Innovation: Nachos to Go Keeps on Going

Convenience and portion control were primary objectives when Baer & Associates first created Nachos to Go for the movie theater category several years back. One of Baer & Associates’ long-standing products has also proven to be one of the most versatile. While created to meet the needs of a movie theater client, the global health pandemic has revealed new opportunities for the product. Nachos to Go avoids unnecessary food handling, prevents contamination, and provides a “grab and go” snack opportunity all while controlling cost, waste and promoting food safety.

The Objective: Create a Nacho Product for Movie Theaters

For years movie theaters have offered nachos at concession stands. This popular snack came with a host of problems, however. Often chips, shipped to theaters in large bags, arrived broken, making them unusable. Cheese was also an issue. If customers added it themselves from a dispenser, they often took more than needed—a lot more – which also led to increased costs.

To make matters worse, the serving tubs were messy to clean up after consumption within the theater – adding to labor costs to clean up the messes in the theatres after a film. Theaters wanted to offer nachos as they were a popular item with patrons, but cost was a significant issue. Baer & Associates was engaged to help the theater chain find a solution that would control costs, cut back on wasted chips and cheese and decrease the mess left behind.

The Strategy: Build the Nacho Pack from Scratch

Nachos to Go looks like a simple enough proposition. But the components of what become the final packaged product required thoughtful consideration. Multiple sources, processes, people and industries would be needed to create this convenient snack. Fortunately, Baer & Associates has a vast network of resources that were up to the challenge.

Nacho chips needed sourcing and Baer not only needed to locate great tasting chips – they also couldn’t arrive as broken fragments. Nacho cheese needed to be sourced, as did a sturdy plastic package to contain and separate wet and dry elements of the snack. A label would need to be printed and affixed as would a container top.

After sourcing all of the subcomponents, Baer would also require a food product co-packer to insert the product into the package, seal and label the product and, box specific quantities of the packaged product for shipping and, finally, fulfill purchase orders for the product from specific theaters locations.

The Result: Better User Experience – Better Client Margins

The result: Nachos and cheese, packaged together yet separate within an easy to handle, easy to use, and easy to dispose of, package for one. The chips were whole not broken, the cheese – delicious, and the user experience at the movie theater chain for both the client and their customers was reported to be exceptional, with margins for the prepackaged snacks exceeding previous self-serve nacho and cheese offerings.

The team at Baer designed, sourced and perfected each step of the process, differentiating Baer & Associates from others in the packaging industry through dedication to the client’s objective, engaging key industry contacts, applying years of packaging expertise – an outcome fostered by a business culture at Baer that was committed to innovative problem solving.

The Extension: Food Safety

Health and food safety are more of a priority now than ever before. Baer & Associates is proud to offer a packaging solution that benefits clients and their customers by limiting the number of people coming in contact with food at point of sale. And, Baer & Associates continues to have excellent relationships at the manufacturer and operator levels, ensuring a high-quality grab-and-go snack option.

Nachos to Go is well-positioned to address Food Safety concerns. “Zero Touch” trends have prompted operators to strategically eliminate some of the self-serve operations since the beginning of the pandemic, and pre-packaged snacks and meals have become prevalent. Our Nachos To Go brand has pre-packed sealed chip bags and cheese cups, ensuring complete sanitation. Consumers don’t have to pour their own cheese, and operations personnel don’t have to clean up a cheese dispensing operation.

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