Are third party delivery drivers snacking on the meals they're delivering? A U.S. Foods study found 28% of drivers admitted to doing so. The study confirmed the worst fear diners and operators have about food delivery, while also ensuring a greater demand for tamper-proof packaging.
Large chains like Taco Bell and McDonalds have added tamper-resistant seals to delivery bags as has restaurant delivery company Waitr. BurgerFi, a better-for-you burger chain, released bags with a tamper-proof seal lining a few years ago.
The latest chain to jump on the trend is Oklahoma, City-based Coolgreens. The fast-casual, health food brand will be rolling out transparent bags that feature a seal covering the length of the bag.
"This was not a cost-saving idea, rather, an investment to better protect our guests," said Todd Madlener, an equity partner at the fast-casual, health food chain, in a news release.
"Coolgreens promises 'more than' experiences, so we have to do everything we can to live up to that expectation," he continued. "This is one way we can improve and ensure we give the enhanced experience that our brand is known for. We want our delivery guests to know that we will provide their meal the way they ordered it and in a safe manner. We expect this part of our business to continue to grow, and to that end, we felt this was an area that needed to be addressed."
The industry is likely to see more tamper-proof packaging as manufacturers catch up to the concerns of diners and operators.
At the NRA show this year, Canada-based Eco Guardian showed a new line of Lock n' Go compostable containers with tabs that glue closed to prevent delivery drivers from tampering with food. While at the Annual North American Paperboard Packaging Competition, this year's winner went to Southern Champion Tray's Guarantab, its tamper-evident package for food delivery.
Guarantab is a recyclable, clamshell carton with a tamper-evident lock similar to the type that has been used on shoe boxes and consumer electronics packaging for years. The design has a "tamper-evident" seal as well as what the company calls a "bear trap," which it describes as "ridged side walls that prevent people from reaching into the sides of the carton."
In a news release, Brain Hunt, Southern Champion Tray's COO, looked forward to widespread market adoption of the packaging.
"Our team identified a market need, researched the challenges/obstacles and worked collaboratively to invent this patent-pending product. While our team will celebrate this success, a higher level of fulfillment will occur when the market utilizes our product to protect delivered food on a national basis."