Today’s on-demand economy is booming: it is now commonplace to order rides, shop for all kinds of goods, and order meals from anywhere on a computer or smartphone. Chetan Nerain, project manager of UberEATS, noted that when the new app first launched in Canada, Uber needed to respond quickly to new logistical challenges that were not the same as the ones involved in its ride service. With the growth of businesses like UberEATS and GrubHub, the number of people ordering meals from their mobile devices and computers is skyrocketing.
As a result of this boom in the on-demand food economy, there has been a corresponding increase in the need for food packaging and takeout containers equipped with safe and functional coatings. This is why Bercen developed its line of EcoARMOUR functional coatings. EcoARMOUR’s key components are derived from recycled polymers, which means products treated with EcoARMOUR are recyclable and repulpable.
Economic indicators show the on-demand economy is here to stay. There have been fewer than 10 exits in the industry to date, and more than 22.4 million consumers each year use on-demand services. Most on-demand food businesses are using one of two basic models: some deliver ready-to-eat meals from restaurants, and others deliver boxes of ingredients with instructions to prepare the food. Many on-demand food companies, such as Asian meal delivery service Bento, were still raising a seed round of funding in 2015. There is still space for on-demand startups to stake their claim in the on-demand market.
Historically, the packaging technology for food applications involved post-manufacture application of wax coatings. Sending packaging material to a second facility for wax coating application increased handling costs by lengthening the supply chain, and the coatings themselves were not environmentally friendly or sustainable. EcoARMOUR performs the same functions as traditional wax coatings, but is repulpable, recyclable, and not harmful to consumer health. If it does end up in a landfill, it will not break down into harmful persistent organic pollutants.
Data show that the on-demand economy is for everyone, not just the wealthy. According to the Harvard Business Review, 46% of on-demand consumers have household incomes of less than $50,000 per year. As these ubiquitous services continue to grow, it is necessary to provide a sustainable and safe product to support them. EcoARMOUR is the solution that makes packaging products completely recyclable while offering the same benefits as traditional wax coatings. It reduces waste during manufacturing because it can be re-pulped if target characteristics are not met during initial rounds of production. It is not a threat to the environment if it is discarded in the landfill.
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