Edible stock cube packaging created with University of Cambridge spinout, Xampla
Gousto is trialling a world-first edible packaging solution, as part of its efforts to continue reducing plastic packaging in its recipe boxes.
After 15 years of research and one year of development, the stock cube wrapper is the world’s first edible packaging to be made from pea protein. Created in partnership with Xampla, a mission based spinout from the University of Cambridge, the stock cube will be trialled in Gousto recipe boxes this month.
The edible packaging is made by engineering and drying a pea protein material into sheets that have the same benefits as plastic, being able to preserve the food’s flavour and shelf life, but with none of the packaging waste. What’s more, the material is also vegan and gluten free.
Home cooks who take part in the trial will enjoy the vegetable stock cube in Gousto’s Indian Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup recipe, by simply dissolving the stock cube and its packaging in hot water.
Following its first full year of profitability in 2020, the recipe box company recently became a certified B Corporation™, joining a global community of businesses that are committed to growing the right way for people and the planet, including Xampla.
This was achieved in part by Gousto’s ongoing work to reduce plastic packaging in their recipe boxes. Last year the business cut plastic by 50% in their boxes by switching to more cardboard packaging and launching the Eco Chill Box, an innovative insulator made of recycled cardboard, that keeps ingredients fresh in boxes.
A further 17 tonnes of plastic could be saved by Gousto annually if the new edible stock cube packaging is rolled out in full to customers in the future.
The edible stock cube packaging is being trialed to replace Gousto’s existing stock mix sachets, for a packaging-free stock that’s full of flavour.
Gousto CEO and founder Timo Boldt said; “At Gousto, our purpose is to build products that have a positive impact on people and the planet and we invest in innovations that will help us get there. We are so proud of our Eco Chill Box and the significant amount of plastic we cut from our boxes as a result. This partnership with Xampla is another super exciting step towards reducing plastic packaging even further.”
We’re excited to see what our customers think, and to continue paving the way for innovative sustainable solutions in our industry.”
The new innovation comes after a recent study by environmental services company Foodsteps revealed that dinners from Gousto produce 23% less carbon emissions than equivalent meals from supermarket stores. If every home in the country replaced supermarket dinners with meals from Gousto for just one year, 10.3 million tonnes of CO2e could be saved, the same as taking nearly 140,000 buses off the road for a year.
Xampla CEO Simon Hombersley said; “This world-first edible pea protein packaging is the product of 15 years of University of Cambridge research, and over a year of development with the Gousto team. We’re so excited to be working with the recipe box company to offer more sustainable alternatives to plastic, and hope this marks the beginning of significant change within the industry and many more innovative packaging solutions in the future.”
The edible packaging is available now for customers to choose to add to deliveries from 6th-12th November, as part of the Indian Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup recipe.
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Notes to editors
Founded in 2012, Gousto pioneered the recipe box offering in the UK. Conceived whilst working long hours in the finance industry, Founder and CEO Timo Boldt, identified a need for convenient and easy to cook recipes that offered exciting variety at home, whilst reducing food waste. Timo realised that the optimal solution required a regular delivery service direct to people’s homes with all of the ingredients provided and already measured out, with easy to follow recipe cards. At the age of 26 Timo quit his job to found Gousto.
Initially funded from his own savings and then followed up with a friends and family round, Gousto has since gone through five funding rounds, raising over £155m in equity from leading investors including Perwyn Private Equity, Canaccord Genuity, Unilever Ventures, BGF, MMC Ventures and Joe Wicks – who in addition to being an investor and brand ambassador, also has his own Joe Wicks ‘Lean in 15’ range of recipes on the Gousto menu.
Gousto has achieved rapid growth achieving its first full year of profitability in 2012. Its financial success has been recognised in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 ranking of Britain’s fastest growing private companies for the last three years. In 2020, Gousto was ranked 257 in the FTs list of Europe’s 1,000 fastest growing Companies.
The company’s headcount has doubled year on year in 2020 and 2021, and will reach 2,000 by 2022.
Gousto’s differentiation to peers lies in its 220+ strong tech team and its focus on data and artificial intelligence, which power all its operations including its automated fulfilment centre Spalding, Lincolnshire and enable its market-leading customer proposition – the most recipe choice, for just £2.98 per meal with free delivery, seven days a week. Its intelligent use of data has facilitated the creation of the first recipe box recommendation engine.
Xampla is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, developing novel plant-based materials. It has created the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use, which performs like synthetic polymers, but is completely plant-based, edible and home compostable.
Xampla is chaired by Jeff Seabright, former Chief Sustainability Officer of Unilever and is the first UK University spin-out to be awarded B Corp status. Its other current applications include fully biodegradable microcapsules and films to be used in the FMCG industry. For more information: http://www.xampla.com/