MOVING TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE TO-GO CONTAINER FOR HOT BEVERAGES IN MASS-MARKET FOODSERVICE
Small Business Information
TEA SPOT, THE
1801 13TH ST STE 170, Boulder, CO, 80302
AbstractWithin the past 2-3 years, an abundance of "eco-friendly" to-go hot beverage cups have appeared in the marketplace. Upon closer examination, many of these to-go cups for hot drinks have questionable environmental appeal and a strong "green-washing" market spin. The Tea Spot has designed a patent pending to-go system for loose leaf tea. Our plan is to manufacture these to-go systems for coffee and loose tea using renewable and sustainable plant-based materials in a compostable product, while maintaining economically viable product margins and market pricing. In this study, we will assess the carbon-footprint and costs of existing to-go cup materials as well as alternative plant-based materials, from a cradle-to-grave perspective. There exist concrete cost models for the manufacture and distribution of these types of products. What is uncertain is the perceived value and price premium that consumers will be willing to pay, and potential margin pressure that corporations involved in mass-market foodservice would be willing to bear, for a hot beverage system made of bio-based renewable material with extremely low economic impact. Our proposed research would examine this tradeoff so as to determine the optimum renewable product materials and price points for fully compostable hot beverage to-go cups, lids and compatible loose tea filter in the mass foodservice distribution market. Given our findings, we would then develop a plan for effective marketing and distribution for the proposed alternative product into mass-market foodservice.
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