Five Trends on Why Restaurants Should Embrace Sustainable Packaging

Managing a restaurant invites a host of challenges — from hiring and ordering supplies to running the daily operations to ensuring profitability. But now there’s something else to add to the mix: environmental sustainability.Customers are increasingly pushing for it to be part of their restaurant experience and restaurants must comply to earn their dining dollars. This shift isn’t just reflected in the sourcing of food; consumers also want to know how restaurants source their packaging materials. This can present a challenge to owners and operators: how do you identify and source affordable and sustainable materials so you don’t lose your environmentally conscious customers?

Research released earlier this year by our firm found that 62 percent of Americans say there is a need for more environmentally friendly packaging on food products. So why should restaurants do more to embrace environmentally sustainable packaging? Here are five trends feeding the need to embrace it:

  1. Food waste reduction is growing. Environmental organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council estimate up to 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten. Composting food scraps, switching to a new type of packaging that helps food stay fresh longer, or simply making it easier for consumers to remove all food products from the container would help reduce waste.


  1. Reusable packaging is attracting more interest. Traditionally, reusable packaging was limited to manufacturer and retailer use of reusable pallets, racks, bulk containers and the like. More recently, though, desire for reusable packaging of retail food products is rising. Not only do customers appreciate its secondary use, it also engenders a positive, eco-friendly brand association.
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