Reinventing an Old Tradition

Ready. Chef. Go!™ bags are inspired by the old French cooking tradition of “en papillote” (pah-pee-yawt), literally meaning “in parchment”. En papillote is a method of steam cooking food in a sheet of folded and sealed parchment paper. The term originates in the 17th century, but the concept behind the cooking method has been used in Chinese and Indonesian cuisines even longer. This quick, simple, and healthy cooking tradition makes meals that are juicy, savory, and fragrant. When moisture DSC_0648 (640x504)inside the bag or pouch reaches the right temperature, it will turn into steam that will circulate inside, gently and quickly enveloping and cooking the food in its own natural juices along with the juices of any added ingredients. Ready. Chef. Go!™ bags are designed to give you the fresh, moist, and outstanding food quality of en papillote in a convenient package that takes the guesswork out of cooking and keeps the mess in the bag. With Ready. Chef. Go!™ bags, you can consistently cook flavorful and delicious meals whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice to the kitchen, all without even breaking a sweat.

  • Tasty, fresh, and healthy meal in minutes
  • Can be cooked in the Oven or Microwave
  • No mess, no clean up, no fuss
  • Helps contain seafood odors during the cooking process
  • Takes the guesswork out of cooking seafood
  • Bag is self-venting and evenly cooks food
  • Can be refrigerated or frozen to cook later
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Can you believe this is the same filet of salmon as the one in the Ready. Chef. Go!™ bag in the picture above?


Visit Us at the 2015 NGA Show

We will be exhibiting at the National Grocers Association tradeshow at the Mirage hotel in Laslogo Vegas on Sunday, February 8th through Wednesday, February 11th. If you will be at the show, stop by our booth and say hello. We will be showing off our latest new grocery products, including our new and revolutionary Ready. Chef. Go!™ dual-ovenable Cooking bags and Oven & Grilling Bags. Grocery stores, processors, distributors, and end users alike have been giving these bags rave reviews and you should join the excitement and see for yourself why.

Food Processors and Grocers are using these new culinary bags as an attractive and complete meal solution to showcase their fresh produce, meats, and seafood while giving their customers a quick and no-fuss method to quickly cook delicious and healthy pre-packaged meals without the mess, odor, and clean-up of traditional cooking methods. We offer Cooking Bags, which can be used in both ovens and microwaves, and Oven & Grilling Bags, which can be used in a conventional oven or barbeque. Both of these bags effortlessly steam-cook food to absolute perfection and can make a cooking novice look like a professional chef.

RCG_Microwave_Salmon_tableresizedThe products themselves comprise only one portion of the Ready. Chef. Go!™ program, since it’s designed to give grocers a foundation of support to make them successful. The entire Ready. Chef. Go!™ cooking bag line is supported with a complete program that provides a wealth of options including culinary solutions, in-store merchandising and crew-member training support. Culinary solutions include an exclusive variety of sixteen seasoned compound butters, and nine sauces designed specifically for the Ready. Chef. Go!™ program. These sauces and butters are made up of flavors from around the globe such as garlic scampi, mango teriyaki, yellow curry, and tomato basil paprika to cater to ever-evolving palates. Retailers can customize their program however they wish to meet the requirements of each of their locations and cater to their customers’ tastes. POS support includes a variety of counter signs, wall signs, floor clings and more to bring traffic to seafood counters. A variety of social media outlets are being used to promote Ready. Chef. Go!™ to consumers, and the program is also being supported with an aggressive advertising program in trade publications and electronic marketing initiatives. For more information on the Ready. Chef. Go!™ program, visit

These new products are Elkay exclusive, and we’ll be on hand to demonstrate them and answer any questions that you may have. You can find us at booth 1204 and we hope to see you there!

The Latest in Healthcare Packaging

While we at Elkay are drawing attention and generating excitement with our new product line of gourmet Cooking bags, we have been hard at work at introducing other interesting product lines as well. One of these new product lines, our new Lab-Loc® specimen bags, are different from most other specimen bags available in the healthcare market. They have bilingual instructions printed in English and Spanish, have an outer pouch to hold accompanying labz810ba (470x640)paperwork, and have a Seal-N-Rip® feature which gives lab technicians quick access to the bags’ contents since the top of the bags can be torn off at the tear line.

