San Francisco — Souper Seconds, a data-driven startup from San Francisco, has emerged with a mission: getting more organic and pesticide-free food into the marketplace, increasing profits for farmers and encouraging the reduction of food waste and carbon emissions. Souper Seconds has developed a marketplace that works directly with organic farmers and wholesale buyers to deliver farm-fresh, organic or pesticide-free “seconds” to customers that include restaurants, food manufacturers and meal delivery companies.
Nearly 40 percent of all food grown on U.S. farms is wasted, with half of it left in the fields. This portion of our food supply, known as "seconds", is equally delicious and nutritious, but doesn't meet the standards of mainstream retailers whose merchandising strategy is based on the image of all produce having a beautiful, “perfect” appearance. Souper Seconds’ marketplace is designed to connect famers with chefs and food manufacturers, to get this delicious organic seconds produce to customers at a lower cost.
“As the demand for locally-sourced, chemical-free food continues to grow, it’s become increasingly difficult for farm-to-table restaurants to find—and afford—supplies of organic and pesticide-free produce on a regular basis,” says Souper Seconds founder and CEO, Megan Morris. “With our seconds marketplace, restaurants and their customers can find easily find affordable organic produce with built-in food traceability, order management, and payment—delivered directly to the chef or wholesale buyer.”
The organic food industry is growing rapidly, at a clip of 14-18 percent per year, and saw $36 Billion in sales in 2014. Blemished or bruised foods end up in a landfill, emitting carbon and accounting for 25 percent of the methane gas released in our atmosphere. “We are getting those organic seconds from farms to restaurants, chefs and juice companies who can take the blemished produce and make beautiful, healthy options for their customers,” says Morris. “At the same time, we help farmers and growers sell more of the good produce that otherwise never makes it to the market and is subsequently wasted.” The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that the full global costs of food wastage amount to about $2.6 Trillion per year, including $700 Billion of environmental costs and $900 Billion of social costs.
“We are doing our part to help make organic food a key part of our culture while improving the planet via waste and emissions reduction," says Morris. "Our farmers and buyer customers like the variety—being able to order and try different produce, know that it’s organic, and at a price that carries over to consumers.”
In testing the marketplace, Souper Seconds found that chefs and farmers alike use the app to purchase directly from each other, often turning a lengthy process of back and forth phone calls about availability, transportation, and cash transactions into a 60 second task done on their phone. After produce is purchased in the app, distribution is taken care of and the food arrives at the wholesale buyer’s requested time.
“Souper Seconds provides us with high quality, organic and locally-grown ingredients for 20 percent less, and saves me a trip to the farmer’s market,” said Arnaud Goethals, CEO and Founder of Vive La Tarte, a San Francisco artisan bakery featuring handcrafted baked goods driven by local produce. “Souper Seconds can play a vital role in our industry by optimally distributing all available vegetables—beautiful or not—straight from smaller farms and reducing food waste.”
Souper Seconds delivers farm-direct, fresh, organic or pesticide-free produce on-demand, including last-minute, same day delivery via Flash Sales, and next-day delivery for Pre-Orders. All produce is sourced from local California farms.
About Souper Seconds
Souper Seconds helps farmers increase profits and buyers save money though its seconds and surplus produce marketplace. Souper Seconds is committed to connecting small farmers and local businesses to foster growth, reduce food waste and increase the amount of organic produce in the market. Visit www.souperseconds.com.