Online micro-grocer Farmstead was founded on the vision of reducing food waste. Now, it’s tackling plastic waste.
Ditching the thin plastic film commonly used in conventional supermarkets’ produce aisles, the San Francisco-based e-tailer this week shifted to compostable produce bags from BioBag for its fruit and vegetable delivery.
The move was in response to customer demand, Farmstead said, and expands the company’s efforts to reinvent the grocery sector by providing consumers with a more eco-friendly and sustainable food-shopping option.
“Farmstead is looking to not only reduce food waste, but to reduce waste in general and do our part to make the environment safer and cleaner,” Farmstead’s founder and CEO Pradeep Elankumaran said in a statement. “Our customers and team members felt strongly about compostable bags, and we wanted to lead this important change in the perishable grocery delivery space, especially as online grocery adoption is rapidly increasing in the U.S.”
Wasteful packaging is commonly among customer complaints over grocery delivery, with companies such as Blue Apron and Jet previously coming under fire for their overuse of plastic and paper bags, ice packs and cardboard boxes. Even items that are deemed recyclable often don’t make it to the blue bin, or worse, they aren’t in fact recyclable at all.
With its AI-powered predictive analytics model, designed to accurately predict demand and supply to help reduce grocery and delivery waste, Farmstead also provides reusable insulated grocery bags for perishable deliveries that can keep items cold for hours. Customers can then return the bags, as well as ice packs and milk bottles, with their next order for Farmstead to clean and reuse.
“Because we are providing a more affordable and accessible option to customers than other online grocers, we’re now getting more people exposed to compostable bags across our delivery area while systematically helping them reduce their dependence on plastic bags,” Elankumaran said.
In a Facebook announcement last month, Farmstead thanked its customers for their suggestions to cut down on plastic bag use. Since the transition to compostable produce bags, the company said customer response has been overwhelmingly positive.