In our quest to bring together the best possible range of Reyousable products to help you find your perfect match, Nicola and I headed off to the big smoke for the Coffee Shop Innovation Expo at the Excel conference centre earlier this week. The show certainly had "sustainability" high on the topic list this year and this was also evident across a range of exhibitors, but sadly lacking in others.
Friends old and new
Some of the high points for Nicola and I were having the opportunity to meet with some of Reyousable's fabulous existing suppliers and seeing what is coming next from their businesses. Ecoffee cup were showing off some gorgeous new designs as well as their forthcoming range of large, 16oz bamboo cups that will be available in a few months time for those who like their caffeine in an XL package. Eco-to-Go, our preferred Rice Husk cup supplier, were also showcasing their Huskee cup, a reusable coffee cup manufactured from coffee husk, a waste product of coffee production. A nice "circular" theme there as the coffee husk would otherwise be burned as agricultural waste.
We also managed to catch the panel discussion featuring Lynn Johnson from Eco to Go and David McLagan from Ecoffee Cup as they debated the sustainability options for coffee shops and consumers in a session entiltled "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee". It's always great to hear from Lynn and David, not only do they really know their product and their industry, they provide a very balanced and considered argument, without any "sales pitch" backing their own horse. It was a pleasure to listen to them speak.
We also managed to get our hands on quite a few shiny new products that we think you will love. No sooner seen than delivered, we have launched our new glass straw selection from German company, Halm, today as the online shop goes live! Ching ching! We have had lots of requests for glass straws and these high quality Halm straws really fit the bill. They are remarkably tough, a pleasure to drink from and allow us to complete the Reyousable straw range to offer you bamboo, silicon, steel and now very classy glass as well. We think you are going to love them!
We also met some great new people bringing even more cup innovations to the market. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as any supply agreements are in place, just in case one of these new entrants looks like it could be your perfect match.
Talking about it is one thing...
One thing that we couldn't help being a bit disappointed about was the overwhelming prevalence of single use coffee cups within the Excel itself. Considering the lion's share of visitors are staying on site to consume their drinks, it lends itself really nicely to cup sharing/reuse or cup collection model. There are a few coffee cup collection bins dotted around the place, but a quick look inside shows that the uptake on use is VERY small. This compares to some pretty massive mountains of cups sitting atop the coffee vendors machines as the meet the needs of the tens of thousands of visitors that pass through the Excel each and every day.
I fear this will endure for some time to come. However, buoyed by our time with great existing suppliers and some really promising new comers, we continue, with renewed enthusiasm, to try to make the Reyousable route as accessible and enjoyable as possible.
We'll be sure to keep you posted.