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Case study – Moree Limited: Greener groceries in reusable packaging

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Moree’s founders created a grocery delivery service allowing shoppers to choose from a range of sustainable brands. Having found their niche, Moree wanted to experiment with refillable packaging to tackle single-use plastic and help their customers minimise household waste.

ReLondon awarded Moree a grant of £10,000 from the Mayor of London’s Green New Deal fund and support from the ERDF-funded business transformation programme to pilot a new packaging-free grocery delivery service. With this funding, Moree was able to invest in the equipment and human resources needed to offer this service to 30 pilot customers.

Moree delivered 28 orders within the seven weeks of their first pilot. Through this they avoided 216 items of single-use plastic packaging from being used, meaning they saved 2.7kg of CO2e emissions. The pilot set Moree up to continue testing their business model, helping them explore packaging-free grocery deliveries on a larger scale.

What was the challenge?

Moree started life during the COVID-19 pandemic as an environmentally friendly grocery delivery service, offering a weekly shop of sustainable brands for about 300 London households.

While the public was becoming more concerned about the environmental problems caused by single-use plastic, in reality, the pandemic led to a massive increase in packaging waste. Moree saw this as the perfect opportunity to introduce refill services to their existing delivery business. They wanted to see if they could tempt Londoners to say goodbye to their usual supermarkets and instead choose a circular solution that was just as convenient, and would reduce household waste and customers’ carbon footprint in the process.

Moree wanted to focus their service on people generally interested in buying their groceries without packaging, but who were not actually shopping at zero-waste stores. To pull this off, Moree had to convince customers to return their empty containers so they could go on to be reused.

What was the response?

Thanks to support from one of ReLondon’s business advisors and a grant from the Mayor of London’s Green New Deal fund, Moree was able to trial a delivery service of groceries in refillable packaging to London households.

To gain the confidence of customers to use their service, Moree’s offering needed to be as attractive as a traditional retail offering in single-use packaging. The pilot allowed Moree to try different product ranges and types of financial incentives to find the best solutions for both reusable containers and customer returns.

We want to make it easy and affordable to buy sustainable food and convenient to participate in zero-waste shopping.

Dejan Mitrovic & Clare Brass, Moree Limited, Co-founders

What were the outcomes?

Overall, Moree was able to meet its goal of delivering a better service than other grocery shops and delivery services, and created one new job in the process. Customers placed a total of 28 orders throughout the pilot, saving 2.7kg of CO2e emissions and avoiding 216 items of single-use plastic packaging.

The return rate for empty packaging was higher than predicted (circa 95%), with most customers (>50%) choosing to return their packaging via post. Other customers held on to their packaging until their next order, and some even returned their empties to Moree’s headquarters themselves.

Now that I have Moree, I will never be able to move away from Golders Green!

Pilot customer

Perhaps the most surprising outcome of all? After reflecting on the learnings from the pilot, Moree decided to pivot away from business-to-consumer grocery delivery altogether. While the pilot demonstrated that their concept can work on a small scale, they decided that it would be more impactful to work with manufacturers and brands that already sell directly to their customers via a subscription service. Using the learnings from this pilot, Moree will offer their operation as a service so they too can introduce reusable packaging. By focusing their efforts on this, they have the potential to reach a wider audience, and ultimately, help Moree reach its goal of making zero-waste groceries mainstream.

Lessons learned & next steps

For any new business model to be successful, it’s important to test assumptions, learn what actually matters to customers and understand what it takes for the business model to be viable. This is exactly what the pilot allowed Moree to do.

Moree originally thought that customers would care about receiving rapid deliveries within minutes. When it became clear that this was not essential, Moree was able to adapt by switching to evening deliveries. This improved operations by allowing deliveries to multiple customers in one trip. What customers did care about was the product range: increasing the number of products led to customers spending more per order. Financial incentives also drove demand, as Moree noticed that customers typically reached a basket size that qualified for free delivery.

Another useful insight: Moree learned about the back-end systems necessary for their model to work and scale. In a separate pilot in a different area, they were able to develop and test a working prototype of a tracking system. This helped Moree realise their optimal role lies in the design of reusable packaging, as well as the logistics and tracking involved in packaging-free grocery delivery, ultimately deciding to focus on liaising with other brands to help make this concept work on a larger scale.

Get in touch

Having pivoted to providing the logistics for packaging-free deliveries, Moree has now begun working with UK food businesses. If you’re a producer or distributer of dry goods looking for the most sustainable packaging possible, or if you’re an investor who would like to support Moree in revolutionising the packaging industry please get in touch with

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