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A UK company has started semi-automated production of edible coffee cups. Other products like lids and tableware will follow. This product completely solves the issue with existing recyclable or compostable cups. Food and coffee manufacturers and vendors are sought to make new products under technical co-operation followed by licensing and manufacturing agreements. European tooling makers for baking equipment and ice cream cone manufacturers are sought for the same, to ramp up capability.
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.
Baking the pictured cup and other shapes so that a lid will stay in place and they hold liquids for at least an hour, is technically challenging. This has been overcome now.
The main advantage is that compared to recyclable and other compostable or biodegradable products, these new ones don’t have any issues at all with ending up in the wrong place.
One granted patent in the UK and another one pending. They have started the process of extending the granted patent via the established PCT process.
Type of partner sought: industry
Specific activity of partner sought: manufacturers of tooling for baking machinery, ice cream cone manufacturers, food retailers, cafes, food manufacturers.
Role of partner sought: tooling makers and ice cream cone manufacturers in Europe are sought to ramp up the volume, but also to collaborate on new tools for new products. Food and coffee manufacturers and retailers are sought to jointly develop new products and launch them in their territories. For both types of partners, a cooperation may start as technical and involve into manufacturing or license agreement.