Want hot and delicious meals anytime, anywhere? Try these innovative self-heating food boxes

Published November 23, 2020, 5:18 PM

by John Legaspi

All it takes is just a pull of a string

Not only this pandemic brought out the food entrepreneur inside many Filipinos, it also pushed them to think of creative ways to get ahead of the competition. Some focused on heirloom recipes that are unique due to their familial touch. Others set the next food trend, offering new tastes and experiences. But for some, focusing on tiny food delivery issues, let say cold food, is the key to bring a new product to the table and get everyone’s attention.

That’s where Hotbox Philippines enters the picture, not with gimmicks, but a solution to the cold food dilemma. The food brand introduces an innovation to food delivery, where customers can heat up their food without heating a pan or popping it into the microwave, but just by pulling a string.

Hotbox Philippines rice meals

Led by US-based director Romeo Joven and actors Piolo Pascual and Eric Quizon, Hotbox Philippines started due to their need and frustration of having to consume cold food. 

“We often have to consume our food cold during meetings, shoots, or at hotel rooms. Though the food is of high quality, it never tastes the same when eaten cold. It changes the taste and is never satisfying. I’m sure we have all had this experience. The few times we use a microwave, the food gets dried up and changes the texture. It also gets cold fast not to mention the radiation that comes with it,” Romeo tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “I knew I had to do something about it. That’s when the research to create a solution to this problem started.”

After a year of feasibility study and research, they came up with a game changer in the food packaging scene. Once the string is pulled from the box, the heating process begins. Steam comes out of the box after two to three minutes and the food is hot after five minutes. The nice thing about hotbox is that it continues to heat up your food up to 30 minutes, eliminating the need to eating in a hurry. Using steam to heat up the food also keeps the food moist and fresh.

Beef caldereta

“Our clients say the food tastes like it is right out of the kitchen,” Romeo says. “Our customers love the fact that the steam comes out of the food boxes. It is quite interactive and fun for social media.”

Hotbox features a wide array of classic Filipino dishes from beef caldereta, chicken inasal, and grilled liempo to laing, pork humba, and Pancit Malabon. They are currently developing international cuisines from Chinese and Italian to Japanese to diversify their offerings.

Chicken barbeque

Staying true to its brand name, the food boxes heats up to 70 degrees Celsius, killing any bacteria along the way. It gives our customers peace of mind that the food they are consuming is safe. One fact is that the portable food boxes are made of food-grade and FDA-approved materials, ensuring the food safety and that the boxes can withstand the heating process.

Pancit Malabon

Another great feature is that the food boxes can be customized to fit diners’ needs. It can personalize the boxes for their events or simply send messages to their loved ones.

“We recently catered a Zoom wedding which is fun because the guests via Zoom can eat the same hot meal as the guests at the wedding reception,” Romeo says. “We have also catered birthday parties, company meetings, and conferences. The clients put their photos or logos on the boxes for these events. It just shows that you can have shared experiences through food even though you’re apart.”

Hotbox currently offers three box sizes from small individual meals to party size boxes. Customers can order via its website at hotboxph.com, our Facebook or Instagram. Price starts at P75.