Transforming a Rice Bowl into a Dining Experience

HAVI helped a quick-service restaurant (QSR) to promote market share growth and better cater to their audience in Northern Asia after they decided to introduce rice-based entrees to their menu. HAVI created a short-term packaging solution and a long-term strategy to ensure continuous growth. 


Transforming a Rice Bowl into a Dining Experience

A leading quick service restaurant (QSR) chain determined that to continue its growth in Northern Asia, it needed to grow its share of the dinner service market, and a key tactic was adding rice based entrees to its menu. HAVI delivered initial packaging in less than three months, and longer term, developed consumer focused packaging that brought a familiar experience from home to a quick service restaurant.



A leading QSR chain saw an opportunity to introduce rice based entrees to its menu in Northern Asia as part of its efforts to grow its share of the dinner service market. It needed a package that offered effective containment and could be brought to market in less than three months.

The restaurant chain also wanted a longer-term solution that would appeal to local eating styles, especially reflecting the role of rice within the meal. The restaurant needed a partner that could help it with this challenge from product design to production.



The QSR enlisted the help of HAVI, a global leader in packaging, supply chain services, marketing and supply chain analytics, merchandising planning and promotions management, and waste, recycling and sustainability, to help them design and execute the product packaging.

HAVI has deep expertise in foodservice and afforded the restaurant chain access to its Packaging Innovation Network. This group of suppliers from within HAVI’s Supplier Council is comprised of companies within the packaging value chain that develop and deliver innovative solutions to support customers’ current and future business needs.

The team from HAVI assembled members of the Packaging Innovation Network, and immediately began planning a two-step approach of designing a functional rice packaging solution for the short term, while also developing a truly innovative, consumer- centric solution for the long term. The first packaging was delivered in less than three months, allowing the restaurant to quickly launch the new menu item, and also enabling it to quickly analyze the packaging’s effectiveness and consumer behavior.

While the first packaging solution was being developed and rolled out, HAVI undertook a detailed analysis with the restaurant chain of consumers’ wants and needs for the dinner experience.

Through in-store visits and detailed ethnography, the team was able to identify that the ability to share food was extremely important, especially for the dinner service, which may be a family meal. The Packaging Innovation Network then harnessed this consumer insight and translated it into package design, using proprietary processes and the team’s depth of design experience. The solution is new packaging that accommodates and encourages meal sharing through its shape and ability to  be broken down into separate components. The packaging for the rice and the accompanying meats and sauces, can be easily shared around a table by friends or family because of its shape and modular design.

Both the initial quick rice bowl design and the longer-term consumer focused design were made possible because HAVI and its Packaging Innovation Network partners had the insights, skill set and collaborative culture to research the consumer trends, design the packaging and deliver it to the client in a very short time.



  • Speed to market – By leveraging the Packaging Innovation Network, the QSR was able to gain speed of entry to the market.
  • Learn and adapt – The two stage approach allowed the QSR to learn and adapt with limited investment on the front end.
  • Enhanced customer experience – The modular packaging allows for customers to share food and have a dining experience that feels comfortable and familiar.