Making the world a better place makes business sense
How have we gone from food rationing to wasting a third of the food we produce? More importantly, why does so much food get wasted despite it being delicious and nutritious? In the UK alone, more than 2.5m tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetable are discarded before reaching shop shelves! And that excludes the countless tonnes of produce that is never even harvested because farmers know it won’t meet superficial specifications.
Ilana Taub and Michael Minch-Dixon founded Snact realising that great snacks need produce with good flavours, not good looks. So the duo uses surplus food, produce that’s rejected from the supply chain for superficial reasons, to tackle the causes of food waste. Their first product range, fruit jerky, a blended dried fruit snack, is made with 100% fruit and counts towards your five a day.
Snact is the amalgamation of Snack and Act – and the brand is built on the idea that food can be used to tackle environmental and social issues, whilst simultaneously making delicious products and satisfy customers on many levels. They engage their customers with Snactivism: The term they use to describe the act of making the world a better place one bite at a time.
The team believes that impact and profit go hand in hand in today’s world. Creating a financially sustainable model around an environmental challenge leads to a number of competitive advantages: People value an interesting story around provenance, other organisations want to partner with people who are doing something good and media coverage becomes much easier. As such, doing good is good for business.
More broadly, Michael and Ilana truly believe that business is a great tool to create change in our world. “People often ask us which is more important, financial success or impact. The reality is that the two are indivisible. Success would not come without impact and no impact can be had without financial success – they are two sides of the same coin” says Michael. What’s more, profitability can yield resources to expand into other opportunities – something Snact is eager to do once they grow enough to increase their product range. Future plans involve creating vegetable and grain based snacks.
In fact, snacking is ideal to create the impact the Snact team wants to have. Food is a daily part of our lives and snacking is something that people do regularly. A snack brand creating the opportunity to engage people regularly and providing them with the opportunity to make a difference on a daily basis is a win-win for everyone.
But starting a business to tackle an environmental issue doesn’t come without its sets of challenges, like finding the right formula to create a scalable, financially sustainable business whilst constructively engaging consumers. If consistency of supply is a prerequisite, then a business built on surplus fruit would fall at the first hurdle. Snact solved the problem of the unpredictability of its fruit supplies by collaborating with other interested parties from entrepreneurs to gleaning groups as part of a network that is happy to share surplus fruit as and when it becomes available. And they’ve put in place agreements with suppliers to ensure further consistency. Ilana commented: “When we started out, the major risk we perceived was whether we’d actually be able to capture all this surplus food and get it to our manufacturer in a useable state. The overwhelming conclusion to that has been yes.”
If conventional business wisdom dictates that successful marketing requires singularity of message then Snact breaks the rules here too by insisting on equal billing for its healthy tasty product and activist stance against food waste. It is this holistic approach that gives the brand its edge in a crowded and competitive snacks market. Snact offers its customers the chance to join in, get a slice of the action and feel good about being part of something bigger, just by buying a fruity snack. Together, Snact and their customers are making the world a better place, one bite at a time.
Source: EP Business in Hospitality