Aylesbury BOX Company | Meal Kit Boxes and the Circular Economy
Since the start of 2020, there has been a significant increase in the demand for meal kit boxes. As packaging suppliers, we play a part in getting these to your door. How can you help to keep this industry afloat?
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Meal Kit Boxes and the Circular Economy


Meal Kit Boxes and the Circular Economy

The options for eating out have been limited over the past year. Even when restaurants and pubs reopened, eating outdoors was encouraged. Unpredictable weather has made that less appealing, so it’s little wonder that the demand for Meal Kit boxes continues to be strong.

As a cardboard box manufacturer, we play a role in helping get some of those meals delivered to your door. How can meal kit companies, consumers and carboard box manufacturers work together to keep up with demand?

What are Meal Kits?

Meal kits usually provide recipe cards for 1-4 meals, along with pre-weighed ingredients. It allows people to create a range of tasty meals without having to think about what to cook or shop for – doesn’t that sound a joy! Simply rustle up fresh, nutritionally balanced food in anything from 10 – 30 minutes and as you receive exactly what is needed to create a dish, there is no food waste.

Who Supplies Meal Kit Boxes?

Since the start of 2020, there has been a significant increase in the demand for meal kit boxes. This has resulted in a wider variety of companies in the market. The market leaders include Hello Fresh, Gousto, Mindful Chef, Simply Cook and Feast Box.

They have seen orders escalate at rapid rates through lockdown, but what is the impact now that restaurants can finally invite guest back indoors? For now, there is no evidence of a decline. It seems that eating habits have changed. The convenience and safety of eating good food at home are holding its appeal.

In lockdown, one of our customers, Plateaway, has provided restaurant chef quality recipes and ingredients. Customer can choose from an extensive range of cuisines, learning the secret twists that turn a good meal into exquisite dining. Would you like to rustle up a recipe from the chefs at La Noona, The Cinnamon Club, Fishworks, The Lowry Hotel, Shoryu Ramen or Thai Apron? Maybe you prefer a treat kit, including cakes from Primrose bakery?

Aylesbury Box Company supply cardboard delivery boxes, printed with the Plateaway logo, to help get these tasty kits to your door. If you would like to discuss meal kit delivery boxes or other cardboard packaging supplies, get in touch on 01296 436888 or enquiries@abcbox.co.uk.

Boxes of Opportunity

For chefs, the involvement in providing a meal kit service has been a vital source of income through lockdown. For customers, this offers a way to develop culinary skills and it has been a popular alternative to takeaways. They have been able to enjoy the highest standard of ingredients and combinations, within the comfort of their home.

When the only permitted social interaction was online, meal kits were a way for different families to connect. With the same ingredients at hand, they could enjoy cooking and eating together, whilst apart.

Why should adults have all the fun? In a recent article, we featured a new client Not Just Nibbles in an article. They offer a twist on the meal kit phenomenon, aimed at engaging children in cooking. Now that’s an idea!

Recycling Challenge for Meal Kit Boxes

One issue with most of the population opting for eating in is the collection and recycling of the cardboard delivery boxes. The majority of restaurants have a recycling policy, along with established processes to put that into practice. Centralised cardboard collections mean that a high volume of packaging is collected and recycled.

The shift towards meal kits and takeaways means that delivery boxes and other packaging are ending up with the consumer. Even if most make the effort to recycle, current processes for managing household waste are less efficient. A lower percentage of cardboard is now available for reusing to manufacture new boxes.

Providing clear information about recycling and collection options, along with the introduction on deposit return schemes have to play a part. New ideas, including the Reward4Waste App, are being trialled, but these take time to implement.

Cardboard supplies are already limited, so meal kit companies and any other e-commerce retailers need to explore ways to educate consumers on the importance of recycling. With knowledge comes a better chance of realising the circular economy. The more recycled cardboard received by the packaging industry, the longer we can keep fulfilling those delivery box orders.

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