With the restrictions on large gatherings lifted post-COVID, Shelton, Conn.-based food packaging specialist Inline Plastics has seen an increase in demand for platters. It’s being driven by several factors, said Carrie Cline, the company’s senior brand manager.

Special occasions and celebrations: With the increase in events like parties, corporate gatherings, holidays, and celebrations drive the demand for party trays. These occasions create a need for large quantities of food that can be conveniently served to a group.

Convenience: Deli platters offer a simple solution to feeding a group of people without investing a great amount of time. With Inline options that have up to five compartments, the host can arrange multiple food options — including charcuterie board spreads, fruits, vegetables, sandwiches and wraps.

Efficiency: Planning, shopping for and preparing food for events can be time-consuming. Using pre-assembled trays can save individuals and businesses valuable time.

Variety and customization: Deli party trays offer a variety of food options in a single package, catering to different tastes and dietary preferences. This level of customization allows hosts to offer a diverse spread of foods without having to prepare each item separately.

Professional presentation: For events and gatherings, presentation matters. Inline Plastic deli party trays are designed to look appealing, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the food display.

Reduced food waste: Tray packaging can help reduce food waste by providing pre-portioned servings. This is particularly important for events where estimating the right amount of food can be challenging.

Inline now has 13 platter options in both round and rectangular footprints with up to seven compartments and 142 fluid ounce capacities.

That variety, Cline said, offers flexibility for packing snack options or vegetable and fruit arrangements with a dip.

Options include stackable and reverse merchandising platters depending on the desired display, adding dimension to the food contents putting them center stage.

“The high clarity and modern designs create impressive, eye-catching presentations making the colors and textures in the food more alluring.”

In the spring, Inline added to its platter portfolio with seven new rectangular options. The company also expanded its manufacturing capabilities by acquiring a plant in Gladwin, Mich.

The new rectangle platters come in two footprints: 11 x 7 and 14 x 11. Platters vary from four to seven compartments, with options for a center dipping well, and anti-migration features.

This article is an excerpt from the October 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Party Trays feature and more in the digital edition here.