Retail and intermediate wholesale bakeries that are looking to expand their businesses into the supermarket sector, as well as online sales, are wise to examine the latest trends in packaging and how consumers are being influenced.

The 10th annual Trends Report from the Foodservice Packaging Institute identifies that the two greatest trends in foodservice packaging are the push-back on single-use products, regardless of material, and that delivery continues to be one of the biggest sales drivers for the foodservice industry. “The results from this year’s Trends Report reflect the consumer climate. Leading this is the current drive against single-use products. This, of course, conflicts with the need for foodservice packaging to meet the increasing demand of foodservice establishments offering delivery services to its customers,” says Lynn Dyer, FPI’s president.

Respondents say that delivery offerings have elevated the importance of single-use foodservice packaging. The reasons are three-fold. First, it keeps the hot foods hot and cold foods cold as they’re delivered. Second, the package protects the food inside once in transport, leading to greater use of tamper-evident packs. Third, it creates the only opportunity to promote a foodservice brand when the customer doesn’t interact with the brand itself, often using third-party apps to order.

Respondents also say that there will be a greater reliance on e-commerce and technology. Foodservice distribution is increasingly moving from personal relationships with distribution sales representatives to online orders. Or, it involves cutting out the distributors altogether and relying on Internet vendors for foodservice packaging.