Christmas catering trends
‘tis the season for eco-friendly grab and go

Now we’re really in the countdown to Christmas with less than a month to grab and go until the big day. The festive market is a highly competitive one with bookings rising 240% for Christmas day out of home dining. But it’s not just for the big event itself; consumers are now expecting their festivities to extend to their takeout coffee on the move. When we launched our Festive Favourites range last September, we had 11,000 units on pre-order within the first 24 hours and sold out by mid-November. We think it’s fair to say that the demand is there for festive compostable packaging.

Recently, The Caterer looked to trends of Christmas future and speculated on what 2029 would bring for foodservice, from microchips revealing customers’ nutritional needs to virtual reality parties where you can invite your favourite star as a holographic guest. Who would be on your list? 

Today in the blog, we’re not gazing too far into the future, but rather at trends that can help you improve your grab and go this Christmas.

The Chrismas Cup 

Seasonal cup designs and speciality Christmas drinks - gingerbread and creamy hot chocolates, spiced lattes - are now much anticipated in the run-up to the holidays as consumers take out a cup of seasonal cheer. On our favourite foodie social channel, Instagram, we counted almost 45K #Christmascup searches with the launches of these cups as akin to the foodservice industry’s equivalent of the department store’s Christmas advertising campaigns. 

However Christmassy you want to go in your cafe or catering business, we would suggest adding a festive eco cup to your range as a minimum. (You can check out our retro 12 oz  compostable cup here).

We wish you a retro Christmas…

The trend of vintage packaging keeps going strong, especially for food and drink brands. Retro designs draw on the audience’s sense of nostalgia and convey authenticity and as such, are winners for brands to build trust. This sense of nostalgia seems particularly pronounced at the festive season as the period is so infused with memories of Christmas past.

This desire for vintage look packaging was undoubtedly borne out from our own experience of the design process for our jolly retro Festive Favourites range. Our in-house design team drew on our popular Father Christmas and Snowman designs, which were a nod to our Festive Favourites sheet labels - a big seller in the 1990s. Following feedback from our clients, it was apparent that customers wanted a retro look with a ramped-up 1950s vibe. 

Plant-based packaging for a plant-based grab and go

We’re sure that most of you are now offering vegan-based options in your catering and grab and go businesses to meet consumer demand. The UK is now officially the world leader for plant-based food launches, according to market expert Mintel. With initiatives such as Veganuary, there has been an enormous rise in the number of British consumers choosing plant-based alternatives leading to food launches and extended menus.

This shift in eating habits is being led by under 35s, and the rise in vegetarian and vegan options also caters for flexitarians, who are becoming more concerned about meat consumption’s damaging effect on climate change, more health-conscious and seeking new flavours.

This year, we’ve spotted a whole host of festive plant-based sandwiches on the shelf to meet the demand. Our popular vegan label is here to help show your customers that you care about meeting these changing demands; simply add a Christmas label for that extra festive seasoning.

Consumer demand for a sustainable Christmas

With the so-called “Blue Planet” effect, more and more consumers are eschewing plastic packaging and seeking out businesses that are doing good for the environment all year round. So even at Christmas, traditionally a time of over-indulgence, it’s essential to show off your eco-credentials. 

Let’s start with wasting stock. We all know what it’s like when we get too festive and order more Christmas stock than we need, and are left with finding storage space for excess packaging. There is a simple solution. Use one of our Christmas labels or stickers - on your current compostable packaging. The labels provide the best of both worlds - sealing your festive offering but ensuring that no packaging is wasted in the process, saving you money and space. 

Then we come to food waste. The world wastes around one-third of all the food it produces. 100 million pints of milk are thrown down the sink each year. 240, 000 tonnes of food is thrown out by the supermarkets each year. (FoE) We could go with these shocking facts, illustrating the massive issue of food waste all year round - and especially at Christmas-time. 

Our heat seal and peel and seal sandwich packaging products carry our Fresher for Longer accreditation, which safeguards a longer shelf life for the food items inside and helps to minimise food waste. 

We’re also big fans of composting, so add any food waste to your compost bin along with our home compostable packaging. Don’t have food waste collection services in your area? Make 2020, the year you look into our closed-loop solution with PRM Waste Systems. Find out more

For more Christmas ideas for your business, explore our Festive Favourites range here. All that’s left to say for now is, we wish you a prosperous and busy run-up to Christmas and a happy 2020!