Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, foodservice owners and operators are broadening their focus beyond hygiene to include additional customer and brand priorities, such as sustainability. As the industry pivots, GP PRO, a division of Georgia-Pacific, launched Dixie ecosmart 100% Recycled Fiber Paper Plates and Bowls at the 2022 National Restaurant Association Show.
Dixie ecosmart recycled fiber paper plates and bowls are made of 100% post-consumer recycled fiber. The products are durable, soak-proof, microwavable, and recyclable in facilities that accept paper products containing food waste. In addition, they’re certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Recycled Paperboard Alliance, and the USDA. Together with Dixie ecosmart 100% Recycled Fiber Paper Hot Cups, which GP PRO unveiled in 2019 and is making widely available later this year, the company now offers a complete family of recycled and recyclable disposable foodservice products.
“What we’re hearing from consumers and operators is that while the pandemic understandably prioritized hygiene, it only temporarily displaced a desire for sustainable foodservice packaging,” says Alec Frisch, vice president and general manager of Foodservice with GP PRO, which is well known for its Dixie brand of foodservice solutions. “Hygiene remains critically important, but hygiene alone is not the golden ticket to a profitable foodservice establishment.”
Frisch points to GP PRO proprietary research conducted in July 2021 that shows 55% of consumers would return to a restaurant more frequently if it used recyclable food packaging, and 54% would return more frequently if it used packaging made from recycled content. Additional findings indicate that 7 in 10 consumers are willing to pay a premium above the cost of their meal if it is served on a 100% recycled fiber plate, 78% say a meal served on a 100% recycled fiber plate reflects positively on a brand, and 88% say it shows an operation is doing its part to be more sustainable.
Also at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show, GP PRO launched its new Dixie Ultra Compostable Insulated Food Wrap & Liner, a double-layered paper wrap engineered to retain heat and maintain food integrity. It is also grease-resistant, microwavable, customizable, and compostable in commercial composting facilities. The Dixie Ultra Compostable Insulated Food Wrap & Liner is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and is third-party tested to meet American Society for Testing and Materials standards for Industrial Compostable Products.