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Plant-based food technology startup Outcast Foods, which transforms unattractive produce into nutrient-dense foods and bills itself as ‘the world’s first sustainable supplement company’ has recorded a whopping 3,872% in year-on-year online sales growth, which they attribute to increasing consumer interest in reducing food waste and shopping with sustainability in mind.
Canadian-based Outcast Foods takes “misfit” produce like peas, rice, pumpkins, beets, blueberries from grocers, farmers, food producers and manufacturers and upcycles them into vegan and sustainable products for consumer use.
The plant-based products, which include gluten-free protein shake powders, superfood green powders and vitamins available in a variety of flavours such as mint chocolate chip and lemon meringue pie, were developed in an effort to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. In addition, its ingredients are used by other consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in an effort ‘to build a strong resilient food economy’ as the company states.
Over the past year, Outcast has reported a tremendous uptick in its direct to consumer sales on their website alone, recording quadruple-digit year on year growth.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, CEO & co-Founder of Outcast Foods, Darren Burke said that the company aims to educate the public on the potential of upcycled foods not only for their own use but for the benefit of the planet as well. “Everyone wants to play their part in the battle against climate change, what we’ve done with Outcast Foods has made it easy and delicious to make a positive impact.”
Read: Ugly Food Winners: Meet The Startups Capitalising On Wasted Fruit & Vegetables
Presently, the company is using its patent-pending technology to launch new products, increase its processing capabilities, find newer sources of securing surplus produce and expand its upcycled ingredients to other firms that would be interested in the sustainability movement.
Everyone wants to play their part in the battle against climate change, what we’ve done with Outcast Foods has made it easy and delicious to make a positive impactDarren Burke, CEO & co-Founder of Outcast Foods
According to the U.N., around $400 billion of food is thrown into waste before it even reaches the stores and on average, a single individual in the U.S. wastes one pound of food each day. Another report highlighted that the upcycled food industry was worth US$46.7 billion in 2019 alone whereas another report showed that the supplement industry is estimated to be valued at US$216 billion by 2026.
Elsewhere, U.K.- based Nutrapharma is working with a similar food waste solution where it develops protein powder from excess vegetables and fruits calling it as a ‘farm to capsule traceability’ process with the company claiming that its protein powders are higher in protein compared to traditional whey protein powders.
In addition, several companies are working with upcycled ingredients to make other kinds of products like another Canadian company Chinova Bioworks that works with upcycled stems of white button mushrooms that can be used as a natural preservative is accelerating their production abilities to create more clean-label food products. Agrosingularity that is working on providing natural upcycled ingredients for the food Industry closed a EUR€1.07m (approx. US$1.2m) round to ramp up its production.
Would you try out coffee-made sneakers? Finland-based Rens Original is making exactly that by taking your discarded coffee and turning them into sustainable sneakers. Even retail giants are jumping on this trend like Kroger for instance announced that it will invest US$2.5 million to support companies that work in this field to prevent unnecessary food waste.
Lead image courtesy of Outcast Foods.