Reducing Food Waste

Ordering fresh fruit and veg online is not a new concept. In Australia, Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, and farmers markets such as Harris Farms, aussiefarmers and sydneyfresh, all offer online shopping for fresh food, including free home delivery offers. Among the mix are also many online specialty e-services such as charlesfruitmarket, doorsteporganics, thelettuceshop and buyfruit that offer ‘Australian grown’ and organic produce.

Variations of fresh food e-services include ceresfairfood that employs and trains disadvantaged people. This social enterprise delivers boxes of organically grown fruit in and around the Melbourne CBD and inner northern suburbs. Most online shopfronts service local markets in and around our capital cities and all use marketing messages such as reducing food miles, less packaging, direct supply from growers and efficient delivery, all good benefits for customers. Although prices are generally competitive to in-store purchases, the saving is time that would otherwise be spent in the supermarket buying ingredients. It’s a growing market with time-strapped consumers turning to fresh food e-stores with home delivery.

One online fresh food business has taken the concept one step further. HelloFresh Australia supplies all the ingredients for set meals, in the exact quantities for two and up to six people. There’s no wastage because the portions are pre-prepared. According to one US report, the average household wastes $80 every month on uneaten food. The HelloFresh meal concept is a sensible way to reduce this waste in food and money.

The ingredients for HelloFresh meals are delivered in boxes that include idiot-proof recipes and everything you need, including meat and fish and even herbs and spices. Each recipe takes less than 30 mins to cook. HelloFresh offers menus for omnivores and herbivores, as well as fruit boxes and juice boxes, all at a reasonable price (less than $10/meal/person). HelloFresh deliver throughout Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

The meals are overseen and developed by a dedicated HelloFresh team led by 2011 MasterChef Top 24 Finalist (and HelloFresh Australia founder) Tom Rutledge. Every week, Tom and the team create new, delicious recipes using seasonal produce to give customers healthy, nutritionally balanced meals. The online menus include nutritional facts per meal, cooking time, level of difficulty and food allergens. According to the marketing message, HelloFresh suppliers are family-run businesses with a myriad of fruit and veg specialties. They either grow it themselves or they are the earliest birds, flying around the markets before the crack of dawn to find the best quality ingredients.

Reducing household food waste is also the objective of a free app featured in this issue. The Smart Kitchen EatBy app effectively helps manage the food in your kitchen and lets you know when food items expire. The developers estimate the app saves households around $1000 per year, and helps the environment by reducing food waste.

Steven Carruthers

PH&G July 2015 / Issue 157