Thanks to food delivery apps, ordering food is just a few taps or a phone call away. But when it arrives, the quality of the food doesn’t always match up to that of dining in — perhaps that salad is slightly soggy or those fries have lost some of their crunch. SAVRPak, a California-based startup with a high-tech food packet, hopes to change that.
Resembling silica gel packets found in certain food and commercial products, SAVRPak’s frozen peel-and-stick patches can be placed inside most delivery containers — including clamshell containers, pizza boxes and paper bags — to remove moisture and reduce humidity. Immediately reducing humidity in a food container by up to 45 percent, the company maintains that the pack keeps food fresher and crispier than any other solution on the market. The result is dine-in quality, fresh food — the way it was intended to be eaten.
Through his work as an aerospace engineer, SAVRPak co-founder Bill Birgen worked on “ temperature, humidity, anti-icing/de-icing solutions for aircrafts and space vehicles,” according to the company’s website. In an effort to keep his own lunch fresh, Birgen realized that condensation hindered fresh food, so he got to work on a patch that would eliminate moisture from a container. Fittingly calling the product “Soggy Food Sucks,” Birgen teamed up with co-founder Grant Stafford to found what would later be named SAVRPak.
At about 25 cents each, SAVRPak’s patches are made from food-grade materials and can be recycled after use. The company is also taking it a step further by applying for compostability certification which is welcome news given the rise in single-use waste caused by food delivery.
Restauranteurs know that fries are very prone to sogginess when enclosed in takeout containers. The residual heat creates condensation en route, resulting in soft, room-temperature fries. To test the SAVRPak’s effectiveness, LA-based reporter Rick DeMuro tried fries sealed up in takeout boxes for up to twenty minutes — one with the patch, and one without.
“When I tasted the fries, the difference was very clear,” DeMuro reported for KTLA5. “The fries in the box without the sticker were the typical soggy and limp fries you’d expect from takeout or delivery. The fries in the box with the sticker were noticeably drier and crispier.”
DeMuro isn’t alone in recognizing the company’s success. In its 18 months of business, SAVRPak has garnered industry recognition, winning awards in four categories at last year’s World Food Innovation Awards, among other awards from Venture Madness and SKS North America. Stafford attributes some of the company’s success to its easy-to-use nature and customer satisfaction among restaurant owners.
With the capacity to offer its technology to companies worldwide, SAVRPak isn’t stopping at local food delivery. The company’s technology can also be used to extend the shelf-life of pre-packaged foods by up to 14 days, helping to solve the worsening issue of food waste in the US. The patch is currently being trialed by several domestic and international companies in the food delivery industry and food produce sector.
With the pandemic still affecting consumers’ eating habits, food delivery isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon. Even though it may not compare to indoor dining, SAVRPak is hoping to enhance the delivery experience for restaurants and consumers alike.