For more than a century, foodservice packaging has helped protect public health by safely delivering hot foods hot and cold foods cold. It is an industry that continues to evolve and reinvent itself alongside the ever-changing foodservice landscape. For example, 2015 marked the first time food and drink sales at restaurants surpassed those at traditional grocery stores. And in the land of foodservice operators, increasing production with “grab and go” items, reflects the escalation of consumer snacking trends.

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.

From sustainable packaging, to raw materials and distribution, the foodservice packaging value chain runs deep. Collaborating and sharing best practices within the packaging community can help build the bottom line for the industry as a whole.

This need for information sharing is why the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) recently released a set of free resource guides designed to provide accessible, factual information about foodservice packaging. The guides address many of the questions FPI receives regularly from foodservice operators and conscientious consumers—and are especially pertinent at a time when foodservice packaging usage continues to increase.

“Foodservice packaging plays an important and ever-increasing role in our daily lives,” says Lynn Dyer, president of FPI. “Foodservice operators and consumers alike are searching for trusted information about packaging, and now they have resources that answer questions and provide valuable information.”

The four, new, easy-to-read guides can all be accessed by clicking on the links below, or by visiting The resource guides cover the following topics:

The Benefits Guide: Foodservice packaging is more than just a convenience. It plays an important and ever-increasing role in our daily lives. Americans spend roughly 50 percent of their food budget in restaurants—and they’re using foodservice packaging when they take home leftovers, order takeout or pick up ready-to-eat foods. This guide depicts why foodservice packaging is a sensible solution. Topics include importance of sanitation, how foodservice packaging can be cost effective, safe, convenient, resource efficient and promotional.

The Environment Guide: Promoting the foodservice packaging industry’s dedication to the environmentally responsible manufacture, distribution and use of its products, the environment guide highlights material innovations, resource recovery and litter reduction efforts. Topics include material innovations, resource recovery and litter reduction.

The Foodservice Operators Guide: This comprehensive guide contains all the foodservice packaging resources that FPI offers to foodservice operators. It includes a link to download FPI’s Strategic Sourcing Guide that takes foodservice operators through the details to help organize their foodservice packaging purchase decisions. The guide also includes technical topics, handling and storage and environmental considerations.
The Sanitation Guide: Americans like to eat out, which equates to plenty of food-to-go and carryout. This guide is designed for foodservice operators and offers useful dos and don’ts, along other information and tips about the storing and handling of foodservice packaging in a sanitary way.

“While the very reason for using single-use foodservice packaging has not—and will not—change, the packaging has evolved to meet the shifting needs of restaurateurs and customers alike,” says Dyer. “Our goal is for these resource guides to encourage responsible use of all foodservice packaging.”

Founded in 1933, FPI is an authority for the North American foodservice packaging industry. FPI encourages the responsible use of all foodservice packaging through promotion of its benefits and members’ products. Serving as the voice of the industry to educate and influence stakeholders, FPI provides a legal forum to address the challenges and opportunities facing the foodservice packaging industry.