The world’s best pizza box doesn’t come out from Italy, as you might have presumed. It comes from India, it can be said.
Fed up of eating tasteless, soggy pizzas every weekend, 58-year-old Vinay Mehta, has now revolutionized how pizza is home-delivered across the world.
The Mumbai-based businessman who has been into packaging industry for 36 years says the frustration of having to eat tasteless pizzas developed over years had reached a flashpoint.
Mr Mehta said: “Every time I would eat pizza I would feel guilty. I would never be satisfied with the taste. It would always be delivered without any delicacy.
“And the culprit would be excess steam that generates because of the condensation cycle in the box.”
While driving from Mumbai to nearby city of Pune, Mr Mehta started drawing what would become the world’s best pizza box.
Mr Mehta said: “I took a pen knife and a sheet of corrugated cardboard box in my hand and started drawing as the driver raced the car on the highway.
“And here it was. And it just took me just about half an hour to design it.”
No wonder a New York-based pizza enthusiast, Scott Wiener adjudged Mehta’s box, as the world’s best.
Mr Wiener, author of Viva La Pizza! The Art Of The Pizza Box, which chronicles pizza delivery boxes designed around the world, came to the conclusion not before examining 650 pizza boxes from 45 countries.
The pizza box, called VENTiT, is no different than a conventional pizza box in size or raw material, but Mr Mehta has just tried to use some logic and added some windows here and there.
He said: “Conventional boxes are not effective because they have just two holes or slits on the sides, not on the top, and the steam doesn’t have any exit points.
“For the first time in the history of corrugated packaging, we have been able to successfully develop a ventilation solution that meets all the above constraints i.e. low costs, maintaining the integrity of the box and its contents, no fear of contamination and retaining the heat of the food.”
Mr Mehta says that more than 30 pizza companies in South Mumbai use his boxes.
He said: “We roll out 100, 000 boxes a month for South Mumbai clients.
“It took me five years to obtain an initial patent and I started selling the box only in 2011. I now have patent in more than 100 countries.”
So how does it work, Mr Mehta says that it is not a ‘rocket science’ but a simple solution to retain the taste of pizza or other hot foods.
He said: “The holes present at the top and bottom of the box allow the excess steam to come out of the box without condensing there.
“Excess humidity comes out of the box and there is no fear of contamination either as the box has been designed in such a way that the light can’t enter it.”