It’s possible to keep food fresh, hot, and safe without removing it from its packaging. How? Through a self-heating food box.

Consumers pay attention to what’s convenient, safe, and functional. If food packaging satisfies these necessary qualities, there’s a higher chance they would patronize your products. Here, Romeo Joven Jr. of Hotbox Philippines talks about self-heating food boxes and why they are actually a crisis solution.

How did you come up with the idea of a self-heating box?

I work as a television and commercial producer and travel quite a bit for shoots. We often have to consume food that has gone cold during meetings, shoots or in hotel rooms. Though the food is of high quality, it never tastes the same when eaten cold. I’m sure we all have had this experience. The few times we use a microwave, the food dries up and its texture changes. It also gets cold fast, not to mention there’s radiation that comes with it. 

I knew I had to do something about it. That’s when the research to create a solution to this problem started and how Hotbox was born. Hotbox has been operating for about seven months. We spent about a year doing feasibility studies with the market to get reactions, feedback, and insights. 

How does it work and what makes it stand out?

One can have a hot meal at their convenience with just one pull of a string. Once pulled from the box, the heating process begins. Steam will come out of the box after two to three minutes and your food is hot after five minutes. The nice thing is it continues to heat up your food for up to 30 minutes so there’s no need to rush eating your meal.

Using steam to heat up the food also keeps it moist and fresh, unlike a microwave. The food boxes are customizable and personalized so businesses can create boxes to fit their needs as well as put their branding on them to offer their customers. Customers can also personalize boxes for their events or to simply send messages to their loved ones.

 Why should brands invest in innovative packaging?

Because we are now living in a new world with a lot more demands and needs. Safety is the top priority. Customers are a lot more cautious with how businesses prepare and deliver their food. Convenience is also important. People are busier than ever. Customers are now taking out and having food delivered instead of dining in restaurants. Companies need to keep up with this pace of life. 

What’s your strategy in promoting your product during the pandemic?

Operating during the pandemic has been challenging especially for a startup like us. We have had to be creative in the way we market our product and introduce ourselves and our purpose. Luckily, the product has been selling itself. The business and the product have been thriving in the current situation as it is a solution to the pandemic. We are all more cautious and paranoid about the meals we consume and how they are prepared. With self-heating packaging, customers do not need to worry as the box heats the food up to 70 degrees Celsius, thus killing any bacteria along the way.