A start-up with the answer to NZ’s food waste crisis receives significant boost to their cause

by | Dec 7, 2023 | News

$50,000 brand development package awarded to Rescued’s sustainable solution to surplus food

Rescued, a social enterprise with a sustainable and delicious solution for food waste, has been named as the winner of the Brand For Good Competition. The start-up impressed the judges with its commitment to repurposing surplus food to address New Zealand’s food waste challenges. Founders Diane Stanbra and Royce Bold pivoted during the challenges of the Covid era, establishing Rescued as a pioneer in creating a sustainable food future.

Rescued has made significant strides since its first food rescue in March 2022, processing over 35 tons of surplus food. Leveraging culinary expertise and innovative techniques, the company transforms commonly wasted items like leftover bread into Rescued Bread Flour, offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional flour. Beyond bread, Rescued repurposes surplus fruits, vegetables, and unique ingredients, such as spent juniper berries from gin production, to create products that combine great taste with zero waste.

New Zealand has developed a serious food waste situation, with over 570,000 tonnes of food wasted annually according to the Ministry for the Environment. This has a significant negative environmental and economic impact, at a time when the country is experiencing a rise in food insecurity.

The Brand For Good prize, awarded by creative studio Tomorrow, will help propel Rescued’s mission to end food waste in New Zealand. Diane Stanbra states, “The upcycled food industry is worth $57 billion in the US, which has phenomenal growth and awareness. But we’re nowhere near that in New Zealand. Being chosen as the Brand For Good winner is an incredible opportunity, allowing us to see how we can evolve our own circular food economy.”

The comprehensive package, featuring expertise in brand strategy, design, packaging, and digital development from Tomorrow’s team of experts, will help maximise the impact of Rescued’s business and its broader mission.

Tomorrow, founded in 2012 by siblings Ben Crawford and Libby Oborn has evolved into a leading creative studio. Specialising in designing and delivering brand experiences, Tomorrow collaborates with businesses to foster growth and scale through purposeful branding and storytelling.

Diane Stanbra, Co-founder of Rescued, expresses her excitement, “This incredible opportunity takes us a huge step closer to solving the food waste issue. It’s a start-up’s dream and gives us the best possible start. We need to have a strong brand that people trust because consumer support is fundamental Winning the Brand For Good Competition will help amplify our impact and achieve our vision.”

The Brand For Good Competition attracted interest from a range of Kiwi businesses and purposeful brands, from startups to larger enterprises. The expert judging panel, consisting of serial purpose-led entrepreneur Brianne West, business growth advisor Toss Grumley from Wolf + Fox, and Tomorrow’s Ben Crawford, carefully evaluated the entries.

Ben Crawford, Co-Founder of Tomorrow, explains why Rescued stood out: “We chose Rescued as the overall winner because they’re addressing the food waste problem by rethinking our food system. They’ve got runs on the board and we saw we could help them make more impact, faster. We sought businesses shaping tomorrow, and that’s precisely what Rescued is doing.”

‘’Food waste is such a big and visible problem which we see on a daily basis, it’s actually one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions.

Rescued’s solution to helping address the food waste problem is so clever in its simplicity and ease of understanding, that it has huge potential to make a significant impact across New Zealand, and even globally.

They’ve already gained traction with major partners such as Woolworths Supermarkets but it was clear their positioning, messaging and brand was a constraint on their ability to grow and maximise the impact that they can make.

We love their energy and purpose-led passion and are really looking forward to partnering with Diane, Royce and the team to help scale their business.’’

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