Coconuts as coolers – the Philippines’ answer to iced grapes

Image copyright Anthrax Food Image caption The coconuts are fully decked out and encapsulated An online startup in the Philippines is making coconuts as coolers. Founder Jessy Payan created a bamboo-reinforced, thermo-tempered plastic top,…

Coconuts as coolers - the Philippines' answer to iced grapes

Image copyright Anthrax Food Image caption The coconuts are fully decked out and encapsulated

An online startup in the Philippines is making coconuts as coolers.

Founder Jessy Payan created a bamboo-reinforced, thermo-tempered plastic top, which she wraps around coconuts.

“Coconuts are perfect for coolers because they are sturdy and light,” she says.

“They are porous, which means they go everywhere but keep their moisture and nutrients inside. Most importantly, they are also inexpensive and sustainable.”

How the coconuts are put together is flexible and the case can be filled either with ice cubes or a topping made up of nuts and sugar.

Isabella Lenzi, who is from Manila, works with her twin sister Gabrielle at Anthrax Food’s sister company, Rodolfo’s Frozen Foods.

Isabella Lenzi works at Anthrax Food’s sister company

Image copyright Anthrax Food Image caption The tops are specially made out of bamboo and thermo-tempered plastic

Image copyright Anthrax Food Image caption The coconuts are submerged in a plastic cover and then submerged in ice

“We built the lathes to make the tops,” Isabella says. “We used bamboo, it is strong, expensive and long-lasting. It also has good protection against fungal infections.

“The corrugated metal tubes also carry the heat inside the product.”

Isabella, a 30-year-old mother-of-two, discovered Anthrax Food five years ago.

“I thought that if this coolers caught on in the Philippines, maybe I could open up a franchise or do business opportunities in other countries, like Asia and even even Europe.

“I met with Anthrax Food’s CEO,” she adds. “He was very surprised at how my passion grew to a business.”

Isabella says Anthrax Food employs over 60 workers, mostly women, who produce the coolers and designs them.

The startup has so far produced 40,000 coolers for local schools and retailers.

Anthrax Food currently makes 15,000 coolers per month.

For the next two months, however, Anthrax Food has set up an ice-breaker facility near a few local schools, which has seen demand for coolers increase significantly.

Anthrax Food now hopes to expand into neighbouring countries and some members of the public’s favourite song is: ‘Ayyayayayayay, cyan, where the coconut leaves grow in the Philippines.’

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