FEBRUARY 24, 2015
The Mushroom Farm Kit
Fascinated by the idea of waste being turned into a product, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez experimented with the idea of growing mushrooms from recycled coffee grounds. Now in the market as the Mushroom Farm Kit, their product test rapidly evolved from a small start-up to a successful business making revolutionary strides in interactive packaging.
The product is self-grown pearl oyster mushrooms that evolve from recycled coffee grounds. The initial “packaging” for the product was all but a plastic bag; we wouldn’t necessarily term it an appealing prototype. When pitching the idea to a Whole Foods buyer, the precise reaction was, “That’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.” Regardless of the packaging or lack thereof, the idea was captivating enough, piggybacking onto the natural and organic food scene that has been an emerging trend over the past few years.
From Plastic Bags to Interactive Innovation
As anticipated, the start-up needed branding that spoke to the consumer experience. With aid from a contract packaging company, they soon developed these mushroom farm kits to be housed in a corrugated board, similar to material used for cardboard boxes to ensure sturdiness and give off a natural feel. With a multitude of iterations, the mushrooms now grow within the box, popping out of the window to visibly see development to create an interactive package design.
Their product is not just oyster mushrooms, but the consumer experience of recycling waste stream to create and grow fresh food in your own kitchen. The buyer becomes an active contributor to the reduction of waste and makes use of their packaging.
In addition to their mushroom expedition, the company continues to release products that involve growing food: AquaFarm is an indoor garden that grows food out of a self cleaning fish tank.
In the words of Nikhil, “We’re collecting trash and adding value to it.”
Why we love it:
- Healthy Eating Packaging Indicators
- Interactive Packaging