Will Edible Packaging Be the Next Big Trend in Sports Nutrition?

by Matt Weik

If this topic looks familiar, you have probably read my other article from a few years ago regarding edible packaging. Well, it seems like my previous article may have been a little early. Maybe you could call me a visionary (haha)? But at any rate, edible packaging has seemed to slowly be making its way into sports nutrition as well as other food and CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands.

What exactly does all of this mean? Convenience. It’s that simple. But I also see great value coming from edible packaging as well which is part of what I want to discuss in this article.

A Slow Roll Out for Edible Packaging

I can’t help but look at edible packaging and have flashbacks of kids eating Tide Pods. Remember how stupid that was? I digress. Getting back on topic, edible packaging is changing the way we view convenience – and in a good way. I don’t think you would disagree with me saying that as a society, we are getting lazier by the day. With the touch of a button, we can have just about everything delivered directly to us without ever needing to step away from our homes. Food, groceries, gifts, clothing, you name it.

Now, things are heading one step further. Now you don’t even need to measure anything out, you simply toss the product inside the edible packaging in a liquid and you’re ready to roll. Different brands are launching edible packaging using various ingredients but that’s one area I’m not really going to focus on in this article (maybe as a follow-up article down the road).

The edible packaging being used today is tasteless, colorless, and can easily dissolve in your favorite liquid. Who’s using such technology? There are several brands actually. Podz Nutrition, VADE Nutrition, Pure Protein, Body Fortress, as well as brands outside the sports nutrition realm. Inside the supplement industry, we are seeing the edible packaging being used for protein powder as well as pre-workouts.

Those outside of the sports nutrition industry are using the edible pods for things like oatmeal, coffee, and pasta where all you need to do is add hot water and you’re ready to roll.

Why is This an Important or Exciting Trend?

For starters, it allows us to be even lazier. Two thumbs up for that, right? But many see environmental benefits as well such as less waste from throwing away packaging and contents.

Here is where I find edible packaging intriguing. Properly dosed products as well as appropriate serving sizes. Now, before we start the rebuttals that people will simply consume more than one pod, which is correct, let’s look at the concept and not how we perceive people to use them.

We would all like to think that when we scoop out our pre-workout powder that it’s one big homogeneous mixture. Well, it’s not. Ingredients with a higher molecular weight will tend to settle to the bottom of the tub whereas the lighter ingredients will gradually make their way to the top. It’s for that very reason I recommend people shake their supplements before they scoop them out. A normal serving of a pre-workout may contain 200mg but if the ingredients have settled, you could have a dosage much higher than 200mg (or much lower). Makes sense, right?

Edible packaging in the form of pods alleviates the issue I just mentioned. Toss it in a shaker bottle full of water, shake it up, and you’re good to go. There is consistency with the edible packaging pods. Additionally, this consistency should also boost user confidence that each and every serving they use will provide the same benefit and effects as their previous dose. You won’t have the days where you don’t feel much from a pre-workout because you didn’t scoop enough of a certain ingredient in a tub or days where you feel stimmed out of your mind.

Additionally, we need to look at this from a portion control perspective. People love individual servings of food. They make life so much easier when you’re dieting and trying to lose weight. Essentially, you don’t need to think about it. You simply make the individual cup of rice or oatmeal (fill in the blank with the food of your choice) and you’re good to go. Now, the same can be said for your supplements – pre-workouts and protein powders. I see more uses for the pods branching out into BCAAs and other supplements as well.

It makes transporting your supplements much easier too. Toss a pod (or a few) in a container to protect it from breaking and off you go. No measuring, no mess, no need to take an entire tub of a product with you. Again, it’s convenient.

I feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of uses. And while my previous article may have been a few years too early, I feel that we are closer than ever to seeing food with edible packaging all over the shelves of grocery stores as well as supplement retailers.