When you go to the grocery store’s produce section, you might notice the strange, wily-looking fruits and vegetables waiting to be selected. The problem is that consumers are often put off by the odd and awkward appearance of produce; they won’t buy it, and it ends up going to waste. About 40% of the global food supply goes to waste, and with no global strategy to reduce that percentage, many private companies are taking the initiative. Enter DASH Water, a beverage company giving these different fruits and vegetables a chance.
DASH Water was founded by Jack Scott and Alex Wright in 2017. The two wanted to find a way to cut back on the global food waste problem while offering a product that people wanted. Sparkling water emerged as a consumer-ready product that people enjoy thoroughly, especially infused with fruit. Using bruised, squished, and different-shaped fruits to flavor the sugar-free waters, Scott and Wright have launched a sustainable line of seltzers.
The company has grown exponentially since 2017 when it was sold in a few local gyms in London. Now, DASH can be found in U.K.-based Starbucks and Tesco, an English grocery chain. “DASH is at the forefront of a new wave of healthy soft drinks, doing more for people, planet, and tastebuds,” the company told Consensus via email. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company moved to a more digital retail platform. Now, Amazon orders account for 15% of sales, and DASH’s website accounts for 35%, respectively.
DASH is also on a mission to educate customers about food waste. The misshaped fruits and vegetables it sources for flavoring are perfectly edible.
Their company blog has drafted numerous editorials about why bruised or disfigured produce is still important to use. More food waste creates more methane emissions but also helps with food security and equity for others.
To add to the issue, the heatwaves that scorched the British Isles this summer have led to a historic drought, worrying farmers that they won’t be able to harvest and sell unblemished crops. Running an ad campaign about “loving wonky fruit,” DASH used its media presence to explain why we shouldn’t be turned off from buying odd-shaped produce. Scott and Wright can only hope their message hit home with DASH drinkers and maybe the greater British population.
Perhaps the highlight of DASH’s rise to prominence is its goal of reaching carbon neutrality. Just recently, the company released a statement saying it reached this milestone thanks to the works of several nonprofit organizations and climate action groups.
The two with the most significant impact on DASH were Planet Mark and CarbonCloud. Planet Mark helps businesses reach strategic sustainability and ESG goals by measuring organizational emissions and formulating carbon neutrality strategies for employees and executives. CarbonCloud specializes in reducing carbon emissions from food waste, so DASH contracted them to calculate its carbon footprint, at present, in the past, and in the future.
Planet Mark and CarbonCloud helped DASH use more recycled bottles and cans for packaging, eliminating plastic entirely. DASH also reached B Corp status, on top of forecasting $20 million in profits for this year. Next time you pass the produce section, consider picking the oblong apple or peach — DASH, and the planet, will thank you.