Smunch Packaging: What Matters to Us

When our lunches arrive, our team is excited to peek into the brown boxes, enjoying the first tantalizing aromas escaping them and looking forward to the food. But why are our boxes brown and not purple, like our logo? Why do some providers have stylish and creative delivery packaging and ours is rather simple? We went on a trip down memory lane with our former team member Priyanka to recall what our criteria were back when we were looking for the perfect Smunch box.

Bright Takeaway PackagingDeek Duke I Branding by Patricia Yammine / Source: Jayce-O-Yesta Blog

 

What should the packaging be capable of?

Every restaurant is proud of their food, hence it is every delivery service’s responsibility to maintain the food quality, temperature and taste all the way until the customer receives it - because no one wants food that is either dried out or soggy, nor does anyone want a lumpy mess!

Any delivery packaging should also be resilient enough to withstand the transport. To make the delivery as efficient as possible, it should also be easy to handle, and to make it affordable, the packaging should be cost-efficient. So yes, there’s a pretty long list of demands ... and while a cardboard box might be handy, it's also pretty boring!

 

pizza carton

 

Why a boxed lunch in the first place?

“When we first started Smunch, all we knew was that we wanted to provide office employees with great food,” Priyanka Soni, formerly Smunch’s Head of Operations (and a Smunch team member since the very beginning), recalls. 

“Now the first thing many people would think of is a buffet-style lunch. But with these solutions, you always end up having to prepare more than what people will eat, just to ensure everyone can have a bit of everything. And no matter how good your calculation is, you may end up finding that the meat-eaters finished all the vegan food and now the vegans have nothing to eat. So that’s why we went for individually boxed portions.”

 

Smunch Boxes at a Team Lunch

 

And thus a quest for the perfect box ensued - and it wasn’t an easy one, as we had lots of special requirements. “We spent ages looking for a good solution and tested dozens of products,” Priyanka explains. “At first, we had cardboard-style boxes with a cardboard-style lid. They looked really pretty, but the steam from the food made the lids soggy, and during transport, they occasionally gave in and arrived smashed. So we kept looking.”

Finally we found a product that met all criteria - the brown Smunch box, which is manufactured in Belgium by Sabert and belongs to their BePulp range.

 

Sabert BePulp Container

 

Why we love our boxes

“One day, the Sabert boxes arrived at our offices, to be tried and tested,” Priyanka says. “We immediately fell in love! They look pretty in a natural way, their transparent lids give them an elegant look and make our quality assurance so much easier!”

The main benefits? Oh, where to start? First of all, the boxes are stackable, which helps with the transport, and have a firm lid to prevent leakage. Their shape, size and design provide enough space for a generous portion size and allow our partner chefs to arrange the food nicely, bringing the restaurant spirit to your office and making the unboxing experience even more enjoyable.

 Smunch Boxes with Korean Food

 

Why is there a different box for warm dishes?

In the meantime, we have also introduced a special box for our warm choices - for various reasons. First of all, these have an organic PLA coating that prevents the box from getting soggy and the food from drying out. PLA (polylactic acid) is very similar to regular plastic, yet it is produced entirely from corn starch. This makes it completely natural and compostable and ensures it does not put your health at risk.

Furthermore, these boxes have specially designed lids with vents that allow the heat to stay inside while making sure that no humidity builds up. Because no one wants a meal that is watered down with condensation!

We know that no two work days are the same, and sometimes, you might not be able to stick to your usual lunch hours. That’s why we specifically sourced boxes and lids that are microwaveable so you can reheat your food whenever you are ready to eat it.

These lids are made of polypropylene (PP), a thermoplastic polymer that is produced without any plasticisers. That makes PP one of the safest plastics on the market. PP containers do not leach harmful chemicals into foods or liquids - hence PP is used for most food packaging, such as yoghurt, sauces or drinks. PP is flexible, hard, semi-transparent and fully recyclable.

 

Smunch box made from bagasse

 

What material is our packaging made of?

Our range of packaging here at Smunch mainly consists of the boxes, lids and dressing tubs. The boxes are made of bagasse - which is what's left of sugar cane after the sugar has been produced. So they're completely organic! 

We specifically chose lids without plasticizers that are made of 50% recycled material and 50% plastic to keep it as eco-friendly as possible. And the tubs?

While they look like plastic, our little tubs are made from PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) - a lactic acid that can be found in corn starch. This makes them entirely biodegradable and ensures that everything that touches your food (and your lips) is completely natural.

 

Smunch PLA tub

 

However, even though they look like plastic, our CPLA cutlery (from the Dutch company Bio Futura) and dressing tubs are made from maize starch, making them entirely biodegradable, and ensuring that everything that touches your food (and your lips) is completely natural.

 

Looking after our planet

It’s our planet that produces the food we put in our Smunch boxes: where the fresh and crisp veggies are grown, the cattle is bred and the grains are harvested. Hence it is of the utmost importance to us to give back to the planet and to keep our business’ impact on the environment as small as possible.

 

environment

 

For this reason, we specifically sourced packaging that is biodegradable - and this applies to our current solution: the brown boxes are compostable and will disintegrate within 90 - 120 days. After use, the boxes are best disposed of in the general waste (or so Berliner Stadtreinigung recommends), where they leave considerably less damaging traces behind compared to widely-used aluminium and polystyrene alternatives.

As we bring the food directly to the Smunchie, there is no need for plastic bags or cardboard boxes. And thanks to catering for entire companies, there’s also no need to drive as much as other delivery services do.

How do you like our Smunch food packaging? Drop us a line  - we’re happy to hear from you!

Happy eating,

The Smunch Team

 

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