By Andrea Lillo
brown bagging lunch is so last century. As more adults bring their lunches to work, the number of products that help transport meals keeps growing as well.
And many of these options provide a number of benefits: they help alleviate concerns over food safety, since many items keep foods cold (or hot) for long periods of time; they are reusable (unlike those brown bags); and they are fashion-focused.
“We are definitely hearing the need from our retail partners for insulated, fashionable and functional lunch products to fuel the growth in adult lunch,” said Paige Davis, founder and chief inspiration officer, BlueAvocado. At March’s International Home + Housewares Show, besides debuting new silhouettes, patterns and categories, it will also show a line from designer and celebrity Lauren Conrad.
Aladdin has been in the portable lunch category for decades — specifically beginning in 1950, when it released the first lunch box for fictional character Hopalong Cassidy. “We’ve been doing lunch a long time,” said Jenn Ottele, marketing manager. But now it’s including the adults as well, and for the past two years the company has focused on this group, she said. New for this year are its insulated to-go containers, which come in 12- and 24-ounce sizes. Double-wall insulation allows the container to be handled after microwave use. The new containers allow the consumer to treat herself “to the deli experience from home,” she said.
The Frigidaire brand name is coming to the portable lunch bag category with a new line from Cosmoda Corp. “For decades the word Frigidaire has been the common term in countries all over the globe for refrigerators and other cold products,” said Andrew Menceles, president, Cosmoda Corp. “The timing [of the licensed line] made sense, as families strive increasingly to eat more healthy meals and enjoy the cost savings of a homemade meal or snack.”
Other lunch introductions at the Housewares Show will include PackIt, a freezable personal cooler that keeps food cold for up to 10 hours. It comes in several sizes and a multitude of fun designs.
Contain This!’s Perfect Sandwich will also be at the show. It prevents soggy sandwiches by separating wet ingredients in a sealed, watertight compartment and away from the bread until mealtime, and contents are kept within the USDA temperature guidelines for perishable foods, said Will Archie, CEO and founder.