US – California-based leading supplier of certified fair-trade and organic Açaí in the world, Sambazon has committed to achieving plant-based and post-consumer recycled packaging for all US retail products by 2025.
In its inaugural Impact report, the popular brand of Açaí-based foods and beverages has stated that at the end of 2021, 64% of its US retail packaging was made from post-consumer recycled or plant-based materials.
That’s almost double the figure that the certified fair-trade and organic brand reported in 2019.
Açaí, a popular superfood berry from Brazil, retains its nutrient value only for a few hours after it has been picked, which is why it is mostly exported and sold frozen.
In 2021, it came in third of all the frozen fruit sold in supermarkets in the US, after strawberries and blueberries.
Açaí food and beverage products represent a US$500m+ industry and are projected to exceed US$2bn by 2026.
Commenting on the update, Ryan Black, CEO and co-founder of Sambazon said: “For years, the frozen food industry has been reliant on plastic packaging for helping prolong shelf life. The frozen Açaí pack must be able to withstand the challenges of sealing, freezing, transportation, and thawing while staying strong and flexible in all conditions.
“In 2018, we joined the One Step Closer (OSC) Packaging Collaborative pioneering, testing, and trialing viable plant-based alternatives for the hard-to-replace frozen flexible films.”
The move by the firm corresponds to consumers behavior and preference transformation in several ways especially during and post-covid 19 pandemic.
According to a survey done by McKinsey & Company, consumers in the US are willing to pay more for green, but they would also buy additional sustainably packaged products if more of them were available and they were better labeled.
To bridge this gap, Sambazon has pledged to continue using post-consumer and plant-based materials to manufacture packaging for consumer goods in America.
Founded in 2000, the company has grown from a food startup that introduced Açaí bowls to America to a US$100m+ global leader within the category.
About 60% of the global Açaí export market and 90% of the CPG market are represented by Sambazon, with over 25,000 points of distribution with premier retailers and foodservice locations in more than 50 countries.
Since 2019, Sambazon has transitioned their sorbet pints from plastic to paper and fresh juices into post-consumer recycled bottles.
In 2020, the certified organic Açaí brand launched the ready-to-eat bowls with containers made from plant fiber.
Changes to packaging helped Sambazon avoid using over 360 metric tons of virgin plastic in 2021.
In 2021, Sambazon managed to secure over US$50m in funding. Principal investors are Nextworld Evergreen, EcoEnterprises Fund and the Kitchen Fund.
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