Here's What Happened To IncrEdible Eats After Shark Tank

Do you ever think about the plastic utensils in the bottom of your take-out bag typically hidden underneath those brown paper napkins? If anything, you probably wonder why they sent you them in the first place. You have your own utensils, after all, and ones that are probably less prone to breaking apart while you eat with them. While plastic utensils are a take-out staple at many restaurants, some might think they create more waste, and they would be correct.

The number of plastic utensils that are used once and then tossed away is in the billions, according to National Geographic. That's astounding to think about. There have been suggestions on how to combat this enormous waste. Some people advocate bringing your own cutlery in a carrying case to use in place of the plastic ones supplied by some eateries.

However, one man's solution to lessening the waste gave the investors of "Shark Tank" something to chew on. IncrEdible Eats, founded by engineer Dinesh Tadepalli, has created edible spoons from natural products like wheat, corn, rice, and chickpeas, and they come in a variety of flavors. Shark Lori Greiner agreed to invest in Tadepalli's company, offering $500,000 for 15%, according to Shark Tank Recap. We take a look at IncrEdible Eat's today and see if the world of edible utensils is as popular as Tadepalli and Greiner had hoped it would be.

IncrEdible Eats is expanding

If you think an edible fork is just ridiculous and that Tadepalli was wasting his time, you'd better be prepared to eat those words – perhaps with an IncrEdible Eats spoon. According to Shark Tank Recap, the company began operating as a business-to-consumer model, as it struggled to gain traction as a business-to-business model during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, this was only a small setback as TheCinemaholic reports that Dinesh has partnered with some food services and ice cream shops to help expand his reach. The company also began selling sporks and reportedly had plans to add chopsticks, knives, and even bowls to its upcoming product list.

Positive reviews are always a help. Food-tech website, THE SPOON, notes the remarkable sturdiness of IncrEdible Eats spoon, claiming it didn't crumble or break down when exposed to hot broth or cold milk. The review also mentions the flavors, sharing that the vanilla spoon tastes like a Nilla wafer while the oregano spoon tastes like a vegetable cracker.

According to the company's website, customers can expect to pay around $11 for a 15-pack of large spoons. And if you're wondering, they are about 20 calories each.

IncrEdible Eats encountered some challenges

Dinesh Tadepalli's concept sounds, well, sound: Create something that is not only useful but also environmentally friendly. But the fact that IncrEdible Eats found success on "Shark Tank" doesn't mean his business has had nothing but smooth sailing since.

In an April 2022 presentation to Research Triangle Park (via YouTube), Tadepalli discusses some of the failures he experienced while working to build IncrEdible Eats. One example he gives involves an attempt to have a certain unnamed fast-food chain (one that apparently disposes of 70 million plastic spoons a year) replace its utensils with his edible spoons. The chain's sustainability team loved the idea. But the financial team deemed it too expensive compared to plastic, and a third team was more interested in selling IncrEdible Eats products as snacks. Tadepalli instead chose to stick to his guns (or spoons) and turn down their offer. It was more important to him to keep promoting IncrEdible Eats as an alternative to plastic.

In an interview with TrepTalks, Tadepalli also mentions the challenges of international shipping. Materials coming from India, for example, "tak[e] six to seven weeks." And the pandemic disrupted an update to the company's machinery, delaying production and making it difficult to capitalize on "Shark Tank" exposure. But the company began to ramp up production despite setbacks. We wish Tadepalli the best.