• Dr Alex Baker

Food in Space

A taste of the extraordinary

Over the years we’ve sent a fair few culinary treats into space for our clients. Most famously, we advertised the World Pie Eating Championship in 2016 by launching a meat and potato pie, garnering hundreds of millions of views for the event across social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, as well as featuring in national print media and TV news programs across the world, all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing exercise.

Compared to some of the items we’ve featured, the pie looks pretty simple. You’d be forgiven for thinking this may have been one of our easier launches — just put the pie in front of a camera and tie it to a weather balloon, right?

In fact, our work with food and drink has been some of the most challenging we’ve done, resulting in some surprisingly innovative solutions. Today we’re going to give you an insider’s view on sending food into space.

With all our flights, we want to keep the feature item intact and in place from launch to landing. Every flight has to live up to expectations, meaning the item has to look delicious even in the harshest of conditions.

Normally, we design and manufacture a mount with discrete attachment points, or use a combination of adhesives and bindings to firmly hold the item where we want it. Launching a pancake for Heart FM West Mids in celebration of Shrove Tuesday 2018 meant we had to experiment with a range of glues, gums, sealtants and cements.

A traditional meal, a revolutionary serving

Most food items aren’t designed to be particularly robust. Keeping a flaky pastry intact means thinking outside the box. To send launch this Rowe’s Cornish Pasty, we designed a holder with spikes that protrude into the pasty at multiple angles. Then we froze the pasty in place on the stand to keep it together throughout the harsh conditions of the Near Space flight.

George Papadamou of Papa’s won Best Fish Fryer at the National Fish and Chip Awards last year!

Nothing undermines an awesome image of the Earth from above like a sad-looking snack in front of it. To keep food looking appetising, we take tricks from film and TV prop experts to make the mouth water. These fish and chips, launched for Papa’s Fish & Chips in Hull, are fixed on a bed of wooden skewers and individually varnished and glued to do justice to the award-winning restaurant.

Making food look this good in space is a mix of art and science and our team are uniquely prepared for the task. We’re certain there are companies out there who would love to see their food in space, who may have discounted their idea as crazy or impossible. We disagree. Visit Sent Into Space to check out some of our work, or get in touch directly and share your vision with us!