Innovate Blog
Why black EPS HOTpacs® boxes should be the no. 1 choice for the foodservice sector

Thursday November 9, 2017

Street food is enjoying its time in the limelight thanks to growing demand from the consumer for innovative, globally-influenced lunch and snack options.

According to global food trend website ‘The Food People’ street food has become so popular that it is now consumed by an estimated 3.5bn people worldwide, everyday!

The reason the concept of street food is loved by many is because it promotes a more informal, relaxed and intimate style of eating, and it offers immediacy, spontaneity and an affordable way to try different cuisines.

To cater for the rise in street food, our partner supplier, LINPAC (Klöckner Pentaplast) has developed a premium range of black EPS (expanded polystyrene) meal box solutions called HOTpacs® to deliver a distinctive, luxurious, more exclusive look to packaging for the foodservice sector.

Black packaging was singled out in a recent AdWeek article, which said that the colour instantly makes a product feel more premium, fresh and unique.

Speaking on the premium range of black EPS HOTpacs® meal box solutions, LINPAC sales director, Mark Durston says “The huge trend for upmarket street food has put dining on the go in the same arena as dining out. Street food caterers can serve up anything from tantalising Vietnamese noodles to flavoursome Mexican tortillas and consumers are enjoying this new dining experience. We have rejuvenated some of our EPS solutions that tick all the boxes in terms of functionality, sustainability and performance and offer a novel, standout pack that will enable them to tier their food offering and present food to a high standard.”

Despite this positive acknowledgement, common misconceptions prevail around EPS. The material’s strong sustainability credentials and high-performing functionality, particularly in terms of hot food, are often overlooked as result of negative press and lack of consumer education.

To help dispel the myths, LINPAC (Klöckner Pentaplast) gave us 10 little known facts about EPS. Read on, they may genuinely surprise you…

  1. EPS is 100 per cent recyclable, where facilities exist.
  2. EPS represents efficient use of natural resources. It contains 93 per cent air, making it one of the lightest packaging materials on the market, with a very low carbon footprint and reduced fuel consumption during transportation.
  3. EPS is a great insulator, keeping food cold or warm depending on use.
  4. As it does not biodegrade, EPS does not contaminate the air or water with gases or hydro soluble substances.
  5. The manufacturing process consumes less energy and water than other packaging materials and does not generate waste.
  6. EPS has a high calorific value. 1kg of EPS is equivalent to 1.3 litres of liquid fuel, making it an ideal material for energy recovery systems.
  7. EPS makes up only a tiny part of Municipal Solid Waste (0.1 per cent).
  8. Fungi and bacteria cannot easily grow on EPS, helping to ensure food safety.
  9. EPS packaging protects products, enhancing shelf-life and helping to reduce food waste.
  10. EPS does not damage the ozone layer since it does not use CFCs or HCFCs in the manufacturing process.

LINPAC says that these 10 points highlight the importance of understanding the science-led facts relating to EPS, rather than making subjective assumptions.  The greater awareness that can be raised, the more empowered we become to use EPS as the valuable and sustainable resource it is.

For more information on black EPS – please contact your local Bunzl Catering Supplies branch.