Back-of-House UX for Foodservice Shippers
The corrugated box does more heavy lifting than you’d think. For many foodservice brands, it’s the most consistent and direct sales tools available.
Play to the strengths of your brand and build customer connections with each box that’s shipped. Gaining a comprehensive view of the foodservice shipper from multiple angles of expertise and user experience – as we do at NK – is the best way to break down your strategic approach into clear and manageable action items.
Make the mandatories count.
Box graphic design, for food products especially, includes numerous mandatories. Rather than hide the essentials, a good design system makes way for them. Giving required information adequate space lends a sense of safety reassurance – no corners cut here – and helps minimize risk of cross contamination back-of-house.
As a rule of thumb, design the shipper to live up to retail standards as much as possible. This helps the operator communicate essential information such as allergy concerns to their customers.
- Product identity meets applicable FDA or USDA requirements.
- Storage instructions for frozen and refrigerated items are highly visible.
- Net weight meets minimum height and surrounding clear space requirements.
- Nutrition Facts and ingredients are present, if not on inner labeling.
- Clear allergen callouts, which now includes sesame!
- Name and address of distributor or manufacturer.
- Easily understandable instructions for use.
- Safe handling instructions for raw meat and poultry.
- Bioengineering disclosure, when applicable.
- Applicable seals e.g. USDA inspection legends, kosher certification.
Consider the full experience.
Foodservice supply chains have a certain level of generality built in between product development and the exact applications. One box will often serve many roles. Fill in those mysterious specifics with on-site detective work. Interview customers or, better yet, go into their kitchens to fully understand how your boxes are handled. Consider whole categories in a single sweep and apply learnings broadly – produce, pantry, meat, etc.
Then ask and evaluate how your box could deliver a better experience.
User experience checklist
- Consider any updates that would make it easier for workers to get the product from box to plate. How do graphics play a role?
- Identify which boxes go directly on the shelf for storage, and which boxes are broken down as soon as they’re delivered. Invest more branding effort in boxes with longer shelf life.
- Build a roadmap to improve usability.
Your box is the most direct point of contact your customers have with your foodservice brand. Connect with NK to check key action items off your list.
Seeing your box back-of-house
is worth 1000 insights.