Preparing lunch boxes for our little people can become quite a chore, especially when food doesn’t get eaten because of a soggy or squished sandwich. Mum of two, Chantal became frustrated with some of the bento boxes on the market so she decided to design her own. Above all, functionality is key and with her keen eye for detail, she has created a successful Australian-owned business by changing the way we feed the little (and big) people their lunch every day.
Minty Magazine is proud to support female-founded small businesses like Little Lunch Box Co and we know you’re going to love these lunch boxes as much as we do!
How did your business Little Lunch Box come about?
‘I was using another bento style lunch box on the market and was frustrated with some of the features. It had awkward size compartments and it was hard to clean. I loved everything else about bento style lunch boxes, so I thought – what if I could create a lunch box without these problems? Surely it would be a hit with parents and kids alike.’
Tell us about the Little Lunch Box Co range and what inspires your collections?
‘I started out with a 3 and 5 compartment bento box, then added a two compartment snack box. In addition to this, I designed some purpose-made silicone cups to help parents separate foods in the compartments, allowing them to pack more variety. More recently, I’ve seen a push in the market for eco-conscious products which led me to develop the first Australian-owned stainless steel bento style lunch box with individually sealed compartments. This will be a game changer for older children and adults wanting a durable eco-conscious lunch box.’
What are some of your key drivers and goals for the business
‘For Little Lunch Box Co to be the go-to for bento style lunch boxes in Australia. We want to make packing lunches easy and fun for parents and kids.’
Tell us a bit about your design process?
‘I take a concept to my designer and work closely with them to develop the look, feel and functionality of product. I am involved in every step of the process including working with my graphic designer on the patterns and packaging.’
When it comes to lunch boxes, what are you most passionate about?
‘Whenever we design a product, the first priority is on functionality. It doesn’t matter if a product looks amazing if it isn’t functional because people won’t use it long term. Secondly, I add the fun element so the kids love it too, because let’s face it – it’s all about the kids being happy! The other important factor is our lunch box range supports the move towards reducing single-use plastics because the compartments in our lunch boxes are individually sealed. This means wet foods such as yoghurt can be packed next to crackers without foods mixing.’
How are you managing sustainability in your business with products and packaging?
At Little Lunch Box Co we use compostable packing for shipping our products and we are in the process of removing all plastic from our packaging. I think as a business we can’t always be perfect, but we all need to be helping the planet in some way. Our products are helping households reduce their soft plastic consumption because there’s no more need for packaged snacks or sandwich wrap in our lunch boxes. It’s all about everyone doing what they can to help the planet.’
What is the most rewarding part of your business?
‘I love it when parents tag me in photos on social media or when I read a review on my website from a customer sharing how much they love my products. I feel like I’m helping make their lives a bit easier, because feeding kids can be one of the biggest challenges! Anything that helps that process for my customers is a win.’
What’s next for Little Lunch Box Co?
‘Our new stainless steel box, the Bento Stainless Maxi is the biggest release for us this year. The Bento Stainless Maxi is completely leakproof and has deep compartments, perfect for the big kids and little kids! It’s available now from our website.’
Quick Fire Q’s
(Instagram) Fave scroll stopper: ‘Every time I see those cake decorating reels where they are putting icing on a cake on a lazy susan. I can’t stop watching!’
(Design Style) Less is more or more is more: ‘Less is more’
(Netflix) Can’t switch off: ‘UK Google box’
(Motherhood) Defining parenting moment: ‘I think when I was trying to breastfeed my kids and it wasn’t working. The pressure we put on ourselves (and sometimes others put on us) to keep persisting even when the stress and anxiety of it is worse than just giving your hungry baby a bottle. I decided that stress and anxiety was worse for my baby and I did what was right for us and forgot about everyone else. Parents generally know what’s best for them and their kids, we just need to trust ourselves.’
(Mindfulness) Quote that best sums you up: ‘Jack of all trades, master of none! Something I think you need to be to own a small business!’