Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Package-free food shopping

An Austin-based start-up called in.gredients  offers a new, package-free stance on the grocery business. Sourcing its 400-plus products from locally based farmers and manufacturers, in.gredients offers organic and natural products in bulk. The shop looks more like an old-fashioned general goods store than a glossy, modern day supermarket.

Customers tote in their own packaging for nearly all the products, which include liquids like syrup, soaps and beer, dry goods like nuts and grains, and of course, shelves packed with organic produce. Meats and other perishables that are restricted to certain packaging guidelines by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are the only packaged items in the shop. Eggs are sorted into recyclable crates in the shop but customers carry them off in their own containers.

For those who forget their own bags and jars, the store offers reusable and recyclable containers on site. The foods lack the list of ingredients and nutrition facts normally found on a package, but smartphone users can scan the QR code on items and find its complete background.

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