Sustainable Food Packaging: Rigid vs. Flexible Packaging


The pandemic has been in the spotlight for many months now. As we have tried to adjust, people across the world have understandably pushed many other global problems out of focus. However, the environment still needs us to do our part by addressing our plastic and litter problems.

We can take small steps to help us regain some measure of control in our lives. By choosing sustainable food packaging, you can make the world that much better a place.

Sustainable Food Packaging Benefits

Compostable food packaging that breaks down over time without harming the environment can help manufacturers, consumers, and the environment. Biodegradable food packaging is less wasteful as it can typically:

  • Use less material in the packaging
  • Use less energy to produce the packaging
  • Use less energy to ship the packaging (because there's less of it)

About Recycling of Food Packaging

Recycling obviously has many benefits. However, even small amounts of food that remain in a recyclable bag or container can contaminate the recycling chain.

Because recycling of food packaging isn't always possible, it should be compostable as well as BPA-free. Biodegradable plastic (and other sustainable packaging) is typically free of toxins and allergy-causing agents. It's better for people and the environment.

Sustainable Food Packaging Choices: Rigid Versus Flexible

Grocery stores, restaurants, and other food-related businesses have lots of food packaging options to assemble, display, and sell the following:

  • Ready-to-eat meals (a.k.a. grab-n-go meals, heat-n-eat meals)
  • Meal kits (i.e., meals ingredients ready to be prepared and cooked)
  • Pre-cooked proteins (fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, ribs)
  • Snacks (trail mix, seasoned popcorn, French fries)
  • Pastries (cookies, brownies, cinnamon buns)

The sections below will give you a better idea of which foods work better with which type of food packaging: rigid or flexible.

Sustainable Rigid Packaging

Rigid microwavable cooking containers are available that display food through a transparent window (either as a clamshell lid or a clear top). These containers have optional dividers available to keep food separate while cooking. They also stack well in the display case.

#ReadyFresh, COMPOSTA, and Ready. Chef. Go! offer Kraft paper rigid packaging containers in a variety of sizes that provide a barrier against grease or moisture. Let your imagination run wild in offering tempting snacks, lunches, and meals to shoppers. Presentation is important, so you need to have the right size container to prevent ingredients from shifting around and looking messy.

Shoppers like these rigid cooking containers because they're easy to transport and reheat. That applies to whether they're at work, on-the-go, or heading home to eat.

Sustainable Flexible Food Packaging

Flexible Food PackagingIf you have on-the-go customers who love your fries, cookies, and other hand-held snacks, look into flexible food packaging. For heavier items like meats and other proteins, again consider #ReadyFresh pouches and rib bags. They carry a line of bags for ready-to-eat hot or cold food.

For food to be reheated right in the bag, discover Ready. Chef. Go! cooking bags. To satisfy customers who want to cook their food immediately before eating, Ready. Chef. Go! has two Earth-friendly choices:

  • Parchment bags
  • Microwave and oven steam bags

Both types of flexible food packaging provide room for a protein and vegetables to deliver healthy and quick meals. Customers enjoy using them because they find them easy to:

  • Store in fridge or freezer
  • Reheat the food at home
  • Store leftovers

Now is a great time to try sustainable rigid and flexible food packaging options. Try a variety to see which best fits your needs and customers' preferences.

If you have questions about the various choices in sustainable food packaging, please visit the Ready. Chef. Go! Contact Us page. We'd love to hear from you!

Ready to join the cooking bag program? Start right here!