- Indonesian-based startup Evoware created a new edible wrapper made from seaweed, according to Fast Company. The product is almost tasteless, nutritious when eaten and naturally biodegrades when it’s thrown out.
- The company reports that the seaweed is treated for food safety and converted into packaging without chemicals.
- Evoware’s wrapper can be eaten in its solid form or will dissolve in hot water. The startup is now focusing on creating individual serving coffee packaging and tiny seasoning sachets often found in instant noodles.
A dissolvable, flavorless wrapper has the potential to make enjoying convenience foods much more convenient. That is, if U.S. consumers can get over the idea that the package is made out of seaweed.
The Evoware wrapping would likely appeal to consumers for two main reasons: convenience and sustainability. Instead of searching for scissors to open a Starbucks VIA packet, one could just drink the wrapper along with the coffee. In addition, shoppers who put a high value on the ecological footprint of a product would see this as a way to cut down on plastics piling up in landfills.
Waste reduction is important to a growing number of consumers. Many shoppers are willing to shell out more for products they view as premium, environmentally friendly and mission-based. Sustainable packaging can also help improve a brand’s image by giving it a highly coveted social responsibility halo.
The sheer novelty of an edible wrapper might also be enough to get consumers to sample a product. Startup company Loliware has created a compostable and edible cup made from organic sweetener and seaweed that consumers can either eat as a snack, or toss on the lawn after drinking their beverage. Evoware could enjoy the same benefits as Loliware as a new, wacky product, but with even more ways to expand its line.
Evoware has not yet reported if its seaweed product is more expensive than the traditional plastic wrapping. If the cost difference were minimal, consumers would likely give it a whirl. However, if the dissolvable biodegradable wrapper doubles the price of the product it’s holding, it may struggle to be anything more than a niche environmentally friendly product.