According to McKinsey and Company, 60–70 percent of consumers would be willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. Not only can sustainable packaging drive consumer interest and loyalty, but it can also save operators money when it has a truly innovative design.
It can be challenging to identify eco-friendly packaging when greenwashing is rampant within the packaging industry Akiva Buchberg, GreenDustries executive chairman, president, and inventor of PleatPak® and the proprietary technology, elucidates this point by saying many companies will market themselves as green by simply “check a box” without doing anything to make their product truly sustainable.
Packaging is vital because it sends a message to consumers about the values of a restaurant. In a time when delivery is exploding, packaging is more important than ever. Customers dislike poorly designed packaging that traps moisture inside a package creating soggy hamburger buns. Packaging that tends to fall apart during consumption defeats the purpose of keeping the integrity of the burgers to the last bit.
A thoughtfully designed packaging solution can save money and drive return customers. “Consumers want sustainable compostable, eco-friendly solutions,” says David Dubois, CEO of Franklin Restaurant Group and Tasty Burger. “When all that can be delivered with unparalleled innovation and wow factor, it is a huge win.”
Thirty-one percent of consumers want paper-based packaging, according to McKinsey and Company. This is important to note because GreenDustries—the inventors of PleatPak—is one of the few packaging companies producing unique and innovative paper packaging exclusively. “We are the global champions of source reduction, using material that is far better than any other hamburger package or french fry package,” says Buchberg, “PleatPak provides much better functionality, better heat retention, and portability, and customers say they love it like no other packaging in the market.”
GreenDustries’ PleatPak offers a sustainable, intuitive, cost-effective, design and innovative structure for hamburgers and sandwiches that consumers and restaurant operators can appreciate. PleatPak’s spherical design and perfect fit decrease waste in landfills and kitchens by minimizing the amount of material used. PleatPak has won numerous awards for its unique design and sustainability, including from the Dogwood Alliance, a leading environmental NGO.
While PleatPak’s PFAS-free packaging and low-waste design have caught the attention of NGOs, packaging companies, and businesses, its design has also made an impression on customers. “My customers love this packaging,” Dubois says. “They endlessly write reviews, posts, tweets, and videos; they ask for wrappers to take home with them. No other packaging has ever had such a profound effect on our guests.” The combination of PleatPak’s unique spherical design and the way it perfectly forms around hamburgers creates a ‘vehicle’ to eat out of, providing a pleasant experience for consumers.
Meanwhile, customers are more concerned with the lasting integrity of their food through the delivery and consumption process. The explosion of demand for delivery has increased the pressure on packaging’s ability to retain heat. PleatPak’s design is a win for hamburger lovers around the world, not only because it has a novelty design, but because it speaks to customer issues regarding fast food. PleatPak’s unique, innovative structure cuts down on messes while retaining the heat, and juices. GreenDustries packaging maintains the integrity of each sandwich to the last bite by securing its shape throughout the delivery and eating process.
One study conducted by GreenDustries showed PleatPak outperformed clamshells, quilt wraps, and wax paper, in heat retention, a major concern for today’s consumers. PleatPak maintained heat for four minutes longer than the popular clamshell alternative. “Nothing holds heat without getting soggy better,” Dubois says. “This is because of the built-in steam release chimney. It protects the burger better than a hard-sided clamshell, and it is the coolest-looking wrapper around.”
However, PleatPak not only says it has an innovative and functional design, but many independent organizations also vouch for its unique design and structure. “The list of awards includes the “most functional” from the Foodservice Packaging Institute,” Buchberg says. Further, customers appreciate its design, which can be seen in the hundreds of positive reviews it has received through Yelp.
Innovation is particularly important because it shows the foodservice and the packaging industry that they should strive to evolve their operations to meet consumers’ needs. Buchberg asserts there is little to no effort to truly modernize within the packaging industry and believes it needs to change to more clearly align with consumers’ wishes regarding sustainability and eco-friendly packaging options. “If consumers want to see amazing packaging, they have to go to Japan and other countries that focus on packaging. U.S. consumers are not used to unique designs in the U.S.,” Dubois says. PleatPak is sold in more than 70 countries, at trendy venues, including The Sphere in Las Vegas. Buchberg is proud to provide U.S. consumers with next-generation, stand-out packaging.
While PleatPak is useful for consumers and addresses their needs through an innovative structural design and provides a sustainable packaging alternative, it is also good for back-of-house operations. With its small footprint, it is easy to store and quick to teach to employees. “There are a myriad of reasons why there is no better solution to wrap a burger,” Dubois says. “Employees can wrap a burger in a split second, operators can train a novice to wrap like an expert in ten wraps, and restaurants can store 500 wrappers in a space smaller than a tissue box.”
The growing consumer appetite for sustainable packaging has never been more evident. PleatPak by GreenDustries embodies the essence of innovation and sustainability, providing a cost-effective, heat-retaining, and user-friendly packaging solution. It not only meets consumers’ desires but also aligns with industry needs, bridging the gap between environmental consciousness and practicality in the world of fast food and eating on the go. “GreenDustries addresses the future of packaging, today,” Buchberg says.
In a dynamic market where form and function are paramount, PleatPak stands out as a testament to the commitment to meeting evolving consumer expectations and pushing the boundaries of sustainable and more functional packaging. “There are very few times a product blends form and function perfectly,” Dubois says. “I have come across no packaging in our 13 years in business that is more innovative and useful than PleatPak. It is without equal.”
CTA: Visit the PleatPak website for more information on sustainable packaging.
By Ya’el McLoud