Wonkie Eats

An e-commerce company that turns “wonkie” produce into artisan foods

Wonkie Eats makes eating well and doing good easy by creating artisanal food products from produce that is typically wasted.

Use Case

Farmers throw away an average of 20% of the fruits and vegetables they grow - bruised, misshapen produce that is perfectly good but does not meet retail requirements. Our upper middle class urban customer values convenience above all and wants meals that are easy and healthy. With a lack of experience, the produce section and healthy offerings can be confusing for them to navigate. They also want to feel connected to their local community.Our Wonkie jars make doing good by eating well easy. The localized product line, ranging from sauces to baby food, meets our customers at every life stage. We also give them the tools they need to make their own meals through subscriptions to our vegetarian dinners-in-a-box or “wonkie” local produce delivered straight to your door.

Potential

With 1 in 6 Americans going hungry and over 6 billion lbs of food moving straight from farm to landfill, Wonkie seeks to reduce food waste on local farms and increase the amount of fresh, healthy produce making it to market. Our vision is to make doing good by eating well easy for urban residents. By scaling our operations to reach thousands of families, Wonkie will significantly reduce food waste and mitigate the emission of methane gas. Not only will Wonkie mitigate climate change, it will also reduce hunger through a 1:1 donation model. Every subscription of Wonkie produce will feed one person at a local food pantry. As a result, eating Wonkie promotes healthy eating, protecting the environment and improving your community, all in one delicious homestyle jar.

Business Case

Due to the markedly low cost of off-grade fruits and vegetables that would typically be thrown away, Wonkie earns a significantly higher margin on both its retail products (50%) and boxed food delivery subscription (35 - 40%) than competitors in the space. As part of the donation model, farmers may be eligible for tax deductions for in-kind donations of produce. Purchase #2 and #3 grade produce from local farmersProcess fruits and vegetables into homestyle food products at our factory facilitySell products (Wonkie jars, dinner-in-a-box options or simply a box of seasonal Wonkie fruits & vegetables) direct to consumers via online orders or our mobile app (at a premium due to ‘eat well, do good’ mission)Sell products direct to retailers like small boutique stores and Whole Foods

Objectives:

  1. Craft assumption-based validation model and conduct pilots1. Analyze research. 2. Develop and implement pilots
  2. Iteratively complete Wonkie’s final business plan
  3. Design MVP of Wonkie products1. Develop relationships with suppliers2. Develop relationships with customers

Team Wonkie

New Haven, United States of America

Our Team

  • Zoe Lloyd Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, United States of America
  • serena pozza Yale U, Italy
  • Nilofer Ahmed Yale School of Management, United States of America

Team Wonkie / Published December 31, 2015 by Zoe Lloyd

Team Wonkie

At Wonkie, we source produce from local farmers that distributors and retailers typically reject. We help support local growers and reduce food waste, which mitigates climate change.

We use this nutritious and delicious produce to make our signature mason jar artisan products and deliver these products to your door.

Our Mission

40% of food grown in the world goes to waste. Due to a lack of market demand, Farmers throw out misshapen or imperfect produce. But what if there was demand for this produce? What if we could create an enterprise that reduces food waste by creating consumer demand for perfectly nutritious funny-looking produce? Wonkie reduces food waste by buying misshapen fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. These fruits and vegetables would have been left in the field to rot, which emits methane gas and contributes to climate change. Wonkie will solve this problem by using these misshapen fruits and vegetables to craft a line of specialty food products like sauces and jams in our signature glass mason jar. Wonkie Eats will meet the growing needs of families that care about their health, the health of their kids, and the health of the environment. We will claim a large stake in the specialty food market by making funny-looking food cool, just like how 'grassfed' has become sexy. Serena, Nilofer, and I are committed to developing Wonkie to reduce on-farm food waste and provide sustainable, nutritious food to individuals and families. Wonkie is helping families eat well and do good.

Our Background

Serena Pozza is a graduate student studying environmental management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Serena Pozza brings a wealth of experience in global economic development and project management in her experience working at the World Economic Forum. Zoë Lloyd is a joint degree MBA and Masters of Environmental Management candidate at Yale SOM and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Over nearly three years, Zoë Lloyd managed the rapid growth and geographic expansion of Common Market Philadelphia, a mission-driven local food distributor. She has in-depth understanding of the fresh produce market and produce supply chains and distribution. While at Common Market, she developed and managed relationships with farmers, rapidly expanded their customer base, expanded their distribution to Baltimore, launched a farm to office program, and managed warehouse operations and distribution logistics. Therefore, Zoë has the leadership and management experience and expertise in supply chains and local food required to launch and grow Wonkie. In addition, Zoë’s experience doing the YCCI Consulting Practicum and working at Ziba Design have given her the skills to understand how to use customer insights to build brands and products that resonate with the target segment, yielding business growth. Nilofer Ahmed is currently a second-year MBA candidate at Yale SOM. Prior to business school, she worked in accounting and finance at KPMG Toronto in a variety of industries, ranging from real estate to cloud computing. She has participated in raising funding for organizations via IPOs, building prospectuses and auditing quarterly and annual financial statements for compliance. She also acted as the Treasurer on the Board of a local nonprofit education initiative and learnt how to be resourceful in locating funding, aligning new initiatives with monetization and developing realistic budgeting guidelines. Her strong quantitative background will be useful in costing out our products, building cash flow and financial forecasts for the organization and raising money. This summer, she split her time between “big” consulting at BCG Boston and “small” consulting with grassroots organizations through MBAs Across America. From a large retail grocery chain to a small food processor in Montana’s Gallatin Valley, she has developed a strong understanding of the food ecosystem and has gained the skills to plan potential responses to likely scenarios, modeling a business for growth. The three of us care deeply about reducing food waste and see an opportunity to create a demand for misshapen produce thrown away on farms. We are participating in the Thought for Food Challenge to access the financial support, mentoring, and feedback we need to launch our company, test its viability, and grow the company in its early phases. Additionally, we hope to meet with other inspirational entrepreneurs from all over the world to learn about their business ideas and how we can collaborate to create a more sustainable food system. By collaborating with young entrepreneurs across sectors and across countries, we can create and grow food ventures that have the potential to change our global food systems.

Team Wonkie / Published December 31, 2015 by Zoe Lloyd

Team Wonkie

At Wonkie, we source produce from local farmers that distributors and retailers typically reject. We help support local growers and reduce food waste, which mitigates climate change.

We use this nutritious and delicious produce to make our signature mason jar artisan products and deliver these products to your door.

Our Team

  • Zoe Lloyd Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, United States of America
  • serena pozza Yale U, Italy
  • Nilofer Ahmed Yale School of Management, United States of America

Our Mission

40% of food grown in the world goes to waste. Due to a lack of market demand, Farmers throw out misshapen or imperfect produce. But what if there ...Read More

Our Background

Serena Pozza is a graduate student studying environmental management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Serena Pozza brings a wealth of experience in global economic ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.