Food & Beverage

Jun 1, 2017

Beyond Bottles

The Skipping Rocks Labs, from the United Kingdom, has taken upon itself the mission to eradicate the waste caused by plastic cups and bottles by creating Ooho!, the first of many products that, they assure, will revolutionize everyday life simple things. 

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And what exactly is Ooho!?

Well then, it is a plastic substitute obtained through seaweed extract that renders its packages not only biodegradable but also eatable. That's it, you can drink the water off the package and then eat the package! The Ooho! Packages are flexible and you can ingest the fluids by pinching it or by putting it whole in your mouth. These packages also have a production cost lower than the plastic ones and can be used to package any type of liquid, including juices, alcoholic beverages and even cosmetic products.

The company was founded by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo García González. Paslier is an innovation design engineer that previously worked on L'Oreak and Alt Design, a 3D printer manufacturer, and co-founded Gravity Sketch, a 3D design platform. Gonzáles made a career as inventor, designer and architect and engineer lectures in Product Design at Kingston University, he was also awarded with the National Dyson Design Award and the GAUDI (European Competition on Sustainable Architecture).

This new packaging is the fruit of two years of investigation that resulted on the creation of this material through means of innovative production technology, that has already been filled for a patent. The company's statement specifies its wish "to solve the plastic waste problem and reduce climate impact from packaging".

Ooho! has already received worldwide attention, from "The New York Times" to the "Guardian" passing through the BBC and "Business Insider". Which is surprising given that in the last six months the product has only been available for purchase directly from the company. This year and on 2018, Skipping Rock is preparing the grounds to become known and, simultaneously, test its product: as we speak its making arrangements with Virgin Sports and Live Nation, amongst other companies responsible for major events as concerts, football games, festivals and marathons, etc., so that already this year and through 2018 its product may be tested both in acceptance and sales on those same events. Which, given the usual presence of tens of thousands of individuals on each event, will certainly turn Ooho! Into an extremely known brand.

But Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo González are not alone on this challenge, their labs count with a well-tested team: as Business Lead we have Lise Honsinger, energy finance professional with seven years' experience in banking and industry, former Investment Director at private equity firm Thomas Lloyd; on the technical team we can find Manuel López, chemical engineer who specialised on its food and beverage technology and Eugenio Pérez de Lema, on design; on the Advisory Team you'll find Bill Weil, with many years' experience in private equity/finance, Antonella Socci, over 15 years' experience in marketing and brand management at Visa and Koon-Yang Lee, Senior Lecturer in Composite Manufacturing at Imperial, specialising in natural and bio-based materials.

For 2017, the company is betting on becoming a known brand and selling its product directly to the consumer, specifically on the events we mentioned earlier, by naturally entering the mark as a biodegradable option to the brands that already exist. On 2018 they raise the stats and count on selling to merchants and other companies and brands, as a packaging option or even supplying them with the machinery needed for packaging itself, and Skipping Rock acting as a raw matter supplier, maintaining as an extra attractive that the price of its packaging is lower than the plastic option that currently leads the market. 

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