Street Food Packaging: Eco-Friendly Designs for Eclectic Cuisine

Are you a street food vendor? Then you need the right street food packaging

Your customers deserve sturdy and sustainable trays, boxes, and other suitable street food containers to enjoy their takeaway food and drinks with guilt-free ease. But sometimes, finding the right street food packaging isn’t straightforward. 

Eclectic cuisine requires different kinds of packaging materials and designs, and due to a demand for eco-conscious packaging —  it needs to be green too.

That’s where we come in.

As the UK’s eco-friendly food packaging experts, we know that street food vendors operate in a highly lucrative — yet extremely competitive — marketplace. From curating your menu to perfecting your packaging, getting your stall, van or converted horse box into the biggest, most profitable locations, events, and festivals takes work.

Allow Takeaway Packaging to help you with everything you need to get the most out of your packaging and stand out in the street food market. It’s time to hit the sustainable streets!

Nudi Pasta Bags
What Is Sustainable Street Food Packaging?

Sustainable street food packaging can be any bowl, tray or container suited to bustling street food markets, but it is also kind to the environment. It’s important to remember that street food packaging needs to allow you to serve food easily for your customers, so they can tuck into right away. It is also durable enough for food to be carried around without mess.

Eco-friendly street food packaging can come in all shapes and sizes, including an array of hot and cold food packaging suitable for all kinds of sweet and savoury cuisine. Here are a few key examples:

Hot Street Food Packaging

Chic‘n Wing
Featured: Chic‘n Wing

Get it while it’s hot. You can line recyclable and compostable meal boxes with biodegradable greaseproof paper with an oil and moisture-resistant coating. Meal boxes with lids will ensure your food can be transported safely in a busy street or square. Our 100% virgin pulp-lined greaseproof paper allows customers to recycle their litter easily and makes eating delicious loaded burgers just that little bit less messy.

Cold Street Food Packaging

Raw Pressed
Featured: Raw Pressed

Street foods such as salads, smoothie bowls and cold noodles deserve sustainable packaging to showcase the fresh, colourful food. Salad boxes with clear and biodegradable PLA windows will keep food from spilling, making serving easier and disposal for your customers guilt-free. Alternatively, compostable and biodegradable bowls with lids are a great choice, which you can pair with a recyclable lid to prevent spillage and promote sustainability. 

Cutlery, Napkins and Accessories for Street Food

Avoid the single-use plastic ban and invest in sustainable street food packaging. With single-use cutlery making a swift exit from the food packaging stage, replace it with biodegradable cutlery

Choose from strong bioplastic sets or more rustic compostable wooden cutlery — made from responsibly sourced birch wood. Make it easier for your customers to get rid of their takeaway waste responsibly and care for the planet. 

Napkins are essential for any street food vendor, providing a way for customers to enjoy your food mess-free. Going eco-friendly with compostable napkins is even better — demonstrating you’re an environmentally focused food business. 

Related: Eco-Friendly Food Packaging for Sushi: The Sustainable Alternatives You Should Be Using


Eco-Friendly Drinks Packaging for Street Food Vendors

Street food packaging includes the cups you use to serve coffees, smoothies and juices. As a street food vendor, you’ll have a lot of packaging waste to contend with, and disposable cups are amongst the most common forms of litter. Here are a few eco-cup options for cold and hot beverages. 

Hot Drinks Packaging

Your hot drinks packaging needs to be able to keep drinks like coffee and hot chocolate warm — without being a hassle to throw away. As always, drinks sold in a busy place need a lid to seal the deal. Our eco-cups are lined with Ingeo™ PLA, a sustainable plant-based material. This means they are 100% compostable, biodegradable and recyclable. For more choice (and a cost-effective option), buy recyclable cups derived from 100% recycled materials to impress your customers. 

Cold Drinks Packaging

Like colourful salads, cold drinks like smoothies, juices and milkshakes are often something to show off. That’s why getting clear biodegradable cups is a must-have. Our range of PLA bioplastic transparent cups has a carbon footprint of up to 80% lower than oil-based clear plastic cups. If you’re a street food vendor on a budget who still wants to go sustainable, go for recyclable transparent cups made from 100% recycled materials. 

Straws, Cup Sleeves and More

For hot drinks, a compostable cup sleeve is indispensable. Customers might hold your hot beverages for a while in a street food market setting, with nowhere to put these drinks down. Protect your customers from burning their hands, and get some compostable carriers while you’re at it to help people carry multiple drinks at once without dropping them! 

