Foodservice

F'real, Footprint Partner to Create Sustainable Cup

Goal is to replace plastic container with fiber-based one
F'real, Footprint Partner to Create Plastic-Free Cup
Photograph courtesy of F'real and Footprint

GILBERT, Ariz., and EMERYVILLE, Calif. Footprint, a global materials science technology company focused on a healthy planet, and blend-it-yourself shakes and smoothies company f'real are partnering on a sustainable replacement for f’real’s dairy cup.

As part of its sustainable packaging goals, f’real is transitioning away from single-use plastics and moving toward fully recyclable and responsibly sourced packaging, the Emeryville, Calif.-based company said. In the United States, the company aims for 100% of its packaging to meet these criteria by 2025.

Gilbert, Ariz.-based Footprint’s team is considering several design factors as they create a molded fiber cup to ensure it works seamlessly with f’real’s current and future equipment, including its mixing technology, while providing an enjoyable drinking experience for consumers, Footprint said.

The cups also will use Footprint’s Print-to-Fiber Technology, a flexographic print process for molded fiber cups, Footprint said. This process delivers high-quality, color-rich printing on the fiber surface while eliminating the need for a separate plastic label on the product, it said.

“Footprint’s engineers are always up for a challenge and are focused on perfecting the intricate design and engineering of this cup, which we look forward to bringing to market,” said Footprint co-founder and CEO Troy Swope. “Working with customers like f’real allows us to highlight the significant science and engineering that goes into Footprint’s solutions while reinforcing our commitment to collaborating with customers to develop a product tailored to their unique needs.”

Nikkie McBrayer, senior director, global equipment platforms for Buffalo, N.Y.-based Rich Products, parent company of f’real, said, “Like many sustainably minded companies, we’re always looking to improve the impact we’re making on the environment, and that includes the packaging of our delicious products. The opportunity to collaborate with Footprint to create a positive change while upholding packaging performance for our f’real milkshake and smoothie cups is truly a win-win.”

Footprint has begun testing to ensure the design of the plastic-free dairy cup meets all expectations. Footprint’s products have already led to a global redirection of millions of pounds of plastic waste from entering the air, earth, and water working with leading global consumer brands.

F’real sells products at more than 20,000 locations in the United States and Canada, including convenience stores, colleges, universities and military bases.

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