Edible paper revisited: candy that incites creativity
By WaferPaper.com on 18-03-2021
We all know wafer paper for its use in edible packaging and branding, but its possibilities reach far beyond these applications. In a time in which consumers are more conscious about their daily sugar intake, a couple of bright students decided to reconsider the introduction of edible paper as candy and with an educational purpose.
Researching edible paper as a treat
The idea of edible paper as a treat is not new. During the Renaissance, wafer paper was served as a dessert. It was a luxury only the aristocracy and upper middle class could afford. Today, edible paper can be found on candy shelves in larger supermarkets or convenience stores. Primus Wafer Paper, a company that produces wafer paper, is always keen on developing new applications of wafer paper. Seven students of Hogeschool Inholland and Wellant College came to their aid. They set out to examine the opportunities of a new candy made from wafer paper. They mapped the current supply and manufacturers and researched the attitude of potential customers and retailers. These insights were then used to develop three concepts and they tested which of these concepts has the most potential.
A sugar-free choice
Focus groups, surveys and interviews were used to research the attitude of children, their parents and retailers towards edible paper. One of the findings was that both store managers and parents perceive edible paper as an old-fashioned product. In particular store managers state that rebranding is necessary.
“Innovations on our candy shelves focus on offering a healthier alternative with less sugar.” - Store manager
Once rebranded, they believe that a comeback of edible paper can be successful because the demand for healthier alternatives to candy is increasing. This is confirmed by a survey among parents. They want to limit the daily sugar intake of their kids and view edible paper as a sugarless alternative to regular candy (see figure 1).
Play with your food
According to children, the main consumers of edible paper, taste and concept are key. Twenty children between nine and fourteen years old were asked to taste and judge several wafer paper products. Taste, a recognizable brand and attractive package design proved to be important factors in their choice for a particular product. The focus groups also showed a preference for a creative and active way of consuming edible paper. This fits the wishes of their parents, who value creative or educational concepts. Based on these learnings, a new wafer paper candy should incite the desire to play with your food.
Exploring new concepts
The second part of the study consisted of the development and testing of three new candy concepts:
- Cre-Ate: This concept allows children to express their creativity by folding edible paper into 3D buildings, such as castles or houses. When finished, they can eat their own creations.
- Edible Academy: This concept encourages learning while enjoying edible paper. Half of the wafer paper contains a drawing of a fruit, animal or instrument, the other half contains the corresponding words. By combining the right words and images, children can learn a new language and satisfy their appetite at the same time.
- Shuffle & Puzzle: This concept is a combination of a puzzle and ‘connect the dots’. The pieces of the puzzle must be rearranged. However, after putting the pieces in the right place, the illustration won’t be complete yet as there are lines missing. The numbered dots can be connected using the edible marker in the package.
After a survey among seventy children, Cre-Ate came out as the most popular concept (see figure 2). Children liked the idea of building 3D structures with the wafer paper and wanted to try it in real life. Shuffle & Puzzle came in second place, followed by Edible Academy. This confirms the notion that children enjoy a creative and active way of consuming.
The study shows there are plenty of possibilities for new wafer paper candy. New products can be tasty and fun to eat and offer a sugarless alternative to regular candy. By developing creative and educational concepts, edible paper can shake off its old-fashioned image and be a valuable addition to candy shelves in supermarkets and convenience stores.
Questions about this case study can be directed to email@example.com. You can also use this email address for further information on the concepts or if you want to discuss other ideas or applications of wafer paper.