Pair your cold drinks with biodegradable straws as the ultimate eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws. For thicker drinks like smoothies, we stock 12mm straws which have all the performance qualities of plastic but 80% less of a carbon footprint. 

Related: Packaging Supplies for Cafés: Everything You Need for Your Coffee Shop

Is Sustainability Important for Street Food Packaging?

Consumer preferences for sustainable products and packaging in the last few years have remained strong. Here are some reasons why sustainability is an essential consideration you should make when choosing your street food packaging:

Single-Use Packaging Waste Needs to Be Truly Disposable

As a street food vendor, each dish or drink you serve needs to have its container. This generates a lot of packaging waste, often not disposed of properly. Sustainable street food packaging provides an easy way for you and your customers to throw packaging waste away responsibly.

Eco-friendly Packaging Is in Demand

Sustainable packaging might be the sole reason consumers gravitate towards your business instead of going with one of your less packaging-savvy competitors. Eco-conscious customers are more likely to give their business to brands they feel are aligned with their sustainable values, so don’t miss out on repeat custom just because of your boxes, trays or cups.

Biodegradable and Compostable Packaging Always Wins

Depending on where your street food business is located, fewer recycling points might be available. Street food packaging is easily spoiled and always intended for single use. This means that — even if you have the best intentions — purely recyclable packaging made from plastic-based materials isn’t appropriate. In most situations, biodegradable and compostable packaging that naturally breaks down is a better option for street food.

Branded Paper Cups

Why Choose Branded Street Food Packaging?

If you’re an established street food brand looking for fresh packaging or an up-and-comer with bold aspirations, branded street food packaging makes an excellent marketing tool for your business. Let’s look at some of the advantages of custom street food packaging. 

The Advantages of Branded Street Food Packaging

Consumers love distinct designs, functional accessibility and sustainability regarding their food packaging, but a branded design can give you an edge. 

Picture yourself at a street food market as a potential customer. You’re hungry but not sure what exactly you’re looking for. You notice a group of people walk past, holding stacks of vivid, striking pizza boxes. Suddenly, you fancy pizza. And it’s not just the smell; the box and branding have sparked your interest. It was the packaging which convinced you to purchase.

Take a moment and think about the most popular and successful fast-food brands. They all have very memorable logos and colour schemes (we’re thinking yellow and red in particular), which encourage a sense of familiarity with your product. Familiarity wins trust and drives repeat purchases, as consumers associate your delicious street food with high-quality and sustainable practices. 

But that’s not the only thing you need to consider regarding street food packaging designs. You must ensure your street food containers keep food and drinks fresh by minimising the risk of leaks and spillages. Depending on the type of cuisine, street food boxes need to keep hot food warm and cold food cool. 

Additionally, street food is, by definition, portable. You must ensure your packaging is convenient to transport and easy to assemble, streamlining packing and storage.

If you’re inspired to switch up your packaging to a custom, eco-friendly design, we’ve got your back! Our in-house designers can help you finalise your bespoke packaging or advise you on the best street food packaging materials for the cuisine you specialise in. 

We work with various food packaging clients to achieve the design and functionality they’re looking for. Plus, we’re officially carbon neutral — all the carbon emissions we make, we offset. 

Here are a few street food packaging designs that will get you pumped about striking designs, maximum functionality and eco-consciousness. Let’s get into it.

Related: Should You Use Branded Packaging?


Street Food Packaging Design Examples

Looking for ideas and inspiration? We’ve created branded food packaging for countless vendors, serving everything from burgers and bao buns to chips and kebabs. 

Street Food Packaging Design Examples

Greaseproof Paper

This one is for quick-service food vendors. If you sell burgers, hot dogs or similarly delectable delights, you’ll be looking for sturdy hot food containers and quality greaseproof paper. Here are some street food packaging ideas which might inspire you:

Nom Burger

The folks at Nom Burger have their colour scheme down to a T. Colour psychology drives 90% of customer purchasing decisions as specific colours provoke particular emotions. In this case, green — which promotes a sustainable, optimistic image — is combined with a strong, eye-catching red that elicits feelings of passion. They’ve also included their address so customers know exactly where to return for a repeat purchase!

Greaseproof Paper


Smash N’ Slide

Smash N’ Slide has gone for a sophisticated black, which offsets the pink, orange and white of their logo and brand name. The modern design and name appeal to a young, dynamic demographic, and the choice of a dark colour means grease stains are less visible. Smart.

Smash N’ Slide

Greaseproof Paper

Alongside a winning design, sustainability and functionality are paramount — and don’t we know it. Unlike many greaseproof papers on the market, ours has no silicone lining. 

