A UK-based disposables manufacturer has developed a novel range of edible straws, which consumers can eat – rather than discard – after use.
The novel line, from Herald Plastic, has already found custom in European bars and clubs – but the Essex-based company predicts wider demand in the UK market. It will launch the straws for the UK’s entertainment and leisure sectors, targeting bars, festivals, events, clubs and restaurants.
The straws are essentially sweets, Herald Plastic said, which can last in fizzy drinks or milkshakes for up to 40 minutes without softening or breaking. As such, they contain roughly 27kcal and 7g of sugar per straw.
Herald Plastic managing director Yogesh Patel said: “We’re very excited about these straws as they are a pioneering and unique product that can sell on many levels. Besides being functional, they are a sweet treat that parents can buy for their children to add to a holiday or day out experience. They can be enjoyed at any age, providing a focal point and enhancing a child or adult’s drink. For the seller, they provide added value and a point of difference from the competition.
“There’s also the whole environmental sell, which has been fully embraced on the continent. As the straws are an edible product, they present an environmentally friendly, responsible and sustainable – not to mention fun – alternative to the plastic straw.”
Analysis: What exactly is in an edible straw?
There might be a little extra leeway in novelties, but consumers generally are keen to know what’s in their food and drink. So these edible straws from Herald Plastic will surely prove an exciting – if not mysterious – innovation. To cut straight to the obvious question, the straws are made with sugar, water, corn starch, bovine jelly, carboxymethyl cellulose stabiliser, glycerin humectant, and aromas. They’re free from allergens but do contain 7g of sugar per straw – that’s 94.37g in every 100g of product – along with protein and fibre.
The product is similar to edible cutlery, which is currently being developed by a pair of Indian entrepreneurs.
And Unilever has invented a ‘groundbreaking’ technology that will allow the food industry to recycle sachets, which would otherwise end up in landfill, by converting them into plastic and channelling them back into the supply chain.
Herald Plastic’s straws are available in lemon, lime, strawberry, cinnamon, green apple and ginger flavours. They have a shelf-life of two years and can be purchased by the box.
Patel continued: “Our edible straws are a pioneering new product that will essentially present our customers with an abundance of marketing opportunities across all platforms, including social media, and should attract a wide audience. They’re colourful and enticing and provide a whole new dimension – our customers’ customers can drink it, bite it…”
Herald Plastic recently announced that it has increased its warehouse facilities and invested in new machinery. The company aims to further develop its manufacturing capability and provide a valid, quality alternative to the current offering when it comes to catering disposables.
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