Cofftlery - Takeaway cutlery made out of coffee grounds
Wintersemester 2019/2020 - Studentisches Start-up Projekt
After getting in constant frustration with the plastic cutlery in takeaway restaurants, we decided to develop a sustainable solution and started evolving a concrete concept. Therefore, Cofftlery aims to be the most sustainable takeaway cutlery, as it is produced out of natural waste materials, mainly out of coffee grounds.
Due to the ban of single-use plastic in 2021 in the EU, takeaways will have to look for a sustainable alternative cutlery that still can offer a great overall customer experience. Current alternatives to single-use plastic are not able to offer a smooth, easy to handle, practical, as well as scentless user experience altogether. What is more, although they are supposed to be sustainable and compostable alternatives, a lot of them are even harming the environment because on the one hand, they use resources and on the other hand, only high temperature created by industrial machines can make the cutlery decompose.
As our product is sustainable, recycled and compostable within a short time, we are the right candidate for replacing the single-use plastic, which is, after all, what the single-use plastic ban aims for. Furthermore, the Cofftlery cutlery offers a great food experience as it is heavier and more robust than the alternatives like bamboo and bioplastics are, plus it has a very good haptic and a fancy and unusual look. Additionally, it creates a circular economy: using wasted coffee grounds to create a new product.
Our first step was to identify the customer segment and its specific needs. After doing an in-depth market research, we decided for sustainably oriented and trendy takeaway restaurants as our customers. In order to figure out the potential demand, we did several interviews with our customers, the takeaway restaurants, as well as their customers, who we consider to be the end-users. To ensure a reasonable selling price, we will outsource the production to Poland, where we have already received positive feedback from our potential manufacturers. Therefore, our main activity will include being a strong link between the producer and customer. Hence, the customer will be able to purchase the cutlery made in Poland directly through us. Furthermore, we carried out market research by conducting among others a PESTEL analysis as well as creating a blue ocean matrix and a perceptual map. For the latter we compared the alternatives bamboo, wood and bioplastics. Although wood would be a good sustainable alternative, it does not offer high quality. As a result, we figured out that amongst us and the competitors only our cutlery made of coffee grounds could ensure genuine sustainability as well as high quality at the same time. Our last step was to calculate our market size. Because we want to start with Vienna and Austria in general and then expand to Germany, our market size would be approximately € 2,6 million in Vienna and Munich together. The outcome of our project has been a completed lean business model canvas, intensive market research, as well as several prototypes. One of them, a plastic knife which we pasted with coffee grounds, turned out to be a successful way to use for our interviews, so our potential customers and experts were able to imagine our final product even better.
Tuong-Vi Sophie Quach