Fresh perspectives on produce packaging
The majority of consumers who buy local food, according to Mintel’s report Locavore: Attitudes toward Locally-sourced Foods, do so for product freshness and support of the local economy. Only one third of respondents think buying local offers a better food value. This is of particular interest in a post-recession economy, and suggests that local shoppers are willing to sacrifice cost savings to achieve the other two ends. Packaging Digest story.
An Interview with MISFIT Juicery
We sat down with Ann Yang and Phil Wong of Washington D.C.’s MISFIT Juicery to talk about passion, purpose, and process. Ann and her business partner Phil shared their aspiration for changing the food system and their practice of repurposing ugly, wasted, surplus produce into healthy, natural, locally sourced cold-pressed juices. SeeSearch interview. Website.
$1100 / 1br – Apartment on close-in urban farm
The space: Basement apartment in private home. Separate entrance. New professional construction. 600 sq. ft., 1 bedroom (actual bedroom with a door–this is not a studio in disguise). 1 bathroom (w/ shower, no tub). Full kitchen (sorry, no dishwasher). New, bright windows (including legal egress window in bedroom). Free washer and dryer in separate mudroom shared with homeowners. Large fenced double-lot (urban farm) shared with homeowners. Apartment maximum occupancy is 2 people. Craiglist post.
From Jail to Farm to Table
With the exception of Carlisle, everyone who farms here has spent time behind bars. Ten people are each being paid twenty dollars an hour for their part-time work, and they’re also buying into the business with sweat equity. The produce is sold to a variety of local restaurants and to the local school district. Elaine Brown, the project’s founder, has far greater ambitions, though. The farm is the first piece of what she hopes will eventually be a thriving network of businesses that are coöperatively owned and run by formerly incarcerated and, as the project’s Web site puts it, “effectively unemployable” individuals. Her long-term plan includes a grocery store, restaurant, fitness center, and tech-design firm, all nestled under five stories of affordable housing. Some coöperatives across the country hire former inmates, but this vision is unique. The New Yorker story.
The Swedish Meal Kit Startup That Inspired Blue Apron, Plated And HelloFresh Speaks Out
The meal kit is a relatively simple business idea: take a box and fill it with fresh food at the portions needed for a dinner, then ship it. And while all three startups launched U.S. operations around the same time in the summer of 2012 (HelloFresh opened up shop in a handful of European countries, where it does the bulk of its business, in the months before), they all credited the inspiration for the idea to a trailblazer little-known in America, the Swedish startup Linas Matkasse. HelloFresh parent company Rocket Internet in Berlin, and later Blue Apron and Plated’s founding teams, all saw Linas Matkasse reach $45 million in annual revenue serving Sweden’s less than 10 million people. “The market was ripe,” says Blue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg. Forbes story and interview.
‘Refoodgee’ App Connects Berlin Locals With Refugees Through Food
A group of German tech entrepreneurs wants to help refugees in their country by providing them with an enriching way to receive meals and make connections to their new communities. Five members of Berlin-based startup Memorado created “Refoodgee,” an app that helps pair newly arrived refugees with the city’s locals based on food preferences and shared languages.
The Memorado team built the app during #HackWeek15, a hackathon hosted by the startup that ran from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 in Werbellinsee, Germany. The conference was focused on creating apps to help refugees entering the country with aspects of their daily lives, and “Refoodgee” was one of the products that came out of the event. Huffington Post story.
Do you know about bioregional eating?
There’s a growing trend in sustainable food that sort of fine tunes locavorism. Sourcing from within bioregions is the one of the big food trends for 2016, according to Forbes, and although eating bioregionally has a lot in common with locavorism, it’s not the same. What are bioregions and how can paying attention to them help us eat and live more sustainably? Here’s a primer. Mother Nature Network blog.
2016 Food Trends: Being Brand Agnostic, New Proteins, Delivery Shifts and 5 more
“Local” has been one of the biggest trends in the supermarket aisles for almost ten years. It is an unsustainable trend as weather conditions and climate change force changes to the sourcing of foods. Think bioregions. Nature defines the regions for what crops and livestock grow and thrive best in which climates, and we will see changes accordingly. Think about this: California farmers moving to Georgia because of the cost of water, and more wines coming from South Carolina. Produce growers moving to Peru. Forbes story.
In answer to criticism of the ‘Locavore’ movement
In the last 20 years, the amount of locally grown foods consumed in the American diet has tripled, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it now comprises 2 percent of the food consumed in the country. As with anything that’s popular, some have seen fit to attack this trend. Why do they do this? Do they find locavore talk of “terroir” pretentious and therefore annoying, or do they seriously believe, as some critics argue, that local food enthusiasts pose a threat to the planet? The Herald Journal post.
LEAF Sustainable Farming Review
The LEAF Sustainable Farming Review is a management tool for farmers. The LEAF Sustainable Farming Review is a self-assessment on-line management tool to help farmers farm more sustainably. It enables them to monitor their performance, identify strengths and weaknesses and set targets for improvement across the whole farm. Linking Farming and Environment (UK) post.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
The Locavore: Attitudes toward Locally-sourced Foods – US – February 2014
As local claims become more widespread, product marketers will need to develop a means to authenticate provenance. Exploring a system of official certification and communicating a transparent path to market information to interested buyers will be necessary to stand apart from the competition. Mintel Academic listing (expensive).