Climate change is a hot topic right now, and there’s no denying that bottled water is wasteful and global temperatures are shifting. One startup decided to do something about it. Meet Ooho!, an edible water ‘bottle’ created by Skipping Rocks Lab.
Skipping Rocks Lab was started through the European Institute of Innovation & Technology’s Climate KIC startup acceleration program. Co-founded in London by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Pierre Paslier, and Guillaume Couche, the startup has made a big splash for its contraption – a water bottle you can eat.
Ooho! is more of a water pouch than a bottle, but the seaweed-based casing is entirely edible; the membrane is based on the skin of a fruit. To drink the water inside, you simply bite, or pierce, the casing, drink the water and eat the membrane (if you so choose). Even if you don’t eat it, it’s biodegradable and something you can make at home.
According to Skipping Rocks Lab, the average American consumes roughly 150 water bottles per year. Water bottling operations are extremely wasteful and may contribute to the global water crisis. The hope is that people will transition to Ooho! to reduce waste. Whether or not it’ll work, however, is debatable.
The invention started out strong; Skipping Rocks Lab won the World Technology Award for environmental innovation, supported by TIME and Fortune. Early on, the team received 20,000 Euros to develop the product and press coverage has been thorough. But the startup is now beginning to meet challenges.
After competing as semi-finalists at Venture Competition 2015 in October, the startup failed to take home a prize. The founders also haven’t made mention of plans to secure more funding. From a VC perspective, however, one must consider whether Ooho! has a real shot in the market.
Skipping Rocks Labs promises the membrane of Ooho! is strong but hasn’t commented on just how strong they are. Water bottles, whether disposable or reusable, travel with us everywhere. From the field to family parties, traveling with water is part of our culture. If Ooho! is going to have a shot at all, the packaging has to be strong enough to withstand pressure inside of gym bags, backpack pockets and the like.
What’s more, the small water pouches don’t hold very much water. It seems each packet holds up to 4 oz of water when a traditional water bottle holds at least 16oz. Ooho! does, however, really break the mold of how to deal with the water crisis and climate change.
If nothing else, the startup reminds us to stay innovative and to think outside of the box (or the bottle) when it comes to looking at common products in a different light. Find out more by heading over to Skipping Rocks Lab.