PORTLAND, Maine — With New England’s local food enthusiasts clamoring for spring’s harvest of asparagus, fiddleheads, greens, spring onions and more, Forager (goforager.com) today announced several milestones in its efforts to accelerate local food sharing, as grocers, co-ops and farmers capitalize on a burgeoning market.
Just a year after launching an innovative digital procurement platform that removes barriers to sourcing these fresh, healthy foods, Forager is quickly growing sales, expanding usage beyond its home state of Maine, adding new food categories, and achieving national recognition for these accomplishments.
David D. Stone, a technology innovator who created the e-gifting category when he co-founded CashStar, launched Forager based on his passion to provide fresher, healthier food to consumers and to help small independent farms prosper. Across the US, the local food segment is expected to reach $20 billion by next year, and it is growing much faster than the overall food and beverage market.
“Local grocers and co-ops need to embrace technology more than ever in order to differentiate themselves in this expanding but competitive marketplace. Technology that makes it easier to offer an abundance of local foods, and to provide an exceptional in-store experience, will help them succeed in the face of the profound changes driven by Amazon, home delivery and other innovations,” said Mr. Stone.
For Forager, offering a lifeline at this critical juncture for local food buyers and suppliers has led to:
- Expansion of sales on the platform to well over $1.5MM.
- Creation of the largest local food product online catalogue in New England numbering over 11,000 individual food products available.
- Adding to its leadership team with Joe Blunda, Head of Strategy & Business Development, an accomplished executive and former CEO of a food related start-up and Ted Jandl, an executive sales leader who led IBM’s Analytics Software sales team.
- Expansion throughout New England as grocers, co-ops and farmers in Maine, Vermont and New York now depend on the technology. More than 50 additional farms have moved onto the platform in recent months, along with local grocers such as Healthy Living Market & Cafe (VT and NY).
- Evolution into a central local food procurement resource for a broad range of local foods–including produce, meat, dairy and artisanal groceries such as tortillas, siracha, chocolate bars, tea assortments, granola and more.
- Recognition by PSFK, a leading retail research, consulting and innovation firm, for removing barriers to local food sharing at the retail level.
- Invitations to share insights at conferences and events showcasing food industry entrepreneurs. For example, David Stone spoke at the Branchfood Future of Food event in Boston on May 24, as an authority on the latest trends in grocery innovation.
- Selection by Greenlight Maine, a business television show, as a semi-finalist in its annual competition honoring one outstanding entrepreneurial company within the state. The winner will be announced in June 2018.
For more information about the Forager digital procurement platform and how to help grow the local food economy, please go to goforager.com.
About Forager (Forager1, LLC)
The mission of Forager is to accelerate the growth of the local food economy and make locally sourced food more widely available to all. The company’s online and mobile platform digitizes and streamlines the procurement-to-payment process, saving time and costs for grocers, co-ops, farmers, producers, and other buyers and sellers of local food. For more information about Forager, please see goforager.com.