As the demand for sustainable products grows, so does the list of companies working to meet it. From clothing to beauty to home improvement, consumers and businesses are concerned about how the items we use every day affect the health of the planet. When it comes to what we eat and drink, however, there is a unique opportunity to positively impact the health of the individual as well as the planet. Pressed is an example of a brand whose mission encompasses both.
From the juice cupboard to the grocery store shelf
Pressed started over a decade ago in Los Angeles as what he likes to call a “juice cupboard,” and has since grown into a lifestyle brand that sells cold-pressed juices and healthy treats in restaurants. grocery stores, online and at its more than 100 retail stores across the country. It aims to make plant-based and nutrient-dense foods more accessible and affordable – compared, for example, to what you might find in a high-end juice store in a big city like New York or LA – which is its stated mission.
And while Pressed’s products are by definition about helping people live healthier lives, they’re also making admirable strides in contributing to a healthier planet. The company is still based in Los Angeles and its manufacturing facility is in the Central Valley, where it partners with farmers and suppliers to source fruits and vegetables locally. This helps streamline production to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and improve the freshness of its products. Thanks to this extremely short supply chain, its juices can be bottled in as little as three days, what they call “farm to bottle”.
A Perfectly Imperfect Partnership
Pressed is also working to achieve its net positive business goal by using seasonal produce and “imperfect” fruits and vegetables, which now make up more than half of its produce. This has already saved 11.5 million pounds of product that would likely have ended up in landfills. Its current goal is to achieve 85% imperfect product for its products.
According to its marketing manager, Michelle Peterson, Cooked in a hurry this kind of sustainability in the company right from the start, although at the time it was not yet a trend. The company’s founders decided to partner with farmers to buy produce that would otherwise go to waste and process it into their cold-pressed juice. “It’s now more called an ‘imperfect product’, she says, ‘but it really wasn’t then.’ The company saw the opportunity to reduce waste in the food system, said Peterson, and grabbed it.
Pressed’s efforts towards a circular manufacturing process are reflected in its packaging. It recently converted several of its bottles to recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) in part or in whole and predicts that this will collectively save more than 300,000 pounds of plastic per year, a 30% reduction in the use of virgin plastic by the company. Its shipping boxes are sustainably made and recyclable, including the box liners, and — perhaps most impressively — its ice packs are designed to be recycled as plant food.
A really urgent problem
While the founders of Pressed were originally looking for a way to make it easier for people to get fruits and vegetables, the company is now also tackling the broader problem of food inaccessibility in communities labeled as “food deserts” – where residents do not have easy access to healthy food and fresh produce.
“The very heart of this brand has always been to give back. Our founders did it for a long time and didn’t really talk about it. Now with every campaign we do, we donate back,” says Peterson. One of her favorites, she says, was Pressed’s latest Black History Month campaign. The goal was to raise awareness about the inaccessibility of food and donate money to the cause.
The company partnered with three black female artists in Dallas, LA and New York, who created artwork for limited-edition labels for pressed products. The company used the proceeds from the sale to buy community food fridges in the same markets where artists sell their work. Their creations were also featured on tote bags, which were given away to community members to carry their food home from refrigerators, and were also sold at Pressed stores to raise additional funds.
This partnership, says Peterson, was the company’s way of saying “We want this to be a lifestyle, but we also understand that this is a bigger issue in the United States, and we want to help with that as well. ” As with any systemic problem, the greatest impact is always found where a solution is most needed and Pressed is committed to ensuring that plant-based diets and nutrient-dense foods are as accessible and affordable to the most large number of communities.
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