Roasted in-house just hours before serving, the Lion’s Choice roast beef sandwich has taken the spotlight in St. Louis, Missouri. Although they were named the best fast food restaurant in the state by Food & Wine Magazine, their praise and recognition stems from their continued effort of evolving and adapting to customer needs.
Upon its opening in 1967, Marv Gibbs had a goal of convenience and nutrition for local families, and that goal has not changed much since then. In the podcast Abby Eats St. Louis, hosted by foodie Abby LIorico, current CEO Michael Kupstas explains how he wants Lion’s Choice to be top of mind for consumers, while they feel good about what they are eating and feeding their kids. “Husbands and wives were trying to find ways to provide good, healthy food alternatives in a quick format that allowed them to still feel good about the food,” stated Kupstas. Recently, consumers have become focused on food packaging.
CEO Michael Kupstas has always been eco-conscious, but he embraced the consumer purchasing process on a new level once the brand received feedback on their website and social media outlets. According to Asia Pulp & Paper’s 2018 Consumer Trends Report, two of three consumers, especially millennials and baby boomers, care more about the sustainability of food packaging now than they did five years ago. This statistic became somewhat of a reality when the brand received criticism for their lack of sustainability initiatives regarding their current packaging solution. Lion’s Choice felt inspired to do better for the environment and their customers.
About a year ago, Lion’s Choice connected with us in hopes to replace their foam beverage cup. When initially starting the transition process, Lion’s Choice was concerned about the affordability of a more environmentally-friendly alternative. Through solid collaboration with our sales and marketing teams, we were able to find the right packaging solution at the right price – the Bantam 16 oz., 21 oz., and 32 oz. Bantam™ Clear Cup. Marketing Coordinator for Lion’s Choice, Jessica Crouch, says, “We were pleasantly surprised that Berry’s polypropylene was a better value than our previous foam cup.” Ideal for companies looking to promote their sustainability efforts, the thermoformed Bantam™ cup has been lightweighted to use less material and is engineered with rigid bands for better stability. These beverage cups are made from polypropylene, which is a widely recycled material that allows optional custom branding and design opportunities. “It will be a year in August since working with Berry, and things have just been great,” says Crouch.
Lion's Choice knew that a progressive sustainability initiative consisted of far more than evolving in order to meet consumer packaging needs. Restaurant Dive claims that 45% of Americans consider sustainability when choosing a fast food restaurant. Since their packaging shift to us, the organization has realized the opportunity for sustainability in other facets of their business. The brand will expand throughout the greater St. Louis area and integrate low-impact processes within their new locations. Crouch concludes, “We are amongst some of the most environmentally-conscious generations; this change represents something way bigger.”
1 Llorico, Abby. Ode to Lion’s Choice. Abby Eats St. Louis. Podcast audio. January 9, 2020.
Ode to Lion's Choice
2 Sherred, Kristine. “Majority of Diners Will Pay More for Sustainable Packaging.” Restaurant Dive, October 16, 2018, https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/majority-of-diners-will-pay-more-for-sustainable-packaging/539778/