Monday, April 28, 2008

Amy George, Melissa Nathan and Paige Davis of Blue Avocado talk about reducing a shopper’s carbon footprint at the grocery store

Amy George, Melissa Nathan and Paige Davis of Blue Avocado sit down to talk about reducing a shopper’s carbon footprint at the grocery store, the size of the grocery bag market, and gives a FastPitch for the company.

What is the Blue Avocado Company all about?

We’re a lifestyle products company. When you look around the world people are starting to ban plastic bags. Thirteen cities in the US already have proposals on putting a ban in place. Customers are going green and in the area of bags there are no alternative bags that have a comprehensive system and are committed to reducing their customer’s environmental impact through education, packaging, materials, and their supply chain.

How big is the bag market?

It’s a $1.9B industry. With the urgency global warming presents, customers know they have to have to change their lifestyle to make a difference. We want to make choices easy, functional, and fashionable.

What does the system include?

It is a multi-component system that addresses the need for insulation for hot/cold items, ventilation for produce and durability for bulk items. We also have an “avocado pod” that clips on your keychain that has a self-collapsing single bag for last minute shopping needs. Nobody has taken the bag to the next level here in the USA. There are examples in Australia and Germany that demonstrates there is a market for it and of course that is a great deal of awareness for the need.

Why do you call it the “blue” avocado?

Blue stands for blue sky which represents our commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the air – by eliminating plastic bags, using recycled materials in our products, and implementing a smarter supply chain. The avocado represents that we all have some ‘green inside’ – even if we don’t look like the stereotypical environmentalist.

What is your channel to distribute the product?

In our early research 70% of shoppers indicated they would buy it at the store but we see an online channel is also important. Retailers are looking for ways to manage the proposed bag bans. Major retailers in Austin such as Wal-Mart are coming out with plans to manage this. In addition to a high-end line, BlueAvocado is offering retailers a private label opportunity.

What is the competition like?

There are definitely bags out there but what no one is addressing is the need for the next level of a bag which has a system with a purpose. We’re providing a bag for the entire shopping experience. It’s compact. It’s got its own carbon footprint. It’s all there.

How much can each bag hold?

Twenty pounds per bag.

What are the bags made of and when will it be available?

Recycled polyester. The majority of the materials are recycled. We’ll start our beta program in July.

What’s the status of the product?

We’ve developed three industrial prototypes, are producing our first samples for pre-sales activities, and are in negotiation for our first order.

Can you give us your Fastpitch?

We are producing more carbon dioxide than the earth’s environment can handle. Almost half of the carbon dioxide you put in the atmosphere today will still be there when your grandchildren are born. So what can we do? At BlueAvocado™ we are passionate about creating lifestyle products for millions of consumers - making it easy to “do good and get it done”™. Our first product is a grocery bag system to help shoppers reduce their carbon footprint by offering an alternative to today’s petroleum-based disposable bag. It reduces the hassle of shopping and reduces our carbon footprint by introducing an eight piece, durable system. Some countries around the world are introducing plastic bag bans including China. BlueAvocado is an Austin-based company seeking $1M in angel funding to pursue the $1.9B market. By 2010 we want to make the earth 5 billion pounds lighter. BlueAvocado invites you to join us on this journey.

Best regards,
Hall T.