The problems with disposable coffee cups are widely known. There is pressure on food retailers and cafes to become more sustainable, both from legislators but also consumers. There are a number of new ways now to order a cup of coffee but none are viewed as the ultimate solution for the 500 billion cups polluting the planet. One can bring one’s own mug to a café. There are novel cups that are recyclable or compostable but only a tiny fraction find their way to the circulation or composting facility.
A small UK company has developed and is about to launch a solution that is very intuitive but that has been hard to produce technically. It’s a process to bake cups (in the Picture) or other tableware. A sealable lid is in final stages of development.
The cup which is essentially bread, has been market tested and consumer tested. It seems to ‘tick all the boxes’ and a first small café chain will introduce it in their regular offering. The price of the cup is the same as with a standard disposable cup, plus the green credentials appeal to existing and new visitors.
The cup is in semi-automated production in lower volumes, in sizes that are standard in the UK.
The UK company is seeking additional partners to scale the production and sales up. On the one hand, more and different cups, lids, containers, stirrers and tableware can be developed under technical cooperation. On the other hand, tooling manufacturers are sought in the baking equipment segment. The current machine resides outside Europe but the production should be set up in different locations in Europe. The cooperation type will vary as initially, smaller volumes need to be introduced to the market. Once the demand grows, the baking machines can be sold to interested parties. So the co-operation can be a (mix of) licensing, manufacturing agreement, technical co-operation.