Cool sustainability: Vericool provides environmental edge with innovative chill packs
03 Sep 2018 --- Vericool – the producers of high-performing, cost-effective, compostable insulation and recyclable cold-chain packaging – has announced a multi-year partnership with US-based Square Baby. Square Baby aims to reduce its use of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS, commonly referred to as Styrofoam) waste through this partnership. The move comes after increasing numbers of counties and cities across California and the US continue to ban single-use plastics and EPS, with companies starting to use environmentally-friendly shipping alternatives.
Square Baby provides health and eco-conscious parents a simple meal solution delivered in an environmentally-friendly cooler that can be easily placed in curbside recycling.
“Vericool cares as much about the health of our children as we do. They ensure that our nutritionally-balanced meals stay fresh and that they arrive at the right temperature to Square Baby parents’ doorsteps,” says Katie Thomson, Square Baby CEO and Co-Founder.
Vericool’s innovative Vericoolers are as cost-effective as EPS, with a moisture-resistant cooler designed to eliminate thermal edge loss, reducing the amount of coolant required, as well as the total packed weight of the package. Made from post-consumer plant fiber, the Vericooler I meets US ASTM D6400 and Home Compost Standards; when the compostable insulation pillow is removed, the Vericooler can then be placed in curbside recycling, where it is available–reducing landfill, ocean and waterway waste while taking the guesswork out of package disposal.
“Healthy choices start with the right foods delivered in sustainable coolers. Parents are really in tune with how their consumer choices impact the environment. We’re pleased to work with Square Baby to bring healthy, simple choices home,” adds Darrell Jobe, Founder and CEO of Vericool.
“Square Baby’s admirable dedication to providing babies at every age and stage of development with truly exceptional nourishment is one that we at Vericool identify with, as we expand on our mission to eradicate environmentally detrimental expanded polystyrene packaging, and in doing so, improve the lives of the next generation,” he adds.
Developed by dietitians and pediatricians to support child health and development, Square Baby claims to be the first baby food company delivering fresh, ready meals that meet 100 percent of the daily nutrition needs for babies ages 4-6, 6-8, and 8-12 months old.
Square Baby currently ships their nutritionally balanced meals in sustainable Vericoolers throughout the Bay Area. Square Baby is also shipped in Vericoolers to other California locations, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. The company has plans to expand distribution.
“I created Square Baby to provide busy parents a simple way to ensure their babes receive 100 percent balanced nutrition each day,” says Thomson. “As a mom and as a registered dietitian with food industry experience, I knew there was a way to deliver freshly made, nutritious baby food directly to the doorstep.”
Square Baby’s Square Meal System was designed by registered dietitians and pediatricians to support a child’s needs and specific dietary restrictions with customized meal plans, including a variety of adventurous food options to spur interest in new flavors and textures. Current recipes include single-ingredient options such as Lil Mango and Lil Peas, as well as more complex options such as Beet Berry, Avocado Greens, Apple Curry Chicken and Spinach Dahl, intended to encourage palate development.
The Vericooler III
In June, Vericool announced that homemade baby food delivery company, Raised Real, was the first to use its innovative Vericooler III. Vericool offers a cold-shipping solution that is better for the environment and, they claim, “performs as well as molded EPS/Styrofoam.”
The Vericooler III, used by Raised Real, is a molded-pulp cooler fitted with compostable, recyclable, starch-based insulation. The tongue-and-groove design of the molded container and lid reduces thermal loss at the edges of the container by 80 percent versus an RSC with insulated panels, meaning less coolant, even up to 50 percent, is required. Less coolant can also mean a lower-weight package.
Merea and Kontz also enforce that the Vericool III is not only “curbside recyclable, but it is reusable – as an actual cooler. Our meal packets are BPA free and recyclable as well. It is our responsibility to leave the planet in a good place for our tiny humans.”
Essentially, “we believe in being helpful, not prescriptive, to parents. Our brand reflects that flexibility across the board. We see ourselves as part of the parenting village - behind the scenes. We are there for parents, sharing in their experiences, working hard to make mealtime easier,” a Vericooler spokesperson explains.
The increasingly mindful consumer is more likely to reach for a brand that seeks to resonate with their values. Having an environmental seal of approval is a huge boost in today's market as a brands packaging has become integral, especially to the millennial audience. In fact, BillerudKorsnäs, a leading provider of renewable packaging material, noted in their 2018 consumer panel report that 64 percent of global consumers would consider changing a brand for another if it provided a more sustainable packaging choice.
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