Corn straw packaging replaces plastic packaging at iFood

In partnership with the manufacturer growPack, the company plans to distribute 500 thousand units of this biodegradable packaging in delivery by August 2023

An agricultural residue traditionally little used has become an ally for reduce plastic pollution in delivery. In partnership with growPack, iFood is putting into circulation, by August 2023, 500 thousand units of corn straw packaging developed by the manufacturer, a national 100% technology.

The adoption of these biodegradable and compostable 100% packaging meets the public commitment made by iFood in 2021 of reduce pollution generated by the use of plastic in delivery.

A partnership with growPack began in 2019, when the two companies identified a common sustainability purpose. “With the pandemic, we slowed down conversations and, in 2021, we set up a business model between companies again”, says Alexandre Lima, sustainability manager at iFood.

In 2022, the partners developed the first mold and tested the corn straw packaging, which was supplied to iFood partner restaurants in the city of Campinas (São Paulo).

“We tested it and got great feedback. We then made an investment of more than R$ 500 thousand so that, in 2023, we could focus on expanding the commercial actions of the manufacturer's team and developing new molds for other types of cuisine”, concludes Alexandre.

In December 2022, corn straw packaging also began to be used in some restaurants in Fortaleza (Ceará). “We want to reach 500 thousand units by August 2023, also increasing the number of restaurant users”, estimates Exequiel Bunge Berg, CEO and founder of growPack.

Sustainable packaging production

By the way, the sustainability of growPack packaging is not just about reducing the amount of plastic in delivery — it also extends to the production process at the factory, which is located in Vinhedo (São Paulo). 

“The transformation of the raw material into the biomaterial that makes up the packaging is done by thermomechanical processes that do not use chemicals. Furthermore, they prioritize the efficient use of water and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions”, explains Exequiel. “We generate local and social value in the production chain.”

Now, the company is working to gain scale. “As is generally the case with emerging bioeconomy technologies, it is necessary to compete with products and productive infrastructures that are already very mature, such as plastic and aluminum”, states the CEO of growPack.

To achieve this, one of the company's goals is to lower production costs and reduce the price of packaging for restaurants. “Currently, our price is just above PP plastic [polypropylene], but Styrofoam is much cheaper”, says Exequiel. “We intend to be somewhere between the two.”

Growing with iFood

For growPack, the market expansion It also includes the diversification of packaging formats. There is one in use today, but another five are in the development phase and should be on the market in the coming months.

Two points that stand out in the expansion movement, according to Exequiel, are educating consumers on the use of sustainable packaging and demonstrating to restaurants that sustainability is profitable.

In the strategy designed by growPack, the partnership with iFood is considered fundamental. “Our goal is to reach the tables of all Brazilians, and the preferred means of enabling this growth map is iFood”, he states. growPack packaging is now available on the platform iFood Shop, which offers the best supplier options for partner restaurants.

Was this content useful to you?

Related posts