In addition to looking clean-cut and stylish, these bags can help save end users money in disposal costs since they feature a special removable biohazard symbol. You see, packaging or materials that come into contact with potentially infectious specimens are required by Federal and State laws to be disposed of in a special, and more costly, waste stream specifically for biological and infectious waste. Any product that has a biohazard symbol printed on it should be disposed of through this special waste stream. If the new Lab-Loc® bag hasn’t come into direct physical contact with its specimen, the biohazard symbol at the top of the bag can be torn off. Since the bag no longer has a printed biohazard symbol, the rest of the bag can be disposed of with general waste, which will help end users save on disposal costs.

Equally as important, all of the new Lab-Loc® bags are manufactured in a Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliant country. TAA-compliance provides a decisive advantage when doing business with Federal Government Agencies such as the General Services Administration (GSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Defense (DoD), in addition to their many suppliers and contractors. Last, but not least, these bags are designed for accountability and ease of use in a healthcare environment. All Lab-Loc® bags are packed in clear, individually-labeled and bar-coded dispenser packs that make each bag easy to pull out and trace back to their production run. Our full line of Lab-Loc® bags in their wide variety of sizes, colors, and configurations can be found here.

Elkay Salutes Our Veterans

November 11th is recognized around the world as Armistice Day, when World War 1 ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 96 years ago to the day. In the United States, the Veterans Service Organization pushed Congress to replace the word “Armistice” with the word “Veterans”, which became a reality in 1954. Many people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day, and, although they are similar, they serve separate distinct purposes. Memorial Day honors our servicemen who died while serving our nation while Veterans Day honors all servicemen who have served or currently serve in the Armed Forces during times of peace and war; alive or dead. It is tradition to wear poppies on Veterans Day as the red flower flourishes on disturbed soil, representing our servicemen who paid the ultimate price to protect our nation.

Today, Elkay honors and recognizes our nation’s Veterans and servicemen who currently serve or have served in the Armed Forces in both times of war and peace. Elkay is especially proud of its own team members who have served with gallantry and honor in peace and war in conflicts spanning from the Vietnam War to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. We give our following team members a special thank you for your service and proudly salute you:

Ed Roth – Marines, Vietnam War

Bob Berry – Army, Vietnam War

James “Jim” Bramble – Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom

Gerald “Jerry” Bramble – Navy

David Russell – Navy

Joe Morgan – Army

Family Values at Elkay

Elkay Plastics, the leading US supplier of stock flexible packaging for Foodservice, Grocery, Industrial, and Healthcare markets, started from quiet and humble beginnings. The company was founded in 1968 by Lou and Trudy Kestenbaum, two Holocaust survivors who emigrated from their native Hungary after World War II to escape the ruins of the old world and start with a clean slate in the United States. The Kestenbaums instilled a family-oriented culture and achieved modest success throughout their tenure as owners. In 1990, the Kestenbaums decided to sell Elkay Plastics to Louis Chertkow, who also came from unassuming beginnings, himself growing up on a farm in rural South Africa. Under his leadership and surrounded by a top notch team of executives, managers, and associates, Elkay has expanded from a small local supplier with 1 warehouse in Los Angeles to a national corporation with 8 strategic locations around the US.

Despite the vast expansion, success has not altered Elkay’s original tradition of family and loyalty. Elkay’s employees and loyal customers remain its most valuable assets and are symbolic members of the extended Chertkow family. It seems that many Elkay employees feel the same way, with dozens of them proud to be apart of the family for 10, 20, 30 and even one for 40 years. It is this sense of family and loyalty that motivates them to put in the extra effort for customers and always help to find solutions to grow their businesses. You can be fully confident that, when working with Elkay, you are working with a team of dedicated, driven, and loyal individuals who are fully committed to the success of your business. The family culture at Elkay is one large reason why Elkay is, and always will be, “The Right Partner for YOUR Success”.

Revolutionary Cooking and Grilling Bags – Exclusively from Elkay Plastics

Now is a very exciting time to be at Elkay Plastics. As you may have heard, we are introducing a revolutionary new line of cooking and barbeque bags that will change the landscape of home cooking. Our new cooking and BBQ bags are designed to bring you healthy, restaurant-quality food to the comfort of your own home without time-consuming food prep and cleanup.


