Melbourne start-up Good Edi offers a sustainable and flavourful alternative to single-use disposable coffee cups.
Few food and packaging pairings are as iconic as ice cream and a cone. Coffee and the takeaway cup aren’t too far behind, but it’s a less positive association, considering the one billion takeaway cups that end up in landfill in Australia every year.
But what if we could combine the best of both worlds – the practicality and convenience of the takeaway cup with the sustainability, novelty, and tastiness of an ice cream cone?
Good Edi founders Catherine Hutchins and Aniyo Rahebi are answering that question with their edible coffee cups.
“We were grabbing a cup of coffee one day and started to chat about how amazing it would be if we could minimise waste in the coffee industry,” Aniyo says.
“In Australia, we dispose of 50,000 cups every 30 seconds, and there are so many options out there – reusable, compostable, recyclable – but all of them present their own issues in terms of the infrastructure, waste that’s produced, and adoptability rate from consumers.”
After some research, it occurred to the duo that the best way to avoid cup wastage was to make it as consumable as the coffee inside it. They began a long and extensive research and development process, ensuring its cups would be edible and tasty, sustainably made, and practical to use in a café.
“The cup will stay crispy for around 45 minutes and will continue to hold the liquid for several hours, depending on the temperature and consistency of the liquid you’re putting in,” Catherine says.
“For example, the frothed milk you’d use for a coffee will last much longer than boiling water.”
The Good Edi cups are high in fibre and vitamin B, do not affect the flavour of the coffee, and are made from locally and ethically sourced oats, grains, and other natural ingredients. Aniyo compares the flavour to that of a waffle cone.
“If we were going to make an edible cup, it had to be something that goes well with coffee, so it’s like a biscuit that you can enjoy with your drink,” she says.
“We encourage people to eat the cup, but it’s not the only way you can dispose of them. You could put a seed in it and plant it in your garden, put it in your home compost, or if it does end up in landfill, like any other food it will breakdown naturally within two to six weeks.”
Through trial and error, Aniyo and Catherine perfected the recipe, relying on their more than 20 shared years of experience in the food processing industry to understand how these ingredients will come together.
Catherine says once a prototype was ready, they were able to hold a few demos and tests in the market, where Good Edi has had an overwhelmingly positive response from customers and the cafés.
“We’ve talked to loads of café owners, baristas, and people in the industry, and they usually saw the sustainable value of this solution without us having to explain it,” Catherine says.
“We’ve also worked hard to make it convenient not just for the consumers but for baristas and cafés too. In terms of handling, it has to be hygienic. We put a paper sleeve around the outside of the cup, so the barista doesn’t have to touch it directly and it’s clean when the consumer eats it.”
When the cups launch in May 2021, they will be available in a standard eight-ounce size. Good Edi was able to set up a production space in Melbourne thanks, in part, to a successful crowdfunding campaign on Ready Fund Go. That start-up raised $148,593 on a $140,000 goal to purchase the much-needed cup baking machine.
Good Edi also won the $50,000 first prize in the Taronga Hatch Accelerator Program, which aims to support innovative ideas to address environmental problems.
“Winning the grant was a big help and contributor to ordering our cup baking machine as well as increasing our exposure to people across the industry,” Catherine says.
“Being involved with Hatch and the community put us in touch with a lot of likeminded businesses and individuals that helped us build our business and ability to grow in the market.”
Good Edi’s focus after launch will begin on the local Melbourne coffee scene, followed by the rest of Australia.
“We’re in discussions with many cafés at the moment, particularly those with a strong interest and aligning values on sustainability,” Catherine says.
“This is just the starting point for us. Once we have rolled out into the domestic market, we want to start with export and franchising so we can make an impact globally.”
Aniyo adds that, with 500 billion takeaway cups going to landfill globally, there is a great need around the world to solve this problem with waste.
“It makes no sense, especially when the average lifespan of a coffee cup is only about 15 minutes,” Aniyo says.
“We want to provide a solution in the market that makes it easy for people to do the right thing, for both cafés and consumers.”
For more information, visit www.good-edi.com
This article appears in the April 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.