Meal Packaging: Tiffin

28 Feb

You can find lovely sites on food (& other consumer goods) packaging and as a packaging fetishist I do enjoy swooning over their entries very much; I’m thinking of The Dieline or Lovely Package, for example. What I haven’t found is a site on attractive and dare I say it sustainable meal packaging, especially excluding usual commercial varieties of packaging, whether green or not (think styrofoam that we mentioned here). I think its time these alternatives were paraded, so I’m going to start today with the TIFFIN.


The tiffin originates in the Anglo-Indian cultural context. The word describes the container used to transport and serve lunchtime meals, such as in Mumbai, India, above, or Dhaka, Bangladesh, pictured below. The lunches are home-made or bought from restaurants/caterers.

tiffin-delivery-banglaThese typically steel lunchboxes are delivered by so-called tiffinwallahs (or: dabbawallahs – more wallahs here) in a self-described ‘low-tech & lean’ fashion. Their astounding system has been the subject of much business management research in the areas of Quality, Logistics and Teamwork. The excellent website of the official Dabbawala Foundation can be found here.


This is a simple (yay, simple!) hammered steel two-tier tiffin

Tiffin and Oranges_klein

This is a three-tier version with a green tiffin carrier bag


hand-painted, 3-tiered, tapered Kashmiri tiffin


4-tiered, hand-painted versions


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: