by Matt Weik
If you find this topic familiar, you've probably read my other article on edible packaging a few years ago. Well, it seems like my previous article was a bit early. Maybe you could call me a visionary (haha)? In any case, edible packaging seems to be slowly finding its way into sports nutrition as well as other food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands.
What exactly does all this mean? Convenience. It's that simple. But I also see that edible packaging is of great value. This is part of what I want to discuss in this article.
Slow introduction to edible packaging
I can not help but look at edible packaging and see flashbacks of kids eating Tide Pods. Do you remember how stupid that was? I digress. Back to the topic: Edible packaging is changing the way we view convenience – and in a good way. I do not think you disagree when I say that as a society we are becoming lazier day by day. With the push of a button, we can deliver almost everything directly to us, without ever having to leave our home. Food, food, gifts, clothes, you name it.
Now it goes one step further. Now you do not have to measure anything anymore. They simply throw the product into a liquid in the edible packaging and are ready to roll. Different brands are introducing edible packaging with different ingredients, but I will not really focus on this area in this article (perhaps as a follow-up article).
The edible packaging used today is tasteless and colorless and can easily dissolve in your favorite liquid. Who uses such technology? There are actually several brands. Podz Nutrition, VADE Nutrition, Pure Protein, Body Fortress, as well as out of range sports nutrition. In the supplement industry, the edible packaging is used for both protein powders and pre-workouts.
Those outside the sports nutrition industry use the edible pods for things like oatmeal, coffee, and noodles. All you have to do is refill hot water and you're ready to go.
Why is this an important or exciting trend?
For starters, it allows us to be even lazier. Two thumbs up for that, right? However, many also see environmental benefits, such as less waste from disposing of packaging and contents.
Here I find edible packaging fascinating. Properly dosed products and appropriate portion sizes. Now, before we start to argue that people just consume more than one capsule, we should look at the concept, not how we perceive people to use it.
We all like to think that it's a great homogenous mix when we get our pre-workout powder. Well, that's not it. Higher molecular weight ingredients settle to the bottom of the tub as the lighter ingredients gradually rise. That's why I recommend people to shake their supplements before taking them out. A normal portion of a pre-workout may contain 200 mg, but if the ingredients have calmed down, you may have a dosage that is much higher than 200 mg (or much lower). Meaningful, right?
Edible packaging in the form of pads alleviate the problem just mentioned. Drop it into a shaker bottle with water, shake it and you're ready to go. There is agreement with the edible packaging trays. In addition, this consistency should enhance the users' confidence that every single serving they take has the same benefits and effects as their previous dose. You will not have the days you do not feel well before exercise because you have not taken enough of a particular ingredient in a tub, or days that make you feel completely out of whatsoever.
In addition, we need to look at this from the point of view of portion control. People love individual food portions. They make life so much easier if you are dieting and trying to lose weight. In essence, you do not have to think about it. You just prepare the single cup of rice or oatmeal (fill in the box with the food of your choice) and you're ready to go. The same goes for your supplements now – pre-workouts and protein powders. I also see more uses for the pods that result in BCAAs and other supplements.
It also facilitates the transport of your supplements. Throw a pod (or a few) into a container to protect it from breaking, and off you go. No measuring, no mess, no need to take a whole tub of a product. Again, this is handy.
I think this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of usage. And although my previous article may have been a couple of years too early, I think we're seeing food-grade edible food on the shelves of food stores and food supplement retailers closer than ever.