HuskeeSwap and go


Huskee has established HuskeeSwap, a reusable cup system where cafés and consumers don’t have to compromise on efficiency or aesthetics.

For coffee cup manufacturer Huskee, sustainability is a principle that extends beyond single-use plastic waste to how a café can prosper long term.

“We believe sustainability is multi-dimensional. It’s more than just a product. It needs to be addressed across the ecosystem of takeaway coffee as a whole, which includes cafés operating in a way that doesn’t cost them in efficiencies or profitability,” General Manager Nicole Barnes says. 

“The industry is showing tangible signs of moving towards being single-use-cup-free. We’re seeing this through top-down and bottom-up initiatives – from government bans to individual cafés making the change – but consumers are not showing less demand for takeaway coffee. We need to provide a solution that fills this gap.”

While reusable cups have been a popular solution to reducing waste, Nicole says each customer retaining their own cup presents cafés with challenges regarding organisation, cleanliness, and workflow.

“The model of each person owning their own cup and keeping it to themselves is putting a burden on café operations that makes it unsustainable at scale from a workflow perspective,” she says. “Every café is unique, but we have received overwhelming feedback that this model wouldn’t work if they had to implement it for every single takeaway coffee they serve.”

To overcome this, Huskee has launched HuskeeSwap, a scalable reusable cup system that sees cafés swap and serve coffee in the company’s HuskeeCups.

“With HuskeeSwap, we have made it as simple as purchasing a HuskeeCup from any of our locations and dropping it off when next ordering at a participating café. That particular cup will go into the dishwasher and the customer’s coffee can be made immediately by the barista in a clean HuskeeCup that was already sitting on the bar,” Nicole says.  

“Our goal is to provide a convenient solution to single-use waste that doesn’t cost the environment, café, or consumer, and is sustainable from how the system operates to how the cups are made.”

HuskeeCups are produced using raw materials including up to 50 per cent repurposed coffee husks, the outer layer of the coffee bean that breaks away during the milling process at the coffee farm.

“There’s tonnes of coffee husk waste generated during the milling stage of coffee production and finding a use for this waste is something that really sets this product apart,” Nicole says.

She adds that despite the cups’ sustainable qualities, Huskee knew consumers would be hesitant to adopt the system if they didn’t like the look or feel of the cups themselves. As such, design and function as well as sustainability were key drivers for Huskee and it was awarded for its efforts with Best in Class at the 2018 Australian Good Design Awards.

“To be recognised by industry professionals for the design acumen of the product has really helped our messaging that HuskeeCup is not just sustainable, but visually appealing with an intelligent and sophisticated design,” Nicole says.

“We see a lot of consumers buying the cups because of how they look, before they know anything about the eco-credentials behind them.”

Since launching in Australia in 2018, HuskeeSwap has already spread globally to nations from the United Kingdom, to Hungary, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and most recently, South Korea.

“Our focus is on developing the partnerships to get the product to market in every region, with the introduction of HuskeeSwap to follow,” Nicole says. “Ultimately, we aim to provide a solution to the problem of single-use coffee cups that will function on a global scale.” 

This article appears in the June edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.

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