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Special meals at home require special packaging

Eating out is one of the finer pleasures in life for many people. But as most of us continue to feel the effects of the recession, a trip to a nice restaurant isn’t as accessible as it used to be. 

To respond to consumers’ desire for special meals at prices that are still affordable, many grocery stores and food packagers are offering cuisine that aims to recreate much of the restaurant experience at home. At the same time, restaurants are finding that much of their sit-down business is being replaced with takeout orders. 

But with these trends in so called “home meal replacement” comes a demand for improved packaging. Makes sense. As most of us know, the container is a big part of the overall experience for food products. A packager of high-end restaurant-style seafood entrées, for instance, isn’t going to create the right effect with generic looking Styrofoam containers. 

A recent article in the New York Times, "Packaging For Cash-Strapped Connoisseurs," details the trend at length. The story says that the trend is difficult to pinpoint exactly, but showing strong growth – and packaging suppliers are feeling the effects. 

It just goes to show you how times change. A lot of readers might remember when TV dinners were really the only example of Home Meal Replacement around.

And if you recall them looking only a little bit unappetizing back then, take a look at these videos to refresh your memory. 

Yikes. How far we’ve come!

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