Are you one of the many people who despises licking the back of an envelope? While there are a few options to get around actually licking an envelope to seal it- using tape, a wet washcloth, or even buying a glue stick to get the job done, licking is by far the most efficient- and cleanest- method, if only the glue tasted better!
Two years ago, when Chris Dunbar was busy stuffing and licking envelopes at work one day, he was struck with an idea- why not improve the actual taste of the glue? He reasoned that if his children’s pencils and highlighters could be scented, there was no reason why he couldn’t make make envelopes that smelled and tasted good. He started mixing flavored oils in his kitchen and tested the flavors out on his 3 children- he knew that if they liked his concoctions, his idea had potential. When he had gotten their nod of approval, Dunbar filed his patent (a first in the envelope market!) for a flavored gum to seal envelopes, and ‘Flavorlopes’ was born.
There are currently five flavors in the new ‘Flavorlopes’ envelope and notecard line–cherry, grape, orange, apple, and strawberry–with plans to introduce specialty and holiday-themed flavors soon. Dunbar and his wife Paige oversee flavor creation while their neighbor prints the envelopes- production started in April of 2012, and already, big name retailers are approaching the couple for custom flavored, branded envelopes.
The Dunbars commented on their vision for ‘Flavorlopes:’
Over 400 billion envelopes are made yearly, but that number is in decline as modern technology competes with our more traditional ways of communicating. By introducing some flavorful fun into the lick of an envelope, we hope to reverse this trend. Since the 1800′s when machine-made envelopes came into production, no one has thought to make sealing the envelope a process people can actually enjoy. But now the envelope is about to leap into the 21st century, with a flurry of flavors that are sure to delight with each delicious lick! We hope to reinvent an old fashioned idea, communicating with the written word and sealing it with the sweet taste of Flavorlopes!
Watch a video of people’s reactions to tasting a ‘Flavorlope:’