Gousto trials world’s first edible packaging made from pea protein

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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.