The innovative and distinctive ‘Bibimbap’ bowl created by PFF exclusively for itsu (grocery) has been ‘Highly Commended’ in the prestigious 2019 Starpack Industry Awards.
The brief was to create a high quality bowl for a new premium Asian-inspired frozen ‘ready meal’ from itsu (grocery), which would also appeal to busy consumers and reflect all the values of the trusted brand.
“The key design challenge was to create a bowl with a premium look and feel which would also incorporate sufficient strength to withstand the rigours of the supply network,” says Ian Smith, PFF’s Head of Sales.
“We’re delighted with the final version which is a faithful replication of the traditional Bibimbap bowl. Its texture mimics the ceramics or beaten metal of these traditional Asian bowls. It can also incorporate one or two sachets and potentially some chopsticks within the card outer wrapper, and importantly for the ready meals sector, it is freezer compatible and microwaveable.”
The itsu bowl is based on the traditional Korean ‘Bibimbap’ dish in which people make a meal by mixing the ingredients and seasonings together after heating. Made from polypropylene, the bowl’s concentric rings not only deliver inherent strength but mean that only minimal quantities of plastic are used during the production process in order to deliver the high level of strength and rigidity required, with no need for multiple layering.
This in turn ensures enhanced functionality in terms of stackability and food protection during storage and transit, and a more sustainable end product. It contains a significant proportion (up to 20%) of factory recycled material and can itself be recycled where facilities exist.
“The dark grey colour and high quality finish of the bowl, together with inclusion of the itsu logo on the inner base, accurately reflect all of the itsu brand values – it is a high quality and distinctive premium product both in terms of feel, appearance and eating experience which stands out alongside its competitors,” adds Ian.
“This was a bespoke new concept and design for itsu, not a redesign of an existing product, and the creative process focused very much on optimal use of materials during the production process in order to develop a product which combined design, innovation and functionality for consumer-facing appeal. It’s a great example of creative, client and production teamwork!”