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American actress Zooey Deschanel wants to reward shoppers buying from sustainable and social impact brands. She’s just joined as co-founder of Merryfield, a new app that offers a loyalty program for eco-friendly food purchases. So the next time you buy a low-carbon plant-based alternative from Califia Farms or Beyond Meat, the New Girl star’s going to give you points.
Deschanel has recently joined Merryfield as co-founder and chief creative officer. It’s a new app aimed at encouraging eco-friendly food choices. She’s going to be in charge of brand strategy, app roadmap, and community building, as her way of “incentivizing people to really think about their choices and the impact of those choices,” she said.
How Merryfield works
Essentially, Merryfield gives people loyalty points when they shop from partnering brands that have met the platform’s sustainability and health standards, so all the products are certified “clean”. It also tags products according to values, such as non-GMO, paleo, vegan or organic.
“The idea behind Merryfield made so much sense to me,” says Deschanel, who decided to partner with the startup’s founder and CEO David Mayer after hearing about the concept.
“When I met David and the team and they told me about this idea to help make it easier for people to know which brands they can trust, then reward them for regularly supporting them with their purchasing power, I wanted to help make that happen.”
Once users create a Merryfield account on the app, they can take a photo of their receipt to show they have bought products from participating brands. Points will then be added to their account, which can later be redeemed for gift cards from major retailers and chains like Target, Whole Foods, and Starbucks.
Many of the brands included on the platform might already be staples in your sustainable shopping basket. Plant-based players like Beyond Meat, Califia Farms, Ripple and Hilary’s are among them. They’re more climate-friendly than meat and dairy-based products, with the animal agriculture industry driving nearly a fifth of all GHG emissions globally.
Other listed brands include Bob’s Red Mill, Health-Ade Kombucha, and Justin’s. Meat and dairy brands like Applegate and Country Archer also part of the program.
Helping consumers make better choices
The idea behind Merryfield is to simplify conscious consumption in lieu of the industry and regulators working together to make the process easier for shoppers. These standards are simply not there yet.
Mayer says Merryfield is helping to fill in the void. “Without storewide standards most everywhere people shop, the onus is on all of us to research and read every label. It means work,” said the founder. “Merryfield makes it easier for people to discover new products and brands they can trust without having to do a ton of their own research and feel overwhelmed by all of the information and options before them.”
And having Deschanel propel the app will only help bring more “perspective, creativity and insights to the Merryfield team,” Mayer explained. “She cares about the same things we care about—she’s the real deal.”
Merryfield isn’t the only platform helping consumers out with their sustainable choices, with a number of new apps also offering similar solutions. HealLabel, for instance, lets users search for food ingredients, keywords or scan products and then shows a traffic light snapshot to indicate whether that item has a positive, moderate or negative impact on the health, environment, animals or labourers.
Finch, on the other hand, is a browser extension that ranks the sustainability of products on Amazon from 1 to 10. It takes into account the full life cycle of the product, as well as the brand’s company practices and user feedback.
Lead image courtesy of Merryfield / Sergio Necoechea.