The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Zak! Designs

Zak! Designs


September 24, 2014

Since 1976, Zak! Designs has been committed to making mealtime fun and environmentally sound for people around the world, from dinnerware and on-the-go products to tableware and kitchen prep products. Their commitment to being green is evident in their line of dining products made with recycled melamine, as well as in their line of lunch totes made from recycled water bottles. We talked to Irv Zakheim, Chairman and CEO of Zak! Designs, about the ways consumers, retailers and manufacturers can work together to achieve their shared sustainability goals.

How have you been able to merge commerce with sustainable business practices? 

We continually look for ways to incorporate more environmentally friendly business practices into all aspects of our business without creating added expenses for consumers. I think today’s consumers are extremely eco-aware and they want to buy environmentally friendly products and support businesses that have environmentally friendly practices, but most of them are not willing to pay additional money for it. 
How is your business unique from others that make "sustainable" packaging and food storage solutions? 

Zak! Designs consistently takes advantage of revolutionary technology to develop patented environmentally friendly products that no one else can deliver. 

How challenging is it to try and meet the needs of consumers (convenience, ergonomics) while simultaneously pushing eco-friendly goals forward in the industry? 

It used to be extremely difficult to create a product that combined the qualities consumers expect, the functionality they need, and the environmentally friendly aspects that are so important to almost everyone, but with the emergence of new technology, it’s becoming more realistic to develop products that have all the aspects consumers are looking for at a price they can actually afford.
Why are green storage solutions important to the food industry? 

Sometimes it’s the smallest steps that can make the biggest difference when everyone starts taking them. Exchanging disposable bags for reusable food storage containers is something everyone can easily do, and it has a big impact on the amount of trash that ends up in landfills. 

What can retailers learn from your success? 

This is a joint effort. It takes everyone working together to make a difference. Manufacturers have to develop the products people are asking for, retailers have to give consumers access to those products, and consumers have to step up and support the manufacturers and retailers that are demonstrating a commitment to be more environmentally friendly. If we all do our part, we’ll start to see a difference, and that’s when meaningful change happens.