We Believers’ ‘Edible Six Pack Rings’ Struggle in Transition from Award Shows to Assembly Line

By Erik Oster 

Remember We Believers’ award-winning campaign introducing edible (and biodegradable) six pack rings?

Adweek wrote about the 2016 effort, which included a case study video showing off the product, made from spent grains from the brewing process, at Florida’s Saltwater Brewery. It was so popular that it earned coverage in general audience publications like HuffPo and the L.A. Times.

After receiving a number of tips about the project, we looked into the evolution of the edible six pack rings.

We Believers initially claimed their goal was to manufacture 400,000 of the edible six pack rings per month. According to agency co-founder Gustavo Lauria, the first mass-produced batch of the edible six pack rings would cost 10-15 cents per unit.

To move production of the product forward, the agency launched E6PR, a company “spun off from We Believers and designed by a Mexican group of engineers.”

E6PR claims on its website that it has “now moved to mass production of the E6PR in the US and overseas” and that “The initial batch of rings will be available in early 2017.”

However, when we reached out to E6PR, the group explained that mass production of the product has been delayed.

“A large batch of rings has been manufactured but not yet made available,” an E6PR spokesperson said, explaining they had “suffered unforeseen difficulties along with premeditated actions” which delayed the launch of the product indefinitely.

“The E6PR’s are undertaking harsh quality tests at par with the current plastic ring. Since our goal is to replace plastic, the product must behave as if it were plastic, creating the most positive effect on users, causing awareness that plastic can be replaced with ecofriendly materials,” the spokesperson continued. “So far, test results confirm our product can perform as planned, nevertheless to comply with our goal, a few tweaks are being made.”

Mass production of the product is “possible” but currently “on hold,” the spokespersons said, while adding that production would resume “soon,” although E6PR “does not have a specific date” when resumption of mass production is expected.

The spokesperson was unable to elaborate on the size of the initial batch but claimed the “product can be mass produced. There are no limitations once we start.”

We Believers has yet to respond to our request for comment. When reached by phone, Salwater Brewery told us that the rings were “not in wide use” and referred us to a company contact. That representative has also not responded to requests for comment.