Around 1.5 billion tons of food are thrown away every year or are lost along the value chain. That is around a third of all food produced worldwide ( Stadt Wien, BCG). A large part of the wasted food in private households is caused by a short shelf life and food spoilage. German households throw away an average of 18 kg of fruit and vegetables a year because they have turned bad (BMEL). Yet, frozen foods – which have a much longer shelf life – have the stigma that they are inferior, less fresh and unhealthy. The Berlin-based start up Every. is reimagining healthy convenience food with nutritious, plant-based meals that are shock frozen immediately after the harvest and ready to eat within ten minutes.
Founders Benjamin and Casimir, life-long friends from Northern Germany, had noticed in their respective professional lives how difficult it can be to eat consciously and well in everyday life. With too little time to prepare something good, they were frustrated by mediocre delivery services and overpriced take-aways with endless mountains of rubbish and questionable ingredients. With Every. they are revolutionizing the status quo in the industry: They created nutritional pathways that are compatible with a modern, fast-paced lifestyle, offering everyone a perfect alternative when there is no time for cooking but still a commitment to quality and health. To this end, they develop special, healthy dishes together with food experts, such as food bloggers or nutritionists. “We have had the pleasure of collaborating with some wonderful visionaries who have brought their expertise to the table, and together we created some delicious meals. Bianca Zapatka, Carolin Kotke, Anna Kulina and Liberta Haxhikadriu to name a few,” say the founders. Their customers can easily order their selection of healthy frozen food bowls online — and conveniently choose a time and date that suits their schedule. The preparation is simple with no shopping, lugging, chopping, and very few dishes necessary. Their current assortment is a collection of twelve bowls – that are inspired by a variety of cuisines and really cater to everyone’s palette – as well as two freshly-pressed ginger shots which will be relaunching soon. “We’re constantly exploring new recipes and ideas. This year we are excited to announce that we will be bringing out 30 to 40 new products,” says Casimir.
For their meals they use high-quality all-natural ingredients, no additives, flavor enhancers, preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers and no deceptive substances such as natural flavors or milk proteins. Additionally, the dishes are all plant-based and the ingredients are sourced according to strict sustainability and quality criteria. “The beauty of Every. products is that they are incredibly nutritious and energizing – what we like to call feel-good food,” says founder Benjamin. “Most convenient food options are energy-dense, loaded with calories or filled with nasty chemicals. Satiating and comforting perhaps, but the downside is that they are likely to cause feelings of sluggishness or include ingredients you don’t really want,” he says. “Every. Dishes won’t weigh you down, but instead boost your well-being and energize you throughout the day.”
With a value chain that takes into account both the environment and society, at Every., they know exactly where each ingredient comes from and give their customers a full insight, too. “The majority of the ingredients we source come from regional farmers in Germany. Most of our produce is grown in the warm Rhein valley, where environmental conditions are ideal. We avoid heated greenhouses, and let our ingredients grow naturally under the sun. By working directly with our suppliers, we enable a direct supply chain. Not only does this eliminate unnecessary and wasteful food miles, but it also facilitates 100 % transparency,” says founder Casimir.
Thanks to shock freezing, Every. delivers unique quality: The raw materials are shock frozen within a few hours of being harvested. Unlike conventional or at home freezing, the ingredients cool down to minus 25 degrees within minutes. The advantage: in this short time, almost no ice crystals can form that could damage the cell structure of the product. “This means that the usual, unappealing ‘watered-down’ texture in most conventional frozen foods has been eliminated. This also means that we can avoid any use of preservatives or unfamiliar chemicals that create the illusion of freshness and preserve ingredients artificially,” says Casimir. In this way, the nutritional values such as vitamins and minerals as well as taste and texture are optimally preserved – often even better than vegetables that have been stored in shops or at home for a few days. Once frozen, the dishes can be kept in the freezer for around 9-12 months, maintaining its fresh and crisp condition.
For their packaging, Every. uses climate-neutral, compostable insulation panels made from renewable raw materials such as hemp, jute or straw. The individual packaging as well as the outer packaging do not require adhesive tape and can be recycled as paper.
Every. works carbon-neutrally and saves resources along its entire supply chain to break the cycle of environmentally harmful food production. For the brand, sustainability is a core value; therefore, they always choose the gentlest option and offset the amount of CO2 caused at the end of each year. On average, a total of 900 grams of CO2 are generated per dish, which is less than 4% of the average daily per capita CO2 emissions in Germany. Yet, the agricultural production of the ingredients and the packaging, the production and storage itself, the transport from the supplier to Every. and to the customer as well as the preparation at home causes emissions. By eliminating the use of animal products, the brand has already dramatically minimized their carbon footprint. Every. compensates any additional emissions at the end of each year with Atmosfair by supporting the expansion of more climate-friendly wood-burning stoves in Rwanda. With the use of these efficient, on-site manufactured ovens, the wood requirement for cooking can be reduced by up to 80%. The project thus not only reduces CO2 emissions, but also reduces the demand for wood and therefore mitigates deforestation of the shrinking forests. In addition, local jobs are created and energy costs for the families are saved.
Yes, ideally shopping locally and cooking whenever possible should be the first choice. But as we know, life often gets in the way and we are too busy to maintain these habits. Every. still lets you eat locally, sustainably and well: an excellent and nutritious alternative that not only tastes good, but also cares about the environment.
by Marie Klimczak