Good Enough to Eat – The Development of Edible Packaging

At Kite we are always on the ball when it comes to latest industry developments and announcements, this is why we were intrigued to read this week about the development of edible packaging.

It seems there is a new trend sweeping the packaging industry that involves edible drinks cartons, sweet wrappers made from edible paper and even plastic food wrappers that customers can chomp right through!

It was reported at the end of last year that a burger chain in Brazil called Bob’s had created a marketing campaign where it replaced plastic wrappers with one that hungry customers could eat without the hassle of unwrapping them.

The attention given to ready-to-eat wrapping has been growing steadily as scientists try to reduce millions of tons of waste. At Kite we love to find new ways to reduce packaging waste and create environmentally friendly alternatives, as demonstrated by our Enviro range of products.

A bit like a skin

The idea of edible packaging is becoming increasingly popular, so much so that one man is trying to make it a reality. Kamal Badiani, who runs Pepceuticals in Leicestershire is developing an invisible film that can be used to coat meat and poultry “a bit like a skin”. The skin is completely tasteless, but shows how packaging is changing to cope with the increased demands on the environment.

Of course, this is not an entirely new concept for the food industry; Heston Blumenthal’s been at it for years, wrapping palatable paper around packets of soup and urging us to eat the whole lot.

Food safety issues

As great as this sounds, the concept is a long way off becoming mainstream and food safety regulators will have to have their say before edible wrapping goes on the menu. Many criticise that traditional wrapping will need to go around the edible wrapping, or it will be too manhandled to be safe to eat, raising the issue of costs and packaging waste yet again.

Whatever the future holds for edible packaging and however much of a novelty it may seem at present, we love the concept and think there could well be some mileage in this idea…..