Why Our Greaseproof Paper Is Different

Silicone uses hydrocarbons derived from petroleum, which is difficult to recycle and won’t be accepted by most facilities. Our greaseproof paper is made from 100% virgin pulp. Tightly woven fibres prevent water or oil from permeating the surface. Aside from reducing mess, our greaseproof paper can be recycled or composted after use. We think that’s pretty rad.  

Related: Is Silicone an Eco-Friendly Material?


Why Our Greaseproof Paper Is Different

Bangin’ Boxes for Takeaways

We know we’re not the only ones with cardboard pizza boxes; they’re a fast-food staple, but our pizza boxes are different! We’ve included a virgin Kraft paper lining on the inside of these boxes, making them 100% safe for use with food — this isn’t as common as you might imagine for this kind of packaging.

We’re also proud to say our pizza boxes are made from 73% recycled paper. Plus, they’re 100% recyclable, thanks to the grease-resistant paper on the inside.

Quadrata Pizza

Quadrata Pizza has smashed it with its square pizza box design. It’s modern and sleek and tells the consumer about the brand story and links to their website. The white acts as the perfect canvas, creating a sense of space to emphasise the bold black and red text. Remember that contrast is key. If you’re using a dark background, ensure your text and logo are light to stand out. The opposite applies with a light background to maximise readability and consumer engagement. 

But just because they’re called “pizza boxes” doesn’t mean you only have to use them for pizzas. The same applies to all our products — they’re incredibly versatile. 

Bueno Gelato

Bueno Gelato

Bueno Gelato has used our pizza boxes as takeaway containers for their sweet treats. An elegant but distinct design gives the impression of quality, and they’ve helpfully included all their social media and contact details on the box. This encourages customers to get involved and post online, further promoting their products.

Related: Can You Recycle Greasy Pizza Boxes?


Eco-Friendly Cake Boxes and Coffee Cups

If you’re a cafe or coffee shop owner wanting to revolutionise your takeaway packaging, look no further! Our versatile, durable coffee cups and cake boxes are customisable and sustainable.

Cake Boxes and Coffee Cups

Cake Boxes

A vital aspect of nailing your cake packaging is ensuring your captivating cakes are adequately covered. Cakes often have intricate icing detailing, which needs to be protected by cake boxes or appropriate containers to keep them beautifully intact.

The De Beauvoir Deli Co.

The De Beauvoir Deli Co. has taken cake box design in its stride. The use of blue inspires feelings of security and stability. You look at this cake box and know its contents will be quality — with graceful blue patterns accented on a white background. As you can see, this company has customised our cake boxes with vegetable-based inks. We think it looks beautiful, don’t you?

Coffee Cups

Frappè, latte, cappuccino, americano — serve up your range of hot drinks easily with a clean conscience. We stock a wide range of biodegradable cups, from clear eco-cups to compostable paper cups. Here are a few of our favourite designs:

Coffee Cups

Hammonds of Hull

Hammonds of Hull has aced it with this design. The colour is vibrant, eye-catching and, most importantly, attention-grabbing. Yellow provokes feelings of optimism, energy and warmth. The pun on the front is humorous and acts as an ingenious portable advertisement. Customers walking around with this cup will encourage others to Google, ask and wonder where they got this cool-looking drink. 

The Lifthouse Coffee Co

The Lifthouse Coffee Co. 

These coffee cups are simply stunning. The muted blues, detailed illustrations and chic sepia photographs are exquisite. Each size has a different, distinct design, making them positively collectable! 

The Lifthouse Coffee Co. has harnessed the power of contrast, ensuring that wherever the logo is, it can be seen clearly. This is also a prime example of brand continuity, which can increase sales for your business. Although each design varies, there is definite continuity within the colour palette, font and imagery. 

Why Choose Our Eco-Friendly Coffee Cups?

First off, they’re versatile. You can use them both for hot and cold drinks. Our single-wall recyclable coffee cups come in four sizes: 4oz, 8oz, 12oz and 16oz so that you can serve a range of drinks. These cups are, of course, 100% recyclable so that you can impress your customers with a fantastic design and eco-friendly credentials

Ordering Branded Street Food Packaging with Us

At Takeaway Packaging, we’re keen to spread the eco-conscious word. Sustainable packaging doesn’t have to be boring. These innovative street food packaging ideas are the evidence you’ve been looking for. It’s time to embrace sustainability, functionality and your imagination. The sky’s the limit. 

Get a FREE design quote for custom street food packaging in 48 hours!