The journey from the HuskeeCup to the new HuskeeSteel

Huskee products

Huskee describes the evolution of its products, from the original HuskeeCup to the newly released HuskeeSteel.

Since its inception, Australian brand Huskee has championed the benefits of reusables in place of single-use plastic cups.

CEO Saxon Wright was working on a project to reduce waste at coffee farms in Yunnan, China, when he and other founders came up with the idea to turn coffee husk waste (a nutrient-free component of the coffee cherry produced at the milling stage) into a unique reusable cup.

“Saxon was looking for ways to reduce and find value in the by-products of coffee production. Husk was seen as both a significant problem because of the large volumes created during coffee processing, and an opportunity due to its versatility. He wanted to turn this waste husk into a sustainable material to make cups, and in turn reduce dependence on single-use disposables,” says Huskee Head of Sales and Marketing Michael McFarlane.

Michael says the brand quickly made a name for itself, receiving positive feedback from customers following its Kickstarter campaign in 2017.

“The initial response was fantastic. We loved being embraced by both consumers and baristas who were using the product as a tool of the trade. We really focused on the barista as the key to its design, which separates us from many of the other reusables on the market. Our goal was, and still is, to consider all stakeholders when it comes to transitioning away from single-use, and café operators are foundational to that process,” says Michael.

“We’ve gone from strength to strength in Australia, but we don’t plan to stay where we are. We want to transition from being a cup people love to a company that designs new products and systems to assist the broader transition towards reusables.”

Recognising the need to cater to different customer preferences, in 2023 Huskee branched out with two new ranges.

HuskeeRenew cups are made from a co-polymer, using 50 per cent recycled materials, which give new life to plastic waste while offering a clear and refined aesthetic,” Michael says.

HuskeeSteel is a premium, ultra-durable, and heat-saving option for those on-the-go. The dual walled, vacuum sealed cup is made of 91 per cent post-consumer high-grade recycled stainless steel, ensuring coffee stays hotter for longer.”

Michael says by introducing these new ranges, Huskee caters to a wider audience and offers a variety of sustainable materials to suit different preferences.

“We’ve gone from a single innovative cup to a comprehensive range promoting reusability and waste reduction, with circularity at our core,” he says.

Sporting the same HuskeeCup silhouette, HuskeeSteel can be co-branded with a company logo or design.

There are laser etched and screen printed options on Huskee’s base range of colours, with custom colours available for larger volumes.

“Many cafés love having a quality co-branded BYO cup option as part of their retail collection,” Michael says.

“The Stopper Lid is the ultimate solution for preventing spills when on the move with takeaway coffees. Its flexible silicone plug seals the lid and can be easily rotated or removed to allow drinks to flow. It’s also simple to deconstruct for cleaning.”

HuskeeSteel was released in Australia in December 2023 in an eight-ounce cup size. Two more cup sizes – six ounces and 12 ounces – will be released later this year.

According to Michael, Huskee will continue to focus on facilitating a waste-free world and scale up its solutions to address waste.

“We believe business can be a key instrument of change in society, and our entire ethos was built on this premise. The way we operate, the products we make and the systems we build are entirely focused on creating a positive impact, so we have to live and breathe that as our reality,” he says.

“The next few years will be exciting and instrumental in the application and growth of reuse systems to provide an attractive alternative to single-use cups.”

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This article appears in the June 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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