KFC is rolling out its new reusable side container to restaurants across the country. The restaurant chain believes it’s the first consumer reusable food container in the fast food industry. Initially introduced in five markets beginning in May, KFC plans to roll out the containers nationally to restaurants by early 2011.
KFC’s sustainable side container recently was named a winner in the 2010 Greener Package Awards. The new 100-percent polypropylene container and lid, which is the same material used to make leading retail food storage containers, replaces the fast food restaurant’s former single-use expanded polystyrene version for side dishes.
The clear bowl with a red lid embossed with “reusable” is also microwaveable and top-rack dishwasher safe. It also features a “ventless vent” technology that allows moisture to escape without the need for a hole in the lid. The primary supplier for the container is Anchor Packaging.
“Through research, we found that consumers prefer reusable containers because it gives them control of how the item is reused or disposed of after purchase,” said Susan Miles, KFC engineering manager. “Our research also showed that 60 percent of consumers keep a reusable container for at least six weeks.”
The new container is part of KFC’s larger packaging initiative. As an example, paper serving boxes are also replacing plastic plates as part of the KFC’s plan to reduce its use of nonrenewable resources and to eventually eliminate foam packaging from its restaurants.
Last year, KFC announced it was switching from cardboard to recyclable and biodegradable paper wrapping for some of its products.
By the end of the year, KFC U.S. expects to reduce foam packaging use by 62 percent and total plastic use by 17 percent.
KFC is also introducing a new Website to tell the “Reuse, Renew, Rejoice” story, which provides information about the restaurant chain’s packaging initiatives.