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Loop Brings Online Service for Groceries in Reusable Packing to the UK; Home Chef and The Impossible Company Announce Collaboration

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The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Loop brings online service for groceries in reusable packing to the UK; Home Chef and The Impossible Company announce collaboration; and Urgent Company launched Brave Robot Ice Cream. 

Loop brings online service for groceries in reusable packing to the UK

Loop, the UK’s first online shopping service that delivers food, drink and household essentials from leading brands in reusable packaging, launched yesterday. The announcement aims to kickstart moves to reduce single use plastic that stalled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Loop – already established in the US and France and due to be rolled out to Japan, Australia and Canada next year – is one of the most ambitious attempts yet to eliminate plastic waste from the household shop. It is backed by major consumer goods companies such as Unilever and PepsiCo, who have created eco-versions of popular brands – including Coca-Cola, Heinz and Persil – to sell via the website.

Customers can place online orders for goods that normally come in single-use plastic packaging. They will be delivered instead in durable, refillable containers that can be collected from the doorstep and cleaned for reuse up to 100 times.

Prices will be comparable to the equivalent plastic container, but with returnable deposits for the refillable containers.

Progress in reducing single-use plastics in the UK has stalled since the outbreak of coronavirus, due to the increased use of masks, gloves, visors and disposable wipes amid fears of contamination and as recycling rates plummeted during lockdown.

Home Chef and The Impossible Company announce collaboration

Home Chef has begun a collaboration with meat substitute business, The Impossible Company, adding more versatility to Home Chef’s offering.

This alliance allows meat lovers to swap traditional animal-based proteins for the plant-based Impossible Burger. With this collaboration, Home Chef becomes the first meal kit-delivery company that offers Impossible Burger. This is in resonance with Home Chef’s ‘Customize It’ feature, giving consumers options to swap, upgrade and double up on proteins, as well as select the number of servings of each recipe.

Kroger, Home Chef’s owner, operates in the thin-margin grocery industry and has been making every effort to strengthen its position not only with respect to products, but also in terms of the way consumers prefer shopping for groceries. Its acquisition of Home Chef and partnership with British robotics company Ocado in 2018 are examples of this. The company is aggressively working toward more convenient grocery delivery options. 

Kroger has been making investments to bolster omni-channel operations, improve supply chain and increase manpower to ensure swift customer service during such challenging times. Realising the need of the hour, it also offered a no-contact delivery option, low-contact pickup service and ship-to-home orders.

Urgent Company launched Brave Robot Ice Cream

Brave Robot Ice Cream has launched, marking the first brand from the Perfect Day-backed Urgent Company

Urgent Company is focused on creating sustainable food brands manufactured, packaged and sold in a more environmentally friendly way. Brave Robot is also the first indication of how Perfect Day will deploy some of the massive amounts of money it raised since it closed on its mammoth USD$300m funding round

Brave Robot’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the use of alternative proteins to replace animal husbandry and the particularly ecologically disastrous dairy industry and its cows. “There’s a load of exciting stuff going on in ingredient innovation and packaging innovation,” said Kollessoff.

Those innovations help The Urgent Company not only become more sustainable, but give the company the ability to move products into the market more quickly, according to Urgent Company co-founder and general manager, Paul Kollessoff.

With only eight full-time members of The Urgent Company staff, it managed to shepherd its ice cream business from inception to product launch within a three-month time frame, according to Kollessoff.

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