Drink your drink, then eat the cup: It comes in five flavors, including spicy pepper. It's Loliware, the new work of New York design studio The Way We See the World. Join an edible-tableware tradition that dates to at least the plantain-leaf plates of 8000 BC. A brief, more modern history of edible tableware's business value:
Goal: Impress a British Duke
Result: The Duke so admired the innovation that he gave the inventor—an Irish nobleman—money to open a bread-bowl shop in what's now known as Dublin.
Goal: Make use of stale tortilla
Result: The modern bowl—a version of a Mesoamerican design—has since been modified in every way, down to mini Betty Crocker versions.
Goal: Market San Francisco's clam chowder
Result: Though not a new idea, the Bay Area popularized it, and restaurants nationwide have used it as a way to charge more for soup.
Goal: Reduce disposable container use
Result: A year after its New York launch, demand was high enough for the company to take it national.
[Courtesy of The Way We See The World (cup)]
A version of this article appeared in the September 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.