Raised Real: Maximizing nutrition and minimizing waste in infant nutrition
19 Jun 2018 --- Tapping into a space opened up by “millennial parents” who want nutritious food for their infants, with an environmentally-friendly seal of appeal, is Raised Real. The California start-up offers an innovative baby food meal-kit delivery solution, touting nutritionally balanced meals and an innovative freeze-cooling packaging system. Speaking to Santiago Merea, CEO and co-founder, Steven Kontz, co-founder and CFO and Benish Shah, VP of Marketing, NutritionInsight looks into how the company is minimizing food waste while maximizing nutrition and protecting the environment through packaging choices.
Innova Market Insights notes that “Dining out, In,” is a huge trend for 2018. Within this trend, the prevalence of “meal-kits” has surged, blurring the lines between food service and grocery. Raised Real delivers whole, organically sourced ingredients and superfoods in ready-to-make single serve portions. Each meal contains organically sourced, plant-based, whole ingredients with eight grams of sugar or less.
“Shopping for infant and toddler food is tough, as most options are either sugar-filled purees or chicken nuggets. Raised Real is providing parents’ choice and flexibility in when and how they are feeding their tiny humans,” Merea and Kontz say. “We know that the puree stage is shortening at a rapid rate with millennial and millennial-minded parents, with more and more choosing to try baby led weaning or finger foods at an earlier stage.”
“Parents decide whether they want to puree, mash, or serve as finger foods, in accordance with their child’s needs and at their own pace,” they add.
Nutrition at the forefront Nutrition is important at all stages of life but, arguably, it is most important when bodies and minds need to be fed in order to grow: infants and children. Therefore, the meal options are developed in conjunction with a team of nutritionists and food experts that consider protein intake, digestive needs, eye/brain/muscle development, amongst other core nutritional functions.
Furthermore, ingredients are flash frozen right after harvesting. “Flash frozen ingredients provide us with many advantages, like being able to preserve nutrients with no dangerous additives or preservatives. Additionally, farmers pick their already-ripe produce to flash freeze as it locks in freshness before shipping. It also greatly reduces food waste, at every level of the chain – from freezing produce that would be too ripe to send through a fresh supply chain, to storage for a longer term at home or our warehouse,” say Merea and Kontz.
“Groundbreaking” packaging The company states that they are the only food company to use Vericooler III from Vericool.
“Vericool presented its vision to replace Styrofoam coolers which are absolutely terrible for the environment,” says the team.
Styrofoam – which is made from polystyrene – a petroleum-based plastic, has a lousy environmental reputation. Alongside this is the public health concern as the International Agency for Research on Cancer established the material as a possible human carcinogen.
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 meal time easier.”
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.
By Laxmi Haigh
This feature is the result of a collaboration between NutritionInsight and its sister website, PackagingInsights.
PackagingInsights.com is an international leading publisher of cross-industry packaging insight and analysis. Our expertise and independent journalism spotlights key players and equips you with the packaging-related knowledge to continue shaping the industry. The platform is hosted by CNS Media BV, Arnhem, The Netherlands.