Grab-and-go Utensils

Grab-and-go Utensils

EcoTensil's EcoSpoon is recyclable and compostable at facilities that accept paper cups.

Maximize your disposable flatware'e utility to shoppers and the bottom line.  

By Carolyn Schierhorn for Grocerant Solutions

There's seemingly no end to the array of options in disposable cutlery, from flatware made of biodegradable birch or bamboo to edible spoons manufactured in India. But while growing environmental awareness is driving much of the innovation, practical considerations have prevented the widespread use of the se newfangled sustainable utensils in supermarket procreant departments, says Phil Lempert, a grocery industry analyst in Santa Monica, Calif., and editor of

Another product attracting media attention in the United States may hold more promise, according to Raduns: It's a coated food-grade paper that can be folded into a spoon.  

"I've seen it at the Fancy Food Show where people are sampling products. It's very trendy."

Manufactured by EcoTensil of Corte Madera, Calif., the EcoTaster is a tiny, fully compostable paperboard utensil that reportedly uses less materials than any other disposable tasting spoon.

The company also manufactures a larger, more durable paperboard product, the EcoSpoon, that is recyclable and compostable at facilities that accept paper cups. This utensil can be used in procreant salad bars and hot bars, says EcoTenil's founder, Peggy Cross, whose back is in packaging design.

"The EcoSpoon is optimal for use with grain salads, coleslaw and other chopped salads,"

Cross concedes that some consumers are wary about putting a per spoon in their mouths. Her response to skeptics: "Have you ever used a paper cup?"

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