Classic Italian dining brand Zizzi is one of the first mainstream family eating restaurant chains to fully invest in the burgeoning takeaway market through launching a new extensive suite of branded takeaway packaging.
The new packaging aims to replicate as far as possible the ‘eat in’ dining experience, right down to the replica speckled bowl.
Zizzi’s signature in-restaurant speckled bowl has been adapted for takeaway through close collaboration with PFF Packaging, the UK’s largest independent producer of thermoformed plastic food packaging, and Zizzi’s creative design agency Pearlfisher, who devised a totally new concept with three elements including the bowl, an insert to keep hot and cold food apart, and a close fitting lid - all designed to withstand the journey from the restaurant to the recipient.
Steve Campbell, Head of Sales at the PFF Packaging Group takes up the story. He says: “We explored the feasibility of developing the new to go speckled bowl and the possibility of replicating the speckling effect. Using our Innovation Centre facilities at our Washington plant, we were able to develop a concept that replicates as far as possible the restaurant crockery.
“The key challenge was to create the look, ensure the packaging protected and preserved the contents in pristine condition and kept the food warm on the journey. We also needed to take into account that it should be stackable in transit, and ensure that there was no risk of spills along the way. Back of house, the bowl needed to be stackable, easy to separate and straightforward to assemble. At the same time, Zizzi wanted the bowl to look stunning and replicate the high gloss of the crockery and the precision of the speckling.”
PFF’s design and engineering team created the new bowl from PP material to meet the functionality specification and for its heat-retentive properties. The tight deadlines meant that all partners in the supply chain had to work together and communicate well to get the product ready in time. For Craig Wilson, who heads up the Innovation team at PFF, the key was that Zizzi had a clear vision of what was required and how they wanted the finished product to look, which meant the design and creative team knew exactly what they had to work on.
Zizzi believes that this is the first time a restaurant brand has created to-go packaging designed to exactly replicate the dining-in experience. To achieve this, the PFF design team developed a decorated PE laminate for the product which produced the desired high gloss speckled finish. Says Craig: “We needed to create the visual impact that Zizzi wanted whilst ensuring the packaging performed perfectly - so as well as looking good, we had to make sure the lid provided a very tight seal to prevent spillages during transit and also accommodated vent holes and anti-mist properties to reduce a build-up of condensation whilst in use. These were technical challenges which we relished and we’re delighted to have created such a stunning product.”
Zizzi launched the complete new take-away packaging range with a high profile consumer campaign headed up by actor and Celebrity Island TV star Lucy Mecklenburgh. The new takeaway range now enables Zizzi to offer almost all of its dine-in menu for takeaway and is available via Click & Collect or Call & Collect in-store, or through Deliveroo.