More than 90 percent of foodservice operators use foodservice packaging, making it an integral part of their business. A newly published Strategic Sourcing Guide provides direction to foodservice operators as they navigate the complex world of foodservice packaging.

Foodservice packaging refers to single-use cups, containers, bags, wraps, cutlery, etc., used by restaurants and other establishments that offer prepared foods and beverages. These items, made from a variety of materials like paper, plastic and aluminum, allow foodservice operators to serve their customers in a sanitary, convenient and economical manner.

Developed by the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), the free guide takes foodservice operators through the details to help organize their foodservice packaging purchase decisions — what’s being packaged, the look and feel desired, annual volume and more.

“Today’s foodservice packaging is designed with the foodservice industry in mind. This first-of-its-kind guide provides an unbiased, question-by-question review of everything to consider to make knowledgeable foodservice package purchase decisions,” said Lynn Dyer, president of FPI. “Whether used in its entirety or just parts, we know foodservice operators will find value in it.”

The manual is packed with do’s and don’ts and summarizes the available options for sourcing new packaging. The question and answer section, developed as a request for proposal, can be completed and distributed to potential foodservice packaging suppliers It covers items as varied as a foodservice operator’s distribution plans to what they expect a customer to do with the package when done with it.

The guide is being released in advance of the upcoming Natural Restaurant Association Show, the foodservice industry’s largest trade show in North America. More than 100 foodservice packaging suppliers are exhibiting at the show, which attracts about 45,000 industry players.

The Strategic Sourcing Guide is available on FPI’s website at