Bento Box Research

What is a Bento Box?

Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass-produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Bento boxes are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops, railway stations, and department stores.

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Bentos can be elaborately arranged in a style called “kyaraben” (“character bento”). Kyaraben are typically decorated to look like popular characters from Japanese cartoons (anime), comic books (manga), or video games. Another popular bento style is “oekakiben” or “picture bento”. This is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.

Benton boxes come in different shapes, however they are mostly designed to be rectangular to hold the most amount of food. To separate the food the box is divided into sections to hold the different food types.

To entice children into eating Japanese food specifically sushi I think bringing characters from popular cartoons that children like and use them in the design will help get the children to want to try the food.

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