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Brief Published: 14 Aug 2020

Top New-Era Fast-Food Packaging Innovations


With restaurant food delivery accelerating globally as a result of the pandemic, designers and dining establishments are restructuring takeout packaging to reflect the sustainability and hygiene demands of consumers (read New Rules for Post-Covid Packaging).

  • Eco-Led Design: UK design agency PriestmanGoode has developed a reusable fast-food packaging concept using sustainable materials. The bento-style stackable packaging is made from discarded cocoa bean shells. Meanwhile, the delivery bag designed for transportation is made from a combination of the insulating mycelium material Piñatex (pineapple leather), Lexcell (a plant-based, neoprene-type rubber) and biodegradable Nuatan (a heat-resistant material made from corn starch, sugar and waste cooking oil).

    Consumers would pay a deposit for the packaging, which would be reimbursed once returned to the delivery operator upon their next takeaway. The packaging could then be washed and reused by the restaurant, as well as transferred between different takeout providers.
  • Renewable Materials: KFC Canada has committed to serving all of its chicken and poutine in buckets made from renewable bamboo by the end of 2020. KFC Canada innovation manager Armando Carrillo said: “Bamboo is one of the most renewable and fastest-growing materials, is naturally antibacterial and 100% biodegradable, requires no pesticides, and regenerates itself very quickly when harvested. Bamboo is one of many ways we’re keeping harmful waste out of Canadian landfills.”
  • Covid-Proof Packs: Awajiya, a Japanese railway station lunch delivery service, has taken a simple but clever approach to Covid-era packaging. When folded according to included instructions, the lid of its bento boxes creates a triple shield around the top of the box, which can keep any airborne droplets from nearby people out of the food, as well as containing the eater’s own germs.

For more on the evolution of packaging priorities for the post-pandemic era, read Mainstreaming Eco Packaging and Post-Covid Packaging for Amplified Categories & Causes.

KFC Canada