|How to Get Your Photo Printed on a Marshmallow|
|By JON M. CHANG (@JonMChang)||Nov 27, 2013, 10:27 AM|
They're the kind of thing you'd find in Willy Wonka's factory, between the lickable wallpaper and the Fizzy Lifting Drinks. Boomf, a company based in London, is printing customers' Instagram photos onto marshmallows. Boomf co-founder Andy Bell said that it's currently limited to people in the United Kingdom, but that hasn't stopped people in the United States from ordering them.
"We're not shipping to the U.S. for the moment," Bell told ABC News today. "But a surprising number of people have disregarded that. We're still figuring out the best way to get it through customs."
Bell said the company is going to make them available to U.S. customers over the next couple of weeks.
The edible photo isn't Bell's first foray into bringing Instagram into the physical world. Mint Digital, Boomf's parent company where Bell serves as creative director, also created Stickygram, which turned a person's Instagram photos into refrigerator magnets. But after Stickygram was sold off, Bell turned his focus to food.
The company wanted something that didn't need to be shipped by parcel, but could be stuck through a mail slot. "It's only 25 millimeters [1 inch] high, so it wouldn't work with cupcakes," said Bell. "We thought about biscuits, but there was some chatter online about marshmallows being the coming thing."
Printing the marshmallows uses similar technology to any other printer. "You have a few primary colors and then every other color is a mixture of those," he said. He adds that there was no single piece of technology that made Boomf's marshmallows possible. "There wasn't one big breakthrough, but hundreds of little ones."
To order the marshmallows, customers sign into the Boomf website using their own Instagram accounts and hand pick photos from their own gallery. Bell said that Boomf is currently working out how to get other people's photos on the marshmallows as well. "This is more like a gift product and the number one thing people want is to give back their girlfriend's or family's photos," he said. "We are working a solution for that."