The Best Food Storage Solutions At TIHS 2024

Trying out a new food storage option takes trust. It could leak, spill, or shatter during your food's journey from grocery store to stomach. All the more reason to seek out fresh designs and solutions in the hopes of finding a new favorite lunchbox or a more reliable reusable container.


Though shoppers may prioritize the look or feel of a container, there's another benefit to embracing the latest technologies and materials. Proper storage can extend the shelf life of your meal, protect your ingredients from bugs, and ultimately help reduce food waste in the process. Plus, reusable materials can help cut back on disposable plastics.

Upgrading to a brag-worthy bento or heated lunch box could also be the push you need to up your midday culinary game. From creative freezer bags to psychedelic bento boxes, these are some of the best storage products and technologies spotted at The Inspired Home Show 2024.

Stackable, reusable freezer options

Zippable freezer bags, as well as glass containers, are some of the best tools to prevent freezer burnt food and they can cut down on any excess packaging bulk. However, filling said bags and jars comes with its own set of challenges. Bags are slippery and tough to hold in place, while jars can shatter if you haven't chilled hot soups before popping them in the cold plunge. YouCopia's FreezeUp Food Block Maker answers the call for stackable frozen goods. The FBM, as the team jokingly referred to it, is a plastic shell that holds together with stretchy silicone straps.


The Food Block Maker comes in quart and gallon sizes and can be lined with an appropriately sized sealable bag before you fill them with sloshy soups. Stretchy bands accommodate the blocks of liquid as they expand to a solid, and then they can be removed from the mold and stacked into place. 

"It's an efficient way of storing goods," said Mark Greenwood, co-founder and vice president of product development at YouCopia. He says freezing items directly in their packaging is "a terrible space hog," and this tool takes aim at solving some of the biggest complaints and needs of their customers. "We don't do anything that's been done before," said Greenwood.

Powerful at-home vacuum sealing

Proper vacuum sealing, which removes the air surrounding food and ultimately protects it from oxidation, can help extend the freshness of your meals. Although the method is not a replacement for canning or other food preservation methods, home cooks may find the latest storage solutions open up new possibilities for their ingredient storage. Plus, marinades penetrate faster in a sealed environment, which makes dinner come together faster.


The SealVax SEASON•SEAL containers look similar to the usual lidded options in your cupboard, but the tops have a spot to attach the brand's tiny electric vacuum attachment. Once attached, the device sucks out air at the touch of a button and automatically releases when the seal is complete. The 60-second process puts an end to the hand-pumps of the past, which can require a bit of muscle and awkward maneuvering. The goal of the product, explained SealVax founder Steven Yang, is to aid in meal prep and reduce waste. He compares the canisters and containers to the more common approach of vacuum-sealing disposable plastic bags, pointing to the reusability of the tools. 

"A lot of hand pumps are space-consuming and complicated to work," said Yang. "This seal lasts three weeks. A lot of competitors struggle to meet that standard."


Brown sugar–savers and bread keepers

Marshmallows and bread have gained a reputation for prolonging the life of brown sugar (and the microwave has become our go-to for softening hardened brown sugar). However, between bread's gluten and marshmallow's gelatin, the ingredients violate a few dietary restrictions. Thankfully, a disk of terracotta offers similar protection without the risk of cross-contamination.


Rather than hunting for a sugar-saving piece of clay, Progressive International's ProKeeper+ Baked Goods Food Storage containers have a piece built into the airtight design. The designed disk is removable, making it easy to soak for the required 15 minutes to introduce more moisture (make sure to re-soak every 3 months). Terracotta can also keep cookies and other desserts soft, which means there are plenty of uses for the storage solution.

For bread, however, Mike Hagen, head of product development at Progressive International, points out another favorite product: the Bread Keeper. While the clay in the Baked Goods storage containers would keep bread too moist, the Bread Keeper is perfect for the job. The storage container, which is made of two clear chambers that pull apart for slicing and push together to surround shrinking loaves of bread, has drawn fans for the last 20 years. Hagen explains the device, which was created in 1999, is now back down to its original price of $19.99. Between the two containers, bakers have options for their carbohydrate storage.


Electric lunch boxes

Sure, you can warm up your food in the microwave, but wouldn't it be more fun to heat and eat directly from an electric lunch box? A wave of wired containers entering the market offers hungry workers more control over their meal temperatures. Those drawn to smart devices will enjoy HeatsBox's offerings, which connect to a phone app.


The electric Go box allows users to schedule and adjust their lunch's temperature via bluetooth. This is helpful for those who remember to think ahead, as the mechanism takes 20 to 25 minutes to heat. For those packing school lunches for kids, you can schedule meals to heat up before saying goodbye, and the recipient can warm their lunch with the touch of a button come meal time. In contrast to zapping food, the design allows warmth to penetrate evenly, limiting the usual cold spots and guesswork. The metal insert is also dishwasher safe.

"Fabian Graf, the inventor, wanted it to be that whatever consistency your food was when you made it, that's the consistency when you eat it," explained Angel Maldonado, product manager at Cribsi, which distributes the device. Maldonado has used the box to reheat pizza and even made rice in it (though that's not its intended use).