The “Bento” lunch box is a valuable aspect of Japanese food culture. So we asked ourselves: what is the standard of a lunch box?
In the recent years, there has been a significant increase of Bento boxes made with synthetic materials in Japan. Despite this trend in material, “THE LUNCH BOX” was made from aluminum. While giving off a nostalgic feeling similar to a tin lunch box, the anodized aluminum is sturdy and lightweight.
The property of the oxide film on the aluminum is much more resilient to damage on the surface than plastic materials. This means that it is less likely for bacteria to find their way into the scratches, maintaining a sterile and hygienic container.
In Japan, there has been an increase in Kindergartens that require the use of aluminum lunch boxes. This is because the lunch boxes are stored in hot foods cabinets, and plastic containers are more likely to warp and deform with the heat. In contrast, the anodized aluminum is much more heat resistant, as well as having heat conductivity 15-times that of Stainless steel. (*not microwave-safe)
The manufacturing process of “THE LUNCH BOX” was outsourced to AKAO Aluminum Corp. As they are responsible for fabricating the 1 yen coin before the engraving process, the level of craftsmanship is apparent. The base surface area is shrunk and in turn the height of the box is made higher than the traditional aluminum lunch box to make it easier to carry, as well as being space efficient in the user’s bag.
The total fluid capacity is 375ml. A child can carry one; an adult can carry two to separate the rice from the side dishes. Moreover, by making the top lid taller than the traditional aluminum bento box, it is less likely for the lid to fall off and the contents to spill. Another characteristic of “THE LUNCH BOX” is the smoothness of how the lid slides against the box.
On a separate note:
The “Hinomaru” bento is a stereotypical lunch in the Japanese food culture that consists of a salted plum placed in the center of the white rice to resemble the Japanese flag. The size of “THE LUNCH BOX” is designed so that when a large piece of salted plum is placed in the center of the rice, it resembles a proportion very close to that of the Japanese flag.