Online Grocery Delivery Service Company Zero Expands To Los Angeles, Growing Its Reach In The Plastic-free Food Market
Zero Grocery, a San Francisco-based plastic-free food delivery service, is expanding to Los Angeles, just a year after launching. The company is one of the first plastic-free grocery delivery services in the United States, with a mission to make cleaner, healthier and cheaper food convenient while tackling the impact of plastic waste from food consumption from its root – by only providing food in sustainable, plastic-free packaging.
“I started to live plastic-free because I wanted to challenge what happens when an ordinary working woman like me, with problems and life and issues and just the day to day, tries to live this lifestyle,” Zuleyka Strasner, founder and CEO of Zero, told The Plug. “I have seen the zero-waste movement growing and I’m mostly a lazy consumer. I want stuff now. I want stuff quick. I want stuff at the right price, and I’m busy. And I found it really hard to live plastic-free.”
Grocery delivery services have seen a drastic increase in demand following the coronavirus pandemic, and are expected to continue growing. According to market research company eMarketer, online grocery sales are expected to reach $129.72 billion by 2023, accounting for nearly 10% of total grocery sales, and were predicted to have grown by nearly 53% in 2020, reaching $89 billion in sales. But plastic-free grocery delivery services are scarce.
Since launching in 2019 Zero has amassed $4.7 million in venture backing. This includes the first $500,000 in pre-seed funding, led by Precursor Ventures, but it took Strasner over 250 investors meeting before her first check.
The initial investment allowed Strasner to launch a beta service in the Bay Area to test out sustainable grocery e-commerce. After six months in beta, in November 2019, Zero launched publicly across the Bay Area and grew quickly, securing an additional $500,000 in funding, including from new investors Chingona Ventures and Cleo Capital.
However, everything changed in early 2020 when COVID-19 hit the United States.
While the pandemic saw giant retailers struggle to meet the demand for specific items, Zero’s supply chain focused on bulk purchasing and plastic-free products, which is a different stream of suppliers from the individually plastic-packaged products bigger retailers normally work with, allowing the company to supply its customers with goods they would not be able to find elsewhere. The demand for Zero’s product grew exponentially.
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