Total Package
Edible packaging allows for consumption with minimal waste
Life / 16 Jan 2013
Each year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons to circle the equator 300 times. Fortunately, many are combating this problem by making simple but substantial changes to their life, like opting for reusable water bottles or shopping at zero waste supermarkets. Now, several companies are giving eco-conscious consumers yet another green alternative: edible packaging.
WikiCells: Apples, tomatoes and oranges have natural edible exteriors to protect the inside goods. Taking a cue from Mother Nature, Harvard professor David Edwards developed WikiCells, an edible and biodegradable membrane, similar to the skin of a grape, which encases foods and liquids. The self-contained shell is made from vegetal elements with a taste specifically paired to match the enclosed snack or beverage. The product has no limits in terms of contents, with the ability to hold anything from yogurts to mousses to ice cream suspended in a hard chocolate shell. Indeed, Edwards even introduced a WikiCocktail: Cointreau in a skin made of orange zest.
Vivos Instant Coffee: With instant coffee’s reputation restored thanks to Starbucks Via, brands are experimenting with other fast brew adaptations for customers seeking an immediate buzz. Water-soluble film specialist MonoSol has produced a waste-free alternative to Via, called Vivos Instant Coffee. The edible and dissolvable packaging resembles dishwasher tablets but, instead of soap, contains a single serving of instant coffee that brews when dropped into a cup of hot water. MonoSol plans to eventually apply its dissolvable packet technology to other mixable foods and beverages, such as oatmeal, cereal, soup, gravy, and pre-portioned spices, with the goal of eliminating unnecessary waste.
Bob’s Burger Edible Wrappers: Brazilian burger chain Bob’s recently introduced edible wrappers for its burgers. The limited time marketing campaign was based on Bob’s tagline, “Não dá pra controlar” (“You can’t control yourself”), which suggests that their burgers are so irresistible that customers can’t wait to unwrap them before chowing down. Diners even applied the condiments directly to the outside wrapper before digging in. The chain reported that the campaign was so effective that no one threw out the paper packaging. In addition to bringing new meaning to the idea of fast food, these new edible wrappers could help cut down on landfill waste: a win-win all around.
©The Intelligence Group