Back to the future with fast food packaging

Print Media

Fast food packaging has grown to my heart since my first job. I came to college with a packaging team from a fast food chain packaging supplier and learned a lot about the environment at the time. Since then, it has been important for me to follow the trends and changes in fast food packaging over the last three decades. Most people focus on the food they order, the packaging is literally thrown away and not much thought about it. Fast food packaging became important and was noticed in 2021. The pandemic has again made another aspect of packaging a more discussed topic. A survey by AdWeek and Harris Poll found that more than 80% of people are worried and worried about stores such as garbage and other waste, such as packaging, produced by fast food stores.

What are some of the factors that make fast food packaging unique? Individual services aimed at emphasizing safety and hygiene in the context of COVID-19 prevention were implemented and led to an increase in waste, which led to an increase in awareness of waste in general.

National chains have seen mainly business growth (when they are open and have food). Many people stayed near the house and hid around. This means that the “sit-down” restaurant company was hit hard at the beginning of the pandemic. Larger fast food restaurant chains are known to grow because they are able to grow by implementing and ordering applications that make it easier for people to order. eat and stay at home. This in turn leads to direct business growth for fast food, which means more packaging such as bags, cups, dishes, straw, plates, containers and more.

Between 2021 and 2022 and beyond, we witnessed progress in packaging in the fast food arena, many of which were introduced or implemented in the US, Canada, as specific regions around the world. Some of the trends we have seen are:

Compostable materials

These materials have been developed for decades, but they are very expensive and require technological improvements for large-scale commercial use. Advances in technology, many consumers willing to pay a premium, and consumers’ desire for sustainable materials mean that these materials are gaining in popularity and restaurants are starting to collect compostable. This effort is driven to select and use materials that are considered sustainable. The use of compostable utensils and even paper straw, reduction of napkins, utensils, ingredients and restaurants further reduce the use of herbs by supplying them as required.


Hamburger lids, paper straws and packaging changes are more popular and have a similar design to previous packaging designs. McDonald’s and Burger King lead the package change package. Clamp design has long been considered the primary way to maintain the quality of main menu items such as burgers, fish or chicken sandwiches. The changes include graphics and colors reminiscent of the past. The packaging focuses on minimalism and simplified colors. Selected materials have a more natural look with non-white paper and bright colors. Reusable and packaging

McDonald’s and Burger King have introduced a walking partnership. Partnerships are announced at the same time. McDonald’s began in the UK and Burger King has partnered with Kraft-Heinz and The Coca Cola Company to launch an available package. McDonald’s also worked with Starbucks to recycle cups before COVID, but Starbucks quickly launched a disposable cup that will be launched in the Asia-Pacific region following the outbreak of the pandemic. Wendy is committed to using recyclable plastic cups. Remove the PFAS

McDonald’s has moved on to another sustainable goal, and Wendy’s has promised to remove polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) from packaging.

Supply Chain

Delays in the supply chain also affect packaging in restaurants, raw materials such as paper and plastic raw materials make it difficult to keep packages in stock, leading to a shortage and careful planning of boxes, bags, straw and products sent in boxes (almost everything goes to restaurants) . Some of these changes have led to the selection of bags in restaurants (paper or plastic) and shops, which soon close due to lack of materials and sometimes labor.

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