRock

    The entry:

    After favorable sales in the Australian market, McDonald’s tested the Cheesy Bacon Fries in the U.S. and found high consumer appeal in the product. Havi and WestRock partnered to create a package that provided some of the key benefits of a plastic carton (leak-resistant, rigid and secure closure) in a paperboard-based package.

    Judges say:

    “We love it when brands import menu items into America! Let’s face it: Cheesy fries with bacon are bound to be a bit on the messy side, but this package handles the challenge with aplomb.”

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Innovation in Convenience

    1. Genpak’s Clover

    The entry:

    The Clover line of hinged packaging  from Genpak offers a number of innovative features, including a dimpled finish, making the container much easier to hold and carry, and a pre-vented design that allows for improved food integrity. The package is offered in a clear polypropylene that aids operators with order accuracy.

    Judges say:

    “The Clover container is convenient for consumers and foodservice operators for a number of reasons. Notably, its texturized finish and the clover shape make it easier to hold for consumers with different hand sizes.”

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Innovation in Convenience

    2.  KFC’s Dine-in Platter

    The entry:

    KFC’s new dine-in platter maintains ease of use for employees, streamlines the scoop-to-order process, and improves in-store dining for consumers. The design team was deliberate in the intricate details, including shallow depth and scooped edges.

    Judges say:

    “The Dine-in Platter is convenient for both the operator and the consumer—offering a shallow walled shape that minimizes customer spills and also arrives at the store set up and stacked for the convenience and ease of the foodservice operator.”

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Innovation in Manufacturing

    1. Eco-Products’ Vanguard Line

    The entry:

    The Vanguard Line from Eco-Products PBC is a groundbreaking line of molded fiber plates and containers made from sugarcane. When some customers expressed interest in molded fiber products that do not use PFAS to achieve grease resistance, Eco-Products recognized a hole in the market that needed to be filled.

    Judges say:

    “The Vanguard line is first to industry PFAS-free molded fiber. This line meets the manufacturing need of the marketplace for an alternative. No one else has this on the market at this time.”

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Innovation in Manufacturing

    2. Tie: Clearwater Paper’s NuVo Cup Stock and WNA’s Reflections Renew

    The entry (NuVo):

    Clearwater Paper’s NuVo cup stock offers up to 35 percent post-consumer recycled fiber while maintaining the sidewall strength and stretch necessary to form a quality cup.  The high-definition surface provides uniform and consistent ink coverage while saving 50 percent ink.

    The entry (reflections):

    To provide customers with a more sustainable option, the Reflections Renew cutlery line from WNA, a Novolex brand includes 20 percent Post Recycled Content without having to sacrifice performance or presentation.

    Judges say:

    “Our second place was a tie, as both products illustrate innovations in the use of post-consumer recycled content, NuVo in paper cup stock and Reflections in silver-look plastic cutlery.

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    QSR magazine

    Category: The “Wow” Factor

    1. Bahama Buck’s Island Pack

    The entry:

    The Bahama Buck’s Island Pack allows guests to carry up to 12 products in one carrying case. The brand has been using the Island Pack in more than 100 locations nationwide for over a year and has seen an increase in the number of large-quantity product orders during that time.

    Judges say:

    “The Island Pack is completely innovative, and we’ve never seen anything like it. When you see it, you have a reaction to it. It sells from a distance. The idea that you can carry 12 drinks at once is an amazing convenience for the consumer.”

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    QSR magazine

    Category: The “Wow” Factor

    2. Papa John’s XL Superhero Pizza Box

    The entry:

    Papa John’s is the first company to feature a Snapchat Snapcode on a pizza box. Guests experience a true “WOW” factor through a 3D augmented reality integration with Snapchat and Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

    Judges say:

    “The XL Superhero box has some really fantastic, kick-ass graphics, weaving together the two brands of Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man with Papa John’s in a visually stunning fashion.

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Excellence in Brand Delivery

    Submitted by Baldwin&

    1. Long John Silver’s In-store Package Design System

    The entry:

    Long John Silver’s has been around for 50 years but has endured rough seas in the past several years. To put Long John Silver’s back on the map, it needed a strategy and design to stand the test of time. Baldwin& delivered a cod-ified (get it?) take on the LJS mission, “Seas every moment.”

    Judges say:

    “Long John Silver’s Packaging captured our top spot because it felt very fresh and energized with its fun, playful nautical theme. We also felt like the theme was well done for LJS and a departure from the restaurant chain we knew. This packaging made us want to go for a visit!”

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    QSR magazine

    Category: Excellence in Brand Delivery

    2. KFC's Cheetos Sandwich

    The entry:

    The KFC Cheetos Sandwich clamshell presented an interesting opportunity to promote two brands with iconic brand assets. Knowing that Cheetos and Chester Cheetah carried with them such profound brand recognition, KFC wanted to lean into the partnership to elevate the packaging into something that was as provocative and unexpected as the sandwich it was designed for.

    Judges say:

    “KFC’s Cheetos Sandwich box was Chester Cheetah in clamshell form. There was instant brand recognition with the toothy grin on the front of the box and its signature orange and black color scheme.”