The ‘coffee fruit Bar’ is sourced directly from Colombia, from fruit that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Each bar contains 10 grams of coffee fruit extract and is combined with other organic whole ingredients to create a superfood bar. It is natural, gluten free and vegan.
Healthy natural snack
I Am Grounded is a social enterprise created by Lachlan Powell and Vanessa Murillo in Brisbane, Australia, with the idea to bring value to coffee fruit extract by making healthy natural snacks.
Co-founder Murillo, originally from Colombia, has first-hand experience of the coffee industry's harmful environmental impact and said the idea was born out of a desire to tackle a major waste problem in coffee.
On average, a coffee drinker will create about 57kg of coffee fruit waste annually, contributing to 20 billion kilos of coffee fruit wasted around the world every year.
“The coffee beans make up less than 20% of the overall coffee fruit, meaning more than 80% of the coffee fruit is wasted,” she said.
She added, coffee fruit is a highly under-valued resource because it is high in antioxidants, polyphenols, plant micronutrients and helps with mood, sleep, focus, and mental clarity. It is a superfruit that is comparatively higher in antioxidants than açai, blueberries or raspberries.
“Due to its high concentration of Polyphenols (micronutrients found in plant foods), the coffee fruit extract is packed full of antioxidants and potential health benefits,” said Powell.
“Consumption of Polyphenols and resulting antioxidants can help boost your immune system, fight nasty free radicals, lower inflammation and muscle damage and much more.
"Through extensive testing and sampling with coffee farmers to sports athletes, we have created three flavours; Espresso & Tahini, Lemon & Coconut and Cocoa & Almond Butter."
The start-up company has been making its bars at local food incubator Wandering Cooks for 12 months, while finessing the flavours and business idea with customers at cafes, health food stores and online.
In 10 months, the pair have upcycled almost 1 tonne of fruit since launching and scooped $5K winning Greater Bank’s ‘Side Hustle’ Competition and leveraging socially sustainable grants and mentorship opportunities.
“As a lean start-up we targeted non-equity grants and mentorship and have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to take our proven concept to the next level,” said Powell.