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Sustainable Packaging Supplies Servicing Supermarkets, Retailers, C-Stores, QSR & Foodservice

A Guide to The Different Types of Takeout Packaging

In the ever-evolving foodservice industry, takeout packaging plays a pivotal role in delivering a seamless customer experience. With the rise of delivery and takeout services, the demand for functional and appealing packaging has never been higher.

This guide delves into the various types of takeout packaging available, offering insights to help businesses make informed choices that align with their brand and sustainability goals.

The Role of Takeout Packaging

Takeout packaging serves multiple purposes beyond merely holding food. It protects the contents during transportation, ensuring that the food arrives in the same condition as it left the kitchen.

Proper packaging maintains the temperature and freshness of the food, whether it’s piping hot or refreshingly cold. Moreover, it’s an extension of the brand, providing an opportunity to enhance the customer experience through thoughtful design and branding.

Types of Takeout Packaging Materials

Paper-Based Packaging

Kraft Paper: Known for its durability and eco-friendliness, kraft paper is a popular choice for wrapping sandwiches, burgers, and other dry foods. Its biodegradable nature makes it an excellent option for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, kraft paper can be easily customized with branding, allowing companies to reinforce their identity with each order.

Cardboard Boxes: Cardboard is a staple in the takeout packaging world, thanks to its sturdiness and versatility. It’s suitable for a wide range of foods, from pizzas to pastries. Cardboard boxes are recyclable and can be printed with logos and designs, making them a practical and customizable packaging solution.

Plastic Packaging

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET): PET is a clear, strong plastic commonly used for packaging salads, cold drinks, and desserts. It’s recyclable and provides excellent visibility for the contents, making it a favorite for showcasing visually appealing dishes.

Polystyrene (PS): Lightweight and insulating, polystyrene is often used for hot beverages and takeout containers. It’s cost-effective and provides good thermal insulation, keeping foods warm during transit. However, it’s less eco-friendly than other materials, so businesses focused on sustainability might consider alternative options.

Aluminum Packaging

Foil Containers: Ideal for hot foods like curries and grilled items, aluminum foil containers retain heat well and can be used in ovens. They’re a popular choice for dishes that require reheating, offering convenience and functionality.

Biodegradable and Compostable Packaging

PLA (Polylactic Acid): Made from renewable resources such as cornstarch, PLA is a compostable material suitable for cold foods and drinks. It’s an excellent choice for businesses aiming to reduce their carbon footprint and appeal to eco-conscious consumers.

Bagasse: Derived from sugarcane pulp, bagasse is a compostable material that’s great for hot and wet foods. It’s microwave-safe and offers a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic packaging.

Choosing the Right Takeout Packaging

Selecting the appropriate takeout packaging involves considering several factors:

  • Type of Food: The nature of the food (hot, cold, wet, dry) dictates the material and design of the packaging.
  • Sustainability Goals: Businesses committed to environmental responsibility should opt for eco-friendly materials like kraft paper, PLA, or bagasse.
  • Branding Needs: Customization options such as printing and unique shapes can enhance brand recognition and customer engagement.

Innovations in Takeout Packaging

The takeout packaging industry is constantly evolving, with innovations aimed at improving customer experience and sustainability:

  • Smart Packaging: Incorporating QR codes into packaging allows customers to interact with the brand, access menus, or learn more about sustainability efforts.
  • Edible Packaging: As a novel approach to reducing waste, some companies are exploring edible packaging made from ingredients like seaweed or rice.

The Importance of Sustainability in Takeout Packaging

Sustainability is a growing concern in the foodservice industry, with consumers increasingly seeking eco-friendly options. Businesses that prioritize sustainable takeout packaging can reduce their environmental impact, meet regulatory requirements, and appeal to a broader customer base.

By choosing materials that are recyclable, compostable, or made from renewable resources, companies can demonstrate their commitment to the planet and differentiate themselves in a competitive market.


In conclusion, the right takeout packaging is crucial for ensuring food safety, maintaining quality, and enhancing the customer experience. With a variety of materials and designs available, businesses can choose packaging that aligns with their brand identity and sustainability goals.

By staying informed about the latest trends and innovations in takeout packaging, companies can make strategic decisions that benefit their customers, their brand, and the environment.

Contact Servous for a custom solution tailored to your business’s specific needs. Our experts are dedicated to providing high-quality, sustainable takeout packaging solutions that elevate your brand and delight your customers.

Contact Us Today!