This startup is turning landfill-bound fruit and vegetables into healthy sweets or, as they say across the pond, candies.
In the US, 40 per cent of food becomes waste and of that waste, 50 per cent are fruits and vegetables. And so much of those are thrown out because they don’t look right, not because they have gone bad. To make something valuable out of all that wasted food, entrepreneur Amy Keller has started a company that saves produce destined for the landfill and turns it into Faves, which are healthy candies made of “nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.”
"My family is Spangler Candy Company - we sell 2 billion Dum Dum lollipops every year," Keller told GreenBiz. "I’ve also completed seven Ironman triathlons and worked with Al Gore during the 2015 COP21 that resulted in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. So health, nutrition and the environment are very important to me."
It was whilst on a trip in 2018 to the Global Seed Vault in Norway that she met Kevin Wall, an Emmy Award-winning producer and environmental activist, and Susan Smalley, a behavioral geneticist and professor emeritus of psychiatry at UCLA. The triumvirate saw, in the calamity of massive food waste, an opportunity to make a positive difference and build a business. So they wrote the business plan for what would become Pure Plus+ while in Svalbard.
"Our team started building our supply chain of soon-to-be-discarded fruits and vegetables with farmers. By early 2019, we were ready to show proof-of-concept with color line powders that would end up creating a candy made from fruits and vegetables."
The Pure Plus+ team came up with a brand name - Faves - that has a double meaning. "Faves, an acronym for fruits and vegetables, means one thing for an on-the-go adult and that is they will get two daily servings of fruits and vegetables in one pack," Keller said. "For kids, we want Faves to be their favorite candy."
On-the-go millennials and GenZers who crave a healthy, tasty snack is the initial primary target market, as well as athletes who need quick energy sources on the go, such as triathletes. Kelly is looking to market Faves for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo next July, and has already tested the product on athletes.
“Earlier this year, a few Chicago Cubs players climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and we were able to give them Faves for their backpacks,” recalled Keller. “They realized they couldn’t carry any fruits and vegetables on that trip, so we became a healthy substitute.”
With their sweet taste and ability to cut food waste, Pure Plus+ hopes Faves will improve and disrupt the $80 billion candy industry.
Original source: GreenBiz