Kari-Out Co. Invests to Increase Take-Out Sauce Packet Production, Expand Specialty Quality Packaging & Acquire Paper Bags USA

Chicago, IL – Kari-Out® will showcase its diverse and expansive line of foodservice take-out packaging products at the National Restaurant Show, MAY 21-24 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Attendees are invited to visit the key industry supplier at Kari-Out Booth #4082 on the trade show floor.

“Kari-Out is a pioneer in the takeout foodservice industry, and has paved the way for the transformation of the away-from-home, food-on-the-move, experience in the U.S.  The Tarrytown, NY based company has become a trusted partner in foodservice by manufacturing high-quality, American-made, and sustainable products, and by sourcing them from across its extensive global supply chain,” say Kim Cassar, Kari-out’s Vice President of Marketing.

Among its varied products, Kari-Out is one of the largest manufacturers of soy sauce, duck sauce, mustard and hot sauce take-out packets.  They produce billions of packets under their bestselling brands like Panda Soy Sauce, Diamond Red Hot Sauce, Tiger Sriracha Sauce as well as private label sauces for National Restaurant Chains. 

To that end, Kari -Out will be investing over two million dollars to increase its new portion control packaging capacity.  The new machines added to Kari-Out’s Totowa NJ manufacturing facility will enable them to produce an estimated 15% more packets annually. With drive through service accounting for over 70% of total sales for quick service restaurants, there is a growing need for portion pack sauces and Kari-Out is investing to service this growing market.

The company has also made a significant investment to expand manufacturing capabilities in its Specialty Quality Packaging (SQP) facility in New York, where Kari-Out’s popular Food Trays, Eco Box™ and Eco Earth™ paper food containers are produced.  SQP, founded in 1981, has been a Kari-Out company for over fifteen years and has helped Kari-Out drive innovation with a highly experienced manufacturing team. State-of-the-art machines with new die-cutting, folding and forming technology will allow Kari-Out to double its capacity for paper containers, producing innovative new shapes and sizes to accommodate the changing carry-out industry.

Further, earlier this month Kari-out announced its acquisition of Paper Bags USA, based in New Brunswick, NJ. The U.S. paper bag market is projected to hit over seven billion dollars in sales by 2030. The acquisition expands Kari-Out’s focus on paper packaging and complements the company’s vast import network with new domestic production. At a time when pickup and delivery service is trending upward, paper packaging and bags are  growing market segments for Kari-Out. The company has immediate plans to double the capacity of the Paper Bags USA facility and enhance the printing capabilities to four-color printing for customizable branding.

The National Restaurant Association Show is a leading trade show for the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry. The show highlights exciting new products, innovative new equipment, as well as business connections with key suppliers, and access to expert-led education sessions on today’s biggest topics. It also affords opportunities to industry-leading products and solutions for growth to help professionals navigate today’s new business realities.

History of Kari-Out

Kari-Out® is a family business that started with the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, Howard Epstein. Howard’s journey began in the Bronx, New York with a small popcorn packaging business servicing local movie theaters.

When that business failed to gain traction, he started looking for a change – that’s when one of his father’s salesmen, who sold tea bags, suggested he consider the soy-sauce-packaging business. In 1964, Epstein founded Kari-Out, and he says he arrived to the industry right as it was becoming commercially viable. To serve the newly airborne hordes of families and businessmen, airlines began offering prepared foods onboard. Epstein found his first major foothold as the primary provider of soy sauce for these in-flight meals.

He soon built up a widespread network of customers, and Kari-Out’s products appeared in Chinese restaurants across the country. Now, he estimates that Kari-Out has a 50 percent market share. The company’s soy-sauce packets remain ubiquitous—Epstein recalls finding Kari-Out packets at a concession stand in rural Iceland a couple of years ago. “We’ve survived 50 years,” Epstein says. “I never get sick of Chinese food or soy sauce.”