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Brief Published: 29 Nov 2021

Gousto’s Edible Meal Kit Packaging

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Gousto

UK recipe box brand Gousto is swapping its plastic stock-cube wrappers for the world’s first edible pea-protein packaging as part of a trial with UK packaging material developer Xampla, an offshoot of the University of Cambridge. If adopted permanently, the brand will save 17 tonnes of plastic waste annually – a significant contribution to its sustainability goals.

The edible plastic-like material is created by engineering and drying pea protein into sheets. The packaging can be dissolved along with the stock cube, adding no additional flavour to the resulting stock. The vegan and gluten-free packaging also preserves the flavour of the stock mix.

The only downside to the packaging is a slightly compromised shelf life compared to plastic. However, since Gousto’s meals are eaten within a week of delivery, this is unlikely to affect its customers, according to the brand. 

The move is part of ongoing effort from the brand to reduce plastic in its packaging. In 2020, it swapped out the plastic foam insulation in its delivery boxes to Eco Chill, a recycled cardboard insulation system made by UK packaging company Softbox – reducing its use of plastic by 50%. For more on sustainable packaging alternatives, read Updating Home Delivery.

For further examples of other edible packaging solutions, see Prioritising User-Focused Formats and Mainstreaming Eco Packaging. For more on future-proofing meal kit concepts, read How Meal Kits Can Succeed Post-Pandemic.

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