Kari-Out Company, a manufacturer, importer and nationwide distributor of paper, aluminum and recyclable packaging products in the restaurant takeout industry, announced a significant move to bolster its innovative line of sustainable packaging solutions.

The company’s largest investment to date will expand manufacturing capabilities in its Specialty Quality Packaging (SQP) facility in New York, where Kari-Out’s popular Food Trays, Eco Box and Eco Earth paper food containers are produced.  SQP, founded in 1981, has been a Kari-Out company for over fifteen years and has helped Kari-Out drive innovation with a highly experienced manufacturing team.

“State-of-the-art machines with new die-cutting, folding and forming technology will allow Kari-Out to double its capacity for paper containers, producing innovative new shapes and sizes to accommodate the changing carry-out industry” says Dominick Fontana, head of operations for Kari-Out. This investment will also focus on 6-color printing and photo processing — such as printing both inside and outside packaging — to deliver high-quality graphics for Kari-Out’s branded and private label products.

“We’ve seen a considerable increase in demand for our single-slice pizza boxes and closed food containers for hamburgers and hot dogs,” says Kimberly Cassar, Kari-Out’s head of marketing. “Another area of growth is chicken boxes. The chicken wars across the national chains are real. This key investment will help us better serve this segment.”

According to Edison Trends, overall spending on chicken sandwiches grew 420% between January 2019 and December 2020. Chicken Sandwiches appear on 48% of total U.S. restaurant menus, and Americans consume more chicken than any other meat, surpassing beef, pork and fish.

“As the chicken trend continues, Kari-Out continues to develop perfect containers to move America’s favorite type of food with Chicken Boxes, Eco Boxes and sandwich boxes.  We also make a full assortment of portion control sauce packets to go with these great sandwiches,” says Cassar.

According to FORBES, the number three trend on its ‘4 Hottest Food Trends to watch in 2022’ are Ghost Kitchens. And, according to Euromonitor, Ghost Kitchens are expected to become a trillion-dollar industry in 10 years. They are anticipated to grow to over $139 billion by 2028.  

Cassar says, “With the incredible growth, the demand of to-go packaging is rising just as quickly and KARI-OUT is working to accommodate that demand by expanding our manufacturing footprint to over 340,000 square feet this year.” 

Significantly, in line with their recent affiliation with the U.S. Composting Council and, the investment underscores Kari-Out’s commitment to a sustainable future. While about 80% of all the food packaging the company makes is paper based, they will increase their output of responsible products like the Eco Earth closed container, which is made from 100% recycled board and both recyclable and compostable. Additionally, ramped-up operational efficiency is expected to reduce waste by 5-10%. 

“Our goal,” says Cassar, “is to make each food occasion we serve friendlier to the environment.”