Vegan brand IncrEdible has created edible spoons to tackle plastic pollution.
The cutlery, which is available in three savory and two sweet flavors including black pepper and chocolate, can stay firm for up to 20 minutes in hot foods (such as soup) and 50 minutes in cold food.
IncrEdible also planted more than 3,000 trees so far in an effort to offset the emissions it has created - and has saved 400,000 plastic spoons from ending up in landfills or the ocean.
Plant Based News sat down with co-founder Dinesh Tadepalli to discuss how the company started, its environmental impact, and how 'edible spoons are just the beginning'.
You can read the full interview below:
1. What was the inspiration behind the brand/ how did it start?
By 2050, there would be more plastic than fish by weight in our oceans. This idea stemmed while planning for our kids' financial planning, we realized what good money can do, if they won't be able to enjoy nature and the environment like we do.
This along with the entrepreneurial thirst of the co-founder Tadepalli made him use his paternity leave to find the best solution to single-use plastic. That's when he met Krvuil Patel from India (the brains behind the machinery) and partnered with him to establish a facility that can make 50,000 spoons per day.
2. What has been your response from customers so far?
More than we expected. 88 percent of the consumers are looking for brands that help them make a difference and we are the best alternative that exists in the single-use plastic alternative.
Our initial goal was to sell 50,000 spoons in the North America region and we outdid ourselves by selling 400,000 spoons. We are so happy that many plastic spoons are less in the environment now. Every spoon eaten is one less in landfills and oceans.
Consumers are now more aware that recycling is in bad shape and composting facilities are lacking for the existing PLA based biodegradable cutlery.
3. What future plans do you have for the brand?
Our strategy was B2B and partnering with ice cream chains (to make a larger impact) and we're doing very well. We had a trial with a high-end ice cream chain in the US with excellent feedback from end consumers. But due to covid-19, the foodservice and B2B market was hit and this crisis taught us to steer our effort towards B2C - Direct to consumer.
Hence, we are now coming up with a retail pack of 20 or 30 spoons and we'll be live on Amazon by the end of July 2020 in the U.S.
4. What kind of impact are your products having on the environment?
Apart from reducing 400,000 plastic spoons from the landfills and nature, we also plant trees to offset the emissions and provide two good impacts (less plastic more trees) for ONE unique and fun product.
Our retail boxes have fun facts about the aquatic animals most affected due to plastic in the oceans so consumers understand and enjoy the story behind the brand. That's how crazily committed we are.
5. Is there anything else you'd want to make edible?
Edible spoons are just the beginning. We already have prototypes of Edible sporks and Edible straws. We are actively working with one of the top five food companies to co-pack a smaller custom edible spoon to go with their pasta and rice bowls.
A large company in Japan, we are working to make an edible chopstick. And future developments will include, Edible coffee stirrers, Edible cups, Edible bowls.
Our Edible spoons are currently in three savory and two sweet flavors and we will explore more flavor profiles of the edible cutlery depending on the geographical need.
You can visit IncrEdible's website here