Custom Packaging - & Products, Inc.

Custom Packaging

& Products, Inc.

What are Food-Safe Inks?

Posted by Ryan On January 21st

Food Safe InkHave you ever wondered what makes an ink safe for use on food packaging? What stops a company from using a toxic chemical that could leech into your food?

It stands to reason that an ink containing ingredients obviously unsafe to consume, like lead, should not be considered food safe. But who decides which ingredients are safe?

A food-safe ink contains additives that the Food & Drug Administration deems safe for use in “food contact substances.” Food contact substances include paper, wraps, cardboard, adhesives, plastics, and so on. If an additive is already on the FDA’s list, and conditions for using it are followed, it’s okay. If the additive is new, the FDA requires scientific evidence to show that it’s safe. Each ink manufacturer submits a request to the FDA to verify that any new additives are safe.

Custom Packaging & Products uses inks only from manufacturers that have the approved FDA additives in their inks. We want to make sure people aren’t eating anything dangerous or untested when they use our packaging.

To health!

Ink bottle image by Adrian Park of Wikimedia.

Do I Need Lightweight or Heavyweight Deli Paper?

Posted by Ryan On December 4th

Cookie vs. Burger

Custom-printed food packaging comes in different shapes and sizes for different applications. When trying to determine the thickness of the deli paper you need, it helps to decide what the paper will need to stand up to.

For example, our lightweight sheets use 20 lb stock (see How Thick Is Custom-Printed Food Paper? for more details about basis weight). These sheets are flexible and offer a small amount of grease resistance. Lightweight sheets are great for:

  • sandwich wrap
  • deli paper
  • basket liners
  • donuts
  • cookies
  • candy
  • pretzels

Our heavyweight sheets use 26 lb stock, so they’re about 30% thicker. Heavier, greasier, or sauce-laden foods typically benefit from the increased durability. Heavyweight paper is great for:

  • sandwich wrap
  • deli paper
  • basket liners

We have other weights available if your application is not on this list. Let us know!

How Thick Is Custom-Printed Food Paper?

Posted by Ryan On October 25th
Stack of Paper

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user Niklas Bildhauer

Some paper is thicker than others. So how do you make a comparison when discussing different thicknesses? There are two common systems paper makers and printers use: grammage and basis weight.


Grammage measures the number of grams per square meter of paper. Typical office paper, for example, weighs about 80 grams per square meter. Sometimes this is abbreviated 80 gsm.

Basis Weight

Basis weight measures the weight in pounds of a certain number of sheets, usually 500 (one ream). As you can imagine, the size of the sheet matters when discussing the basis weight. The basis weight is usually calculated on larger sheets before they’re cut for their final application. For example, typical office paper is first produced in sheets of 17″x22″, and then cut in quarters to 8.5″x11″. One ream of 17″x22″ office paper that weighs 20 pounds is said to have a basis weight of 20 lb, even after being cut into 8.5″x11″ sheets.

Paper Thicknesses We Use at Custom Packaging & Products

When we talk to our customers, we usually use basis weight to describe differences in thickness. Our basis weights are calculated from 500 sheets of 24″x36″ paper. We then cut these sheets into smaller sizes depending on our customers’ needs.

To give you an idea, here are some basis weights of common products we sell:

20 lb – Eco Kraft Sheets
20 lb – Lightweight Deli Paper
26 lb – Heavyweight Deli Paper
40 lb – Butcher Paper
45 lb – Freezer Paper

Hopefully that helps you compare!

Strike Up a Conversation with Restaurant Owners!

Posted by Ryan On September 27th

Restaurant OwnersIf you own a restaurant, chances are you’re dealing problems that other owners have already dealt with. Why not learn from the wisdom of people who’ve already been there?

You can do this by participating in a free online discussion area, or forum, with people who share a common interest.

If you’ve never used a free online forum before, here are some tips to help you get the most of it:

  • First, read what others have already written. You might even find that your question has already been asked and answered! If not, you’ll at least see the etiquette that others follow.
  • Check the rules of the forum. These are often posted near the top. The rules might say that you’re not allowed to blatantly advertise, for example.
  • Answer someone else’s question. It feels good to give!
  • If you ask a question, try to make the community better. In other words, ask a question you think others would also like to have answered.

Try checking out the “Restaurant Biz Talk” area of the Foodservice Forum. You might find like-minded people asking and answering all sorts of interesting questions.

What Is Kraft Paper?

Posted by Ryan On September 3rd

Kraft Lunch BagKraft paper is a kind of paper made by a chemical pulping process known as the kraft process. The name comes from the German word Kraft, meaning strong. It produces a very strong paper.

Most people associate kraft paper with brown paper bags or brown butcher paper. Kraft paper isn’t always brown, however. Various bleaching steps can be added to the process to produce white kraft paper.

