If online grocery retailer Rise Mrkt has its way, shoppers will soon be able to get their pantry staples delivered right to their door and free of packaging waste like plastic.
The startup bills itself as “a radically sustainable online grocery store, though it hasn’t actually launched yet. The NYC-based company currently has a campaign on Kickstarter to raise $25,000 for its concept, which is to ship grains, seeds, beans, and other dry goods to customers’ doorsteps in 100 percent compostable packaging. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Rise Mrkt will officially launch in 2020 with 50 to 100 dry pantry staples on offer. Customers will be able to buy them online via the Rise Mrkt website.
According to the company’s Kickstarter page, pouches containing the food are entirely plant based and will break down in less than 180 days in a composting facility. You will also be able to compost them in your own backyard, should you feel so inclined. And if you live somewhere with no nearby composting facility or backyard (fire escapes don’t count), Rise Mrkt will send you a prepaid label with which to ship your empty pouches to the nearest composting facility. “If you can return an Amazon package, you can compost,” company founder Jordyn Gatti told Fast Company.
Making waste reduction more convenient for customers is part of the larger mission Rise Mrkt is tackling with its forthcoming business. The online store will launch everywhere in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, in order to make the concept itself more accessible. Gatti noted on the Kickstarter page that he would eventually also like to bring pop-up stores and grocery trucks into food-insecure areas.
Rise Mrkt also promises to “match or beat” the price of dry goods on Amazon or Thrive in an effort to make the concept of sustainable grocery shopping less luxury and more everyday.
If Gatti and his company can successfully pull off both campaign and business model, it would be a huge boost for plastic-free grocery shopping. Stores offering a zero-waste grocery experience are slowly becoming more known, with notable examples being The Wally Shop and Precycle, both in Brooklyn, and Denver, CO’s Zero Market. But with the concept still pretty far out of the mainstream shopper’s experience, waste-free grocery stores remain somewhat elusive and rather expensive.
That makes Rise Mrkt’s goal a fairly ambitious one, for better and for worse. Since the company will be, at least initially, limited to shipping dry goods, questions arise around scalability and reaching a wide enough customer base to keep business going. That said, it’s also raising awareness about what retailers and brands could potentially do more of when it comes to helping consumers understand and execute on waste-free grocery shopping.
The campaign runs through August 31, 2019.