Let’s start with the Cooking bags. Our new Cooking bags can be used to cook food in either the microwave or conventional oven. They don’t require venting, the food cooks evenly without needing to be turned, and because the mess is completely contained within the bag, practically no clean up is required. These self-sealing, self-venting bags are great for cooking fish, chicken,

fish-into-cooking-bags-4resizeshell fish, crab legs, lobster tails and all kinds of vegetables to absolute perfection. In fact, you will be pleasantly surprised with how good the results turn out, especially when cooked in the microwave! As someone who cooks a lot, I was very skeptical of cooking anything, much less seafood of any kind, in a microwave. Truth be told, the idea kind of disgusted me. I have tried the bag out before in the oven with great results, but due to the time taken for pre-heating and an additional 20 minutes of cooking time in the oven, the microwave presented a much quicker alternative. When I tried the bag out myself, I put a filet of salmon inside the bag over a bed of spinach, added seasoning and sauce, sealed the bag,

My Own Salmon on Spinach

My Own Salmon on Spinach

and then put it in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. There wasn’t any fish smell since the bag locked in any odors. The salmon steamed perfectly and turned out moist, soft, and very tasty; just the way salmon should be. The secret of this self-venting bag is that when it is used in a microwave, the environment inside the bag is more like that of a pressure cooker which steams food to soft perfection. These bags cook food so well and so quickly in the microwave, two people cooked a meal of salmon, tilapia, shrimp scampi, string beans, and broccoli for 12 people in 20 minutes or less! A healthy and tasty meal for 12 people within 20 minutes is practically unheard of, but this product will change conventional wisdom.


Our new self-sealing BBQ bags are also very special in their own way. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but there have been countless times I have tried to grill burgers I prepared myself only to watch them break into pieces when I flip them. It seems that no matter how much egg or binders I use to keep the meat together, some of them would fall apart after flipping them on the grill. I also have had many instances when I barbequed or grilled for many guests and

Capture0011-2resizebecame overwhelmed from flipping so much food as well as remembering which foods I already flipped (and those that I didn’t). With these bags, flipping food is a thing of the past. One of the coolest features of our BBQ bags is that both sides of whatever you’re cooking, be it steak, fish, chicken, or vegetables will brown and cook evenly. With the clear window on top of the bag, all you have to do is watch as the food marinates in its own juices until it’s ready. “BBQ bag” may be a bit of a misnomer, since it can also be used to cook food in the oven or on a skillet. Another cool feature is that this bag makes it very difficult to dry out food on the grill. Chicken filets, which are notoriously easy to dry out if not grilled properly, will consistently come out soft and moist when cooked inside these special bags. These versatile and groundbreaking cooking and grilling bags are offered exclusively in the USA by Elkay Plastics. If you’re interested in being apart of this culinary revolution, please fill in our information request form.


Reduce Costs, Not Performance

Tuf-R® Performance Rated bags provide an economical and simple way for distributors and end users alike to lower their poly bag costs as high 47% without sacrificing performance. Tuf-R® brand bags are made and designed from a unique blend of resin that allows a thinner-gauged bag to achieve the strength, puncture resistance, and performance of a thicker and more expensive bag while even offering superior clarity. Even the thinnest Tuf-R® bag, which is .6 mil, is resilient enough to handle the same jobs otherwise reserved for bags that are 1 mil to 1¼ mil thick. Since we offer them in such a wide variety of sizes for Tuf-R® flat and gusset bags, they can be used to package almost anything from automotive parts, supplies, grains, foods, instruction manuals, to just about anything that will fit in them. Why pay a premium for a full 4 mil thick bag when a 2¾ mil Tuf-R® bag offers the same toughness and rugged performance at a significantly lower price?

In Summary, these bags provide:

  • Excellent strength that matches thicker-gauged bags
  • Crisp clarity due to special resin blend
  • Bottom-sealed to handle the toughest jobs
  • FDA compliant for use with food products
  • Bags 15”  and under are packed in individually-labeled and bar-coded dispenser packs of 100 bags each for convenience, cleanliness, and waste reduction
  • Fully recyclable with standard low density polyethylene (LDPE Recycle Symbol #4)

How Grocers Can Market to Shoppers and Provide Meaningful Solutions

Promotions such as discounts, coupons, and relevant special offers have long withstood the test of time with Grocery retailers, but are they truly what their customers are looking for? According to a recent article in Supermarket News, discounts and offers can help, but the modern shopper is looking for more. The age of mobile devices, social media and new technology has introduced the theme of making life convenient, easier, and more personalized for the consumer. Customers are individuals with unique interests and lifestyles and are looking for custom-tailored solutions that will save them time and make their lives easier.

