Customer Stories, Food & Beverage

Allen Family Foods: Starting a Supplier Relationship with Costco

The Allen family knows food. In fact, the Allen family has worked in food for three generations. The family members can claim over 80 years of experience in the industry. No wonder when Costco needed a new microwaveable soup, they reached out to the family patriarch, Bill. What do you do when you get a call like that? Well, if you’re Bill Allen, you get the family together and create a whole new company: Allen Family Foods Inc. And, of course, when you have a new company, a new product, and a client as gigantic as Costco waiting for your rollout – you have very specific packaging needs. Good thing Allen Family Foods has a long-standing, reliable packaging partner in Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC).

The company’s flagship product is an artisanal, small-batch, home-style soup in a microwaveable, pantry-stable container. It’s a perfect balance of convenience and nutrition; a whole-food dinner or lunch on the go.

allen family foods box with soup containers on kitchen counter


The family behind Allen Family Foods has worked with many large retailers, so even without the call from Costco, they recognized that this product would fill a gap in the market. Where could you find a portable soup solution that blended health and pantry stability? This partnership with Costco represents the beginning of their market leadership in an extremely promising sector.

Of course, it’s GLBC’s privilege to support Allen Family Foods’ rise – starting with this exacting packaging project.

The Situation

With a brand-new product and a large-scale customer like Costco, you have the opportunity to get the packaging exactly right for a specific purpose. But you have to get it exactly right. The cost of mistakes at this scale are unacceptable.

Allen Family Foods had a vision for what they needed: 6 soup containers packaged in a box that’s aligned with Costco’s specifications. In this retail context, the package also needed to be shoppable from three sides.

The Solution

GLBC worked with Allen Family Foods to create a 6-unit carton that met both Costco’s and their packaging team’s needs. To be specific, the Allen Family Foods team needed to be able to package the soups by hand. The simple, attractive, yet functional box these teams created hits every mark.

The Result

 GLBC’s work with Allen Family Foods helped the company to:

  • Meet specific retailer demands: beginning the relationship with Costco on the right foot necessitated meeting specifications precisely
  • Ensure product security: product loss or damage at this scale would be extremely costly, therefore the packaging is robust and secure
  • Control costs: we generated the most cost-effective solution for the Allen Family Team

allen family foods box carton with soup container

Becoming Costco’s microwaveable soup supplier isn’t half bad for a newly launched company. But we know this is only the beginning for this forward-thinking company. Do not be surprised if you start seeing these portable, healthy soup solutions everywhere. And if you do, we’re proud to say we had a hand in getting it there safely.



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