Super Bowl Weekend Is The Big Show For Pizza Box Manufacturers

Image courtesy of (Marc Wathieu)

Did you know that there’s a pizza season? Pizzerias say that their business picks up in October, and the bump lasts through the NCAA tournament in March. 12.5 million pizzas are ordered on Super Bowl Sunday alone. Supporting all of that delivery business in a very literal sense is a crucial American industry: the factories that make pizza boxes.

On the surface, pizza boxes are extremely simple. They’re boxes that are used for a very short time to transport a pizza between the oven and the home it’s delivered to. They have to be sturdy and keep the pizza warm, but not trap steam inside so it becomes soggy. This is more difficult than you might think.

If you’re into checking where things are made, look at the box the next time you order pizza to see where it came from. The most likely candidate is Rock-Tenn, a Georgia-based company that makes boxes for nationwide chains like Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, and Papa John’s as well as your neighborhood pizza joint. They print branded boxes for the big chains, branded boxes for little shops, short runs of boxes for special promotions, and generic boxes that are good for any size shop as long as it sells pizzas.

Rock-Tenn makes about half of the pizza boxes used in this country. They have 17 factories that make pizza boxes, and six of them make nothing but pizza boxes all day.

Super Bowl Challenge for Box Makers: 12.5 Million Pizzas [Wall Street Journal]

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