Thursday, November 6, 2008
Whenever I eat Chinese food, I use chopsticks. Guess what. Billions of Chinese people also use chopsticks when they eat Chinese food. Of course, they just call it food.
Disposable bamboo chopsticks have become a huge problem in China and Japan. Their production is taxing the environment, and causing quite a mess. Japan has just passed a tax on chopsticks to try to encourage restaurants to switch to plastic, reusable chopsticks, but many critics think that this won't help because the cost and ease of the disposable chopsticks is not effected enough by the tax.
Many people are working on different options and solutions. The best being edible chopsticks made from sorghum flour and the worst being a bra with a pouch to carry collapsible chopsticks in, which happens to be a little too close to the armpit for my taste. (click this for video)
I started thinking about edible chopsticks today in the shower. Don't ask me why. Yeah, no, I don't know why. Don't ask. Anyway, I was thinking about it, and this is what I came up with.
My idea: Candy Cane Chopsticks. Straighten out that cane, and you got a stick.
As tasty as sorghum flour chopsticks sound, I think that most people, would much rather have a sweet and tasty treat after eating their squid dumplings and chicken feet. Also, I believe that candy cane chopsticks will be more durable, and last longer in storage. Plus, red and white candy canes are the color of the Japanese flag, and I think I have seen yellow and red ones too, so Chinese people can have patriotic candy cane chopsticks too. Moreover, candy canes are awesome!
Some of you are probably thinking that candy cane chopstick would be, well, sticky. The beauty of this is that you leave the wrapper on until you are done with them. Take off the wrapper, or lick off the soy sauce, and save it for later. You even have two candy canes, so you have one to share.
Do you know how many people there are in China and Japan? Close to 1.4 billion people. I am no math whiz, but if on any given day, one half of that population were to use disposable chopsticks, and you only had a 10% market share of that half, selling the chopsticks at 4 cents each, you would be looking at 2.8 million in gross sales a day. That translates into over a billion dollars a year in gross sales. Of course, you have to take out production, shipping, and advertising costs, and take into account variables such as the fluctuating cost of sugar and corn syrup, but still. And, I didn't even consider sales in the US and worldwide. You could make a lot of money.
Go do this. Make this happen, and taste that sweet success. But, don't forget to do what Santa has never done, write me a check for a couple of hundred thousand dollars or yen.
P.S. It's not too late! You can still sign up for IdeasByChuck.com. Do it now!
P.P.S. Don't forget, it's a lot harder to change the world, than you change your underwear.