How does the kraft process compare to other processes? It’s helpful to take a brief history tour of paper pulping:

  • In the 1840s, mechanical pulping was developed in Germany. Cutting and boiling helped to separate some of the undesirable woody substances like lignin from the more desirable cellulose (paper pulp).
  • In the 1860s, a chemical pulping process using sulfites was developed to remove even more lignin from the pulp, making it stronger and easier to whiten.
  • By 1900, sulfite pulping was the most popular way of producing paper pulp.
  • Meanwhile, in 1879, the sulfate, or kraft process, was developed. It produced an even stronger paper than the sulfite process.
  • By 1940, the kraft process dominated in the papermaking industry.

When unbleached, kraft paper is brown. It can also be bleached by a variety of substances, such as oxygen, ozone, peroxides, or sodium hydroxide (lye). Chlorine bleaching is becoming less and less common because of its harmful environmental byproducts, and is now used in less than 10% of paper production.

Kraft paper is very strong and, if whitened, resists yellowing. By comparison, a paper like newsprint, which still contains much or all of the original lignin, is not very strong, and yellows quickly.

Now you know what kraft paper is! If you’re interested in eco-friendly kraft paper for your restaurant or special event, let us know!

Chances are you’re not the only restaurant in town. Wouldn’t it be nice to advertise to the fans of nearby restaurants? More specifically, what if you could target the fans of only restaurants you consider to be your competition?

Let’s say you own a burger shack and you want to advertise to men between the ages of 20-50 who live within 10 miles of Miami and who already like McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s. The image below shows the reach of a advertisement with this specific target audience.

Targeting Competitors on Facebook

You can reach these 52,000 people by buying an ad on Facebook. You can make the ad show up in the news feed of those 52,000 people, alongside posts of their friends’ vacation photos and funny cat pictures.

Welcome to the future of advertising! Let us know if you’ve tried this with any success.

One of our good customers, NYC Bagel Deli, was recently featured in The owner Corey Kaplan shares his thoughts about his restaurant’s success, using Groupon, and preparing his staff to convert new customers into permanent customers. Check out his article and video.

Stacked Boxes

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Allerina & Glen MacLarty.

If you’re looking to order some foodservice paper wrappers, foil, foam, or plastic containers, you might be wondering if you’ll be able to fit a minimum order of them on your storage shelves!

We talk to lots of restaurant owners and managers who don’t have dozens of stores and can’t afford to order fifty cases of custom-printed foodservice paper at a time. This, they tell us, is the minimum order that custom printing companies will allow them to place.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is That Food Packaging Biodegradable?

Posted by Ryan On June 11th

DirtEver wonder how long it takes the packaging around your food to biodegrade? We did some digging for you, metaphorically speaking!

Let’s compare food, paper, aluminum foil, plastic bags, and polystyrene foam. Assuming all of these things are in the ground, surrounded by water, sunlight, soil, and microorganisms, here are the estimates:

  • Food scraps: 1-6 months
  • Paper: 2-5 months
  • Aluminum foil: 80-100 years
  • Plastic bags: At least 1,000 years
  • Polystyrene: At least 1,000 years

You might be wondering how can scientists figure out that plastic will last 1,000 years if plastic has only been around for about 50 years. Good of you to wonder! They do it by extrapolating measurements taken from a sample exposed to the elements for a shorter time. The carbon dioxide gas given off by microbes and the number of molecules broken down by sunlight are two common measurements.

One other thing to mention: In a landfill, where there might not be water, sunlight, or microorganisms, things can take considerably longer. A group at the University of Arizona unearthed some waste from a landfill and found recognizable corn cobs, hot dogs, and newspaper with readable print from 1952!

Perhaps someday we’ll all be composting. Until then, we recommend going with paper, as it’s the most biodegradable wrapping around. Except for banana peels, that is.

Custom-Printed Food Paper. Fast.

Posted by Ryan On June 5th

Too LateHave you ever needed something right away, but nobody was able to deliver? You needed to do some banking, but it was the weekend. You really needed a particular product, but it was out of stock. You needed to get somewhere on time, but it was red lights the whole way?

Frustrating, wasn’t it?

We hear from people all the time who need custom-printed foodservice paper for a special event that’s coming up soon. The event’s already scheduled, so there’s no room for a delay. They need it custom, they need it reliable, and they need it soon!

When they call a larger printing company, they typically hear that it will take 10 weeks and require a minimum order of 50 cases, which is hundreds of thousands of sheets of paper.

That’s where we come in. When they call us, we’re usually able to tell them that we can rush the order to get it done in time for their event!

We love helping in special situations like this. In fact, we’re the only company in the United States that can deliver a custom print order so quickly. (Never heard of us? Check out our portfolio.)

So if you have an event coming up, and you only need thousands (not hundreds of thousands) of sheets of custom-printed sandwich paper, deli wrap, or basket liners, and you need them right away, keep us in mind!