TechInAfrica — A startup company, Munch Bowls, which produces edible food bowls, has launched to the market. The company is secured funding from the organizers of the 2020 World Expo to be staged in Dubai next year.
The Cape Town-based Munch Bowls offers an alternative to single-use plastics or polystyrene containers, in a shift from waste-generating materials. The company is among a selection of African companies to have benefited from Expo Live, an initiative of the upcoming Dubai Expo, which supports innovative enterprises that brings a difference.
In 2017 Munch Bowls won a grant from the Expo Live program, following an application process opened for innovators internationally. Munch Bowls founder and co-director, Georgina de Kock, mentioned in a statement that the grant allowed the company to mechanize and upgrade from a slow manual production process.
De Kock said, “We had to design our own prototype machine, as there is currently no machine on the market to produce such bowls.”
Its product, the crisp bowls, which can hold soups and salads, is edible with the meals, the way ice cream cones are eaten. The bowls are made from stone-ground, unbleached flour, using preservative-free and non-GMO products.
“Munch Bowls has attracted clients in different parts of the world, and the exposure we have received from Expo Live 2020 can never be underestimated. We have requested to set up plants in countries such as Belgium, Moscow and Hong Kong,” said De Kock.
The manual manufacturing process was slow as the production machine wasn’t yet to be acquired at that time, but the company produces 800 bowls per hour now.
De Kock, working alongside Neeraj Mannie, noted being recognized and supported as a Global Innovator with other companies from around the world for Expo Live 2020 was an honor, as the company would have a chance of showcasing its solution to millions of visitors and potential investors at the Expo 2020.
There will also be other variants of the bowl such as a plain cracker-like taste, as well as a mildly sweetened flavor suitable for desserts.
“We endeavor to add spoons and more eco-friendly green complementary products to help minimize even more wasteful products,” said De Kock. She also added that the company, which currently employs seven people and she hopes to add more sustainable job opportunities.
“We are currently focusing on exporting and wish to create more local awareness soon.”
The company, founded in 2014, will be showcasing among global companies at the Dubai Expo 2020, which will be held from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021. The event is expected to attract companies globally.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa is among the 192 countries set to participate in the large event.
Expo Live Vice-President, Yousuf Caires, described Munch Bowls as “real change-makers” in solving the real-world challenges of reducing global carbon footprint and waste.
“Munch Bowls have found an innovative way to cut down the waste created by fast food and catering to large number of visitors at major events.”