Air NZ trials edible coffee and dessert cups
A young Auckland audio technician and his ex-architect Dad are working hard to keep up with growing demand for their family’s ingenius edible cup invention, only launched online in June last year.
Sustainability has long been a passion for Jamie, and also his mum. “I’m particularly perturbed by the whole marketing ploy about commercially compostable products and recycling,” he says. “New Zealand’s such a tiny place and we dispose of 295 million coffee cups a year in this country.”
It’s been four and a half years since Aucklander Jamie Cashmore, 29, and his Dad, Stephen Cashmore, casually came up with the idea at the beach one day. Jamie’s wife, Simone, and his mum, Theresa, also got on board and their company, Twiice, was launched.
Stephen’s thrown his creative skills and engineering mind-set into the mix designing custom moulds and a machine to make the cups, while Simone has designed the home compostable packaging.
It’s been an exciting ride for the family, with Air New Zealand trialling the cups with customers in the air and on the ground from December, as the airline explores new and innovative ways to meet sustainability challenges.
There was a bit of trial and error along the way for the family of self-confessed foodies, who love to cook and experiment with food. “I grew up cooking,” says Jamie. “We were always around the table eating and talking.”
Made out of flour, sugar, egg and natural vanilla, Jamie spent countless hours testing the product until he got the recipe just right – a tasty, sog-resistant edible cup. “We wanted to create something delicious – not a marketing ploy, but something they actually want to eat,” says Jamie. You can pour hot coffee in it and even after 24 hours it won’t break or split, although it may go a little soft by then.
Twiice is now supplying about 16 cafes – about half a dozen in the South Island – and the edible cups are also popular for serving up desserts and ice cream.
“This year we’re focusing on upscaling our product, developing a plant-based vegan option, which is proving to be challenging, and a gluten free one for trial,” says Jamie. “We also hope to create a chocolate-lined version too.”
Twiice has already gained some valuable, high-profile media attention overseas. “There’s been a lot of interest and we’d love to explore further what we can do,” says Jamie. “So far he doesn’t miss his old job installing commercial audio. “I love this. Every day is awesome.”
All of Twiice’s packaging, designed by Simone, is also home compostable and if the customers don’t eat the cups then Jamie assures the birds will, so it’s a zero waste product.