Expert Axel Schulz boxes clever.

Axel Schulz without his trademark Fackelmann cap? No way! Previously a professional boxer, Axel Schulz is also a pro with boxes to store his family’s food. At Ambiente 2015, the 46-year-old from Berlin showed us how to find the right lunchbox. Your very own Ambiente blog gives you the lowdown on trendy tubs for eating on the go, in both child and adult sizes.

When we found him at the trade fair stand, the former heavyweight boxer greeted us like old friends. In fights he was known as the ‘Gentle Giant’; now he advertises smart kitchen utensils. We soon discovered Axel Schulz is a family man who knows his way round homes and kitchens. His daughters are five and eight years old; he says they keep him in check, and proudly shows us photos. They go to kindergarten and school, and he himself often travels, so Schulz is highly experienced in all matters lunchbox. Whether it’s a kiwi fruit, sandwich or boiled egg, nothing leaves his house without the right protective container.

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How do you start your day?
“To be honest, I’m not a morning person. But I almost always get up at six on weekdays so I can make my daughters’ breakfast. It’s just something daddy does in our house. Then I make their sandwiches for school and kindergarten, and put them in their lunchboxes. Since the girls love bananas, I often put one in their school bags. We have yellow banana boxes for that, since bananas bruise so easily. It’s such a rush most mornings. I use an apple slicer for apples, it’s quicker and cuts slices all the same size. Then the slices can go straight in a box too.

It sounds like the film ‘Big Daddy’.
“It’s all action in our house. The girls wanted a kitchen for their dolls. Three guesses what colour it is? Of course it’s pink. I always joke that it’s a pink nightmare at my house. But as with many girls that age, it’s their favourite colour.”

When do you cook?
“I’m your man for roast goose. Typical, eh? But I do clean up after myself, honest! We’ve got all-white kitchen units with a normal oven, nothing too fancy.”

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Why would food need extra packaging – doesn’t nature do a good enough job itself?
“At first glance maybe it does. But what about kiwi fruit? It bruises easily, you need a spoon to eat it, and it takes up space normally reserved for sandwiches in your average lunchbox. That’s why a green kiwi box is the perfect solution: it also has a cutter and spoon built in. It’s just right for a snack on the go or for eating at school. The best thing in my daughters’ opinion is the pink spoon. The ‘Egg box to go’ is one of my favourites, it fits eggs of all sizes and has a built-in salt cellar, which is also pink, so my girls are happy.” Our thanks to Axel Schulz for the interview. We’re now looking forward to lunch on the move!

School and laptop lunches
When it’s time for a break in the middle of the morning or lunchtime, we all look forward to a snack, whether at school or in the workplace. And we all know you also eat with your eyes. Children’s lunchboxes can be as bold as you like, and you’ll find a wide variety. The main thing is that they close securely and are easy for children to open. It’s also best for juicy apples to wait in their own specially designed boxes until break time. This sort of box, like the apple green one from Rotho, could also fit a bread roll. The latest fashion is for light plastic boxes with compartments so vegetable sticks, biscuits, sweets and grapes can share the space. Adults love them too!

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Home cooking, well packaged
You’re in the office and your lunch break is fast approaching: will you be having home-cooked food? Surveys have shown that more and more people are bringing in home-cooked fare to work. This can include soup, sandwiches, leftovers and much more. It’s all covered by the term ‘packed lunch’. This trend for creative home cooking on the move is tasty and often cheaper than buying cooked food from a takeaway or deli. There is also very stylish competition in the market for metal food containers – the sort originally used by miners to store their lunch. At Ambiente 2015 we found an excellent, pastel-coloured lunchbox by Rice, which can be used to transport cold foods from A to B and keep them separate. The high-grade steel insulated lunchboxes by Iris Barcelona are even more sophisticated, and suitable for both hot and cold dishes. They also come with a little spoon. The multi-layered Thermo Pots by Black + Blum have their own carry handle and cutlery. There’s also a sleek high-grade steel variety with silicone-reinforced cork lid.

Light and bright from Japan
Practical food containers to use on the go may well be as old as humanity itself. One of the most ancient forms from Asia is now attracting attention in Europe: the Bento box. It’s a plain, simple and clever solution. These boxes have held food on the move in Japan since the fifth century, and were originally made out of wood. One new development that is very noticeable is their colour. The new Japanese originals are light and bright. What’s more: Bento is Japanese and means ‘with everything’ – which we think translates as ‘with everything tasty inside’. The adjustable partitions and inserts for this plastic box make it work wonderfully!