CINCINNATI – Kroger Co., through its Zero Hunger / Zero Waste Foundation, plans to invest $ 2.5 million in collective grants for startups that support new ways to manufacture, process, or distribute upcycled consumer goods.
The retailer called upcycled groceries “the next frontier” and urged applicants to submit proposals promoting a business model in which surplus food or food by-products must be sourced and made into new products for consumers. Selected applicants will receive upfront $ 100,000 start-up funding. The selected companies will then take part in a virtual workshop, which, according to Kroger, will focus on investment readiness, technical skills development and networking with a community of investors and mentors in and around the food system.
Innovators will also receive an additional $ 100,000 grant based on achieving the set program milestones. At the end of the six month milestone development period, two startups will be selected for an additional $ 250,000 in funding.
“The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger / Zero Waste Foundation is committed to building a more efficient, resilient food system and nonprofit food system in the US and beyond,” said Denise Osterhues, president of the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger / Zero Waste Foundation. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramifications, we are more determined than ever to direct as much food as possible towards its ultimate purpose: feeding people. We can no longer afford to waste excess food at any level of our food system. “
For more information on the program, visit zerohungerzerowastefoundation.org.