Food Huggers

An ingenious new way to save half-eaten fruit-veg

There are many options for storing half-cut fruit and vegetables, and now some clever American designers have come up with a new idea, Food Huggers. [Click pic to enlarge]

Adrienne McNicholas and Michelle Ivankovic of the design-forward housewares company, Umbra, knew there had to be something better for storing nature’s snacks than plastic bags or containers. Out of that conviction came Food Huggers, a collection of dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe silicone caps designed to preserve half-consumed fruits and vegetables.

They’re even easier to use than a sandwich bag, if that’s possible. Just take your half-whatever, press it down into the Hugger of the appropriate size, and you’re set.

In a sense, the Food Huggers were a product of guilt. “I hated feeling like every half tomato or onion was a race against the clock that I knew I would lose,” McNicholas says.

The problem, they sensed, was a universal one. But the solution wasn’t immediately obvious. For a while, the duo tinkered with concepts involving fully-enclosed vessels, though nothing quite clicked. The a-ha moment came when they realised nature had already done a good bit of the work for them.

“At some point it was like ‘why are we covering the skin that is already doing a great job of protecting the produce?’” McNicholas says. So they changed tack and started thinking about a container that would only cover a fruit’s vulnerable inner-face.

After experimenting with dozens of chunks of silicone, they zeroed in on a workable design. In final form, a Food Huggers set comprises four caps of varying sizes. Each overlaps a bit with its immediate siblings, in terms of the size of thing it can accommodate, ensuring that there’s always one that can handle the job at hand.

From the looks of things, the Huggers can fit snugly around onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and more. And since they lock in those sweet, sweet juices, hugged fruits can end up looking even better than they would after similar stints in their former Ziploc digs.

McNicholas and Michelle Ivankovic recently ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the product; it pulled in nearly $200,000 – around seven times the amount they were asking for.

You can preorder a set for $19 on the Food Huggers site.