A recent study by Genia Chechersky from emnos, a consumer insight consulting firm, found delithat 64% of customers want more relevant content from their grocers and 83% feel that their grocer is not providing enough resources or solutions that cater to their unique lifestyles. Many shoppers are less interested in what’s on sale and more interested in how to prepare a healthy meal for a family of four as quickly as possible. Some shoppers or their family members may have dietary restrictions and want ideas for quick meals built around the special diet. By providing education, tips and relevant information, Grocery retailers can market to customers with content that matters to them. Giving recipe ideas, wellness tips, advice, and best practices are a few simple and easy ways grocers can resonate with shoppers.

Grocers can also directly market to their shoppers by introducing new products and concepts that will help save their customers time, energy, and reduce hassle in their busy sushilives. In the 1990s and early 2000s, grocery retailers learned that they can help market to their customers as well as drastically grow their meat, seafood, produce and deli sales by providing items such as pre-marinated meats, fresh sushi, personalized salads (from salad bars), and custom made-to-order deli sandwiches. Grocers already had meat, seafood, produce and deli meats and cheeses available for sale by themselves and they capitalized on consumer demand by preparing them into quick take-home meals. With this in mind, Elkay Plastics is preparing to launch a revolutionary family of new products that will take this concept even further. The new products and concept will help Grocery retailers propel their meat, seafood, and produce sales while providing fast, fresh, healthy, and, most importantly, tasty meals that are prepared exactly how the customer likes. Our new products will provide solutions and value that will help grocers grow their sales, differentiate them from competitors, and more effectively market to and build loyalty with shoppers. Stay tuned for more information on this game-changing and unique product soon!

The Clear Solution for Catering

From the packaging of school breakfast for summer schools, providing lunch on the go for a golf outing, to a prepared picnic meal for a community event, the TO6484 clear loop handle bag is the perfect choice for catering. We recently showed two school districts why the TO6484 is a fitting solution for their catering needs.

The Situation
The first school district was searching for a better solution for packaging their student lunches for school field trips. They were using a traditional cardboard carton to pack the lunches in. This resulted in three problems: 1) Students constantly opening boxes to see contents 2) Boxes were difficult for smaller students to carry 3) They took up too much space in waste receptacles.

The second school district had a different challenge; they were seeking a better way to provide a takeout package for their summer school breakfast program. Students attending summer school arrive early and are provided a breakfast that they take to their assigned rooms to eat. The school was using a craft paper bag. Again, students opened the bag in the halls trying to see their items and the bags did not offer an “easy carry” option.

The Solution
The TO6484 presented both school districts with the best solution! The clear bags provided students with the ability to see their meal items, the handles were perfect for carrying, and as a bonus, while the bags take up less waste receptacle space then the boxes, they are fully recyclable and could be saved and re-used by students to carry other items!

Elkay’s unique take out bag presents a stylish packaging alternative to traditional boxes and paper bags. It offers the advantages of strength, exceptional clarity for product presentation, and strong handles for easy carrying. Look at the options below and decide which package is the clear choice?

The Elkay Advantage: Packaging that Shows Quality

At Elkay Plastics, we take great pride in how our products are packaged. While this may sound confusing at first, let me explain further:

Many of our bags are packed in cartons or inner-packaging with individually labeled and bar-coded inner packs. This process helps give our customers confidence that they receive clean, durable, and organized products every time they buy Elkay products. Bar-coding and labeling of each inner pack helps account for each product and allows us to trace each product all the way back to its original manufacturing run. Our dispensing system improves our end users’ cost control, facilitates inventory management and minimizes waste. This all ties back in to our rigorous quality certification standards such as ISO 9001:2008 and annual Food Safety audits. What’s the point of going through so much effort to ensure seamless production processes and creating quality products if they’re going to be packaged in a messy and disorganized manner? Ask yourself this: If you were looking to buy bags, which product would you buy?

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9 x 12 Bags from Leading Competitor


9 x 12 Bags from Elkay Plastics