KFC's reusable food container - which recently won a Greener Package Award for sustainability - will soon be available in units throughout the United States.
The new, 100-percent polypropylene container and leak-resistant lid replaces the chain's former single-use expanded polystyrene version for side dishes. The container is a clear bowl with a red lid featuring a "reusable" message. It is microwavable and dishwasher safe.
It is also believed to be the quick-service industry's first consumer-reusable food container.
"We found that consumers prefer reusable containers because it gives them control of how the item is reused or disposed of after purchase," said Susan Miles, KFC engineering manager. "Our research also showed that 60 percent of consumers keep a reusable container for at least six weeks."
The container's primary supplier is St. Louis-based Anchor Packaging. It was initially introduced in May, and KFC plans for a national deployment in early 2011.
KFC's sustainability efforts will continue beyond the rollout. The company's plan is to replace plastic plates with paper serving boxes, and to reduce its use of nonrenewable resources, including the anticipated systemwide elimination of foam packaging.
KFC also is introducing a website to track its green initiatives.
"By the end of this year, KFC U.S. will reduce foam packaging use by 62 percent and reduce total plastic use by 17 percent," said Megan Isaac, senior marketing manager for KFC. "We appreciate our customers' passion for doing their part to help us meet our 'Reuse, Renew, Rejoice' goals."