Despite a significantly higher cost and other challenges, ReGrained was first to market with and has packed exclusively in compostable wrappers for years. Unfortunately, that material failed in the wild, leading to many instances of stale-tasting product in stores. This unexpected failure came at a terrible time for us – right as we rapidly expanded to thousands of new retail locations. We recently highlighted some of the challenges here as the catalyst for a very difficult decision.
To ensure that our customers get the best and freshest-tasting product, effectively immediately, ReGrained will temporarily phase out our compostable material and switch to packaging used conventionally by the industry. Our goal is to be back in a fully certified compostable structure within one year that we will open-source so it can be available to and widely adopted by the industry.
We have lost a lot of sleep over the irony of the situation: in our effort to prove that waste can be designed out of the food system, we began to create waste through staling product. We were at risk in a number of areas, including the erosion of trust with our trade partners and consumers, the cost of damage control, and the maintenance of a failing status-quo. Without change course, we would have compromised our solvency and thwarted our primary mission: fighting food waste.
On a personal note, I struggled deeply with the question, “How could I justify softening the hard line I had so consistently and so publicly drawn the issue of packaging?” Faced with a proverbial fork in the road, while I wished that I could be like Yogi Berra and just “take it,” a hard choice was necessary. In other words, we were in crisis and faced with determining the lesser of two evils. Slowing down to speed up is unquestionably the right strategic move for the business, trade partners, consumers and shareholders; however, as a mission-oriented chief executive, it was the most challenging decision I have yet had to make.
At ReGrained, we try to do the right things in the right way at the right times, and I believe wholeheartedly that we have made the right decision. You could say that I’ve come around to seeing the glass half-full. Sustainable packaging is still a non-negotiable value, and we are doubling down on our efforts with OSC2's Packaging Collaborative to pioneer a better compostable packaging structure (with a better moisture barrier) that will solve the problems we experienced. Now, we invite YOU to help us fill the glass and bring ubiquitous sustainable packaging to fruition!
If you are a…
If we are going to solve the packaging problem, we need to do it together. The time has come for less talk and more action.
I commit ReGrained to open collaboration and radical transparency on this matter indefinitely. Who is with us?
Does any of the above resonate with you? Say so in the comments or email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments will be approved before showing up.