Rimi Baltic invites start-ups to tackle challenge to increase fruit and vegetable consumption

Already for a third year in a row, Rimi Baltic is a part of Innovation Accelerator program “Future Hub” that connects companies with innovative enterprises and startups. This year, Rimi invites to apply European startups that would come up with innovative solutions to increase fruits and vegetables consumption.

The co-creation program will take place from October to December, and startups are invited to apply for the program by September 27 on the Future Hub website. Startups will tackle a challenge presented by one of the five enterprises and explore potential pilot or market alliances in target technologies and industries. In addition to the facilitated co-creation, selected program startups will also have access to an international mentor pool and workshops on various corporate innovation topics.

As a customer-orientated retailer, Rimi Baltic is committed to facilitating healthy eating habits of grocery shoppers in the Baltic region. According to survey conducted by Rimi in the Baltic States* – 23% of Latvian, 22% of Estonian and 20% of Lithuanian public admit to consuming the recommended daily** amount of 400 grams fruits and vegetables. This is confirmed also by Rimi sales data, which shows that on average shoppers consume just 150 grams of fruit and vegetables daily.

Yet consumer habits are difficult to change in practice, and the increase in consumption of vegetables, fruits, and similar healthy alternatives to processed and fast foods is not happening quickly enough. Therefore, Rimi is looking for engaging and gamified solutions to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables that would improve the well-being of Rimi shoppers.

“Health is an important focus area in Rimi Sustainability strategy; therefore, we are constantly looking at new ways how to contribute to public health and promote healthy choices by our customers. Following Word Health Organization’s recommendation – to include at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables in daily diet, we continuously provide support to our shoppers in adopting a healthy lifestyle, and we hope that start-ups will help us with attractive and innovative ideas moving towards better tomorrow for each of us,” says Zanda Šadre, Rimi Baltic Corporate Responsibility and Communications Director”.

“Rimi is an excellent example of rewarding open innovation process implementation and realization in the market. Motivated agile-minded team, clear goals and, above all, precise and ambitious challenge definition for startup collaboration has already resulted in several successful pilot projects during the first two programs of Future Hub. Also, the challenge for the upcoming Future Hub program to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among Rimi customers shows great promise to attract European startups with gamification solutions interested in entering the Baltic market,” Future Hub accelerator lead and innovation management company Helve business development lead Anna Marija Kiesnere.

The first two Future Hub programs have already brought successful results. For example, the result of Rimi Baltic and startup Plant Jammer collaboration – AI solution to reduce the food waste “Empty my fridge” is currently used by almost 10 000 unique users all over the Baltics weekly.

“We liked the concept of working closely with a customer – rather than other accelerators that are more “academic”. We had also heard that Rimi as a company is really fast moving and innovative relatively to all other retailers in Europe. Cooperation with Rimi helped our buisness to grow with high value as Rimi is a customer who really engages with us, takes risks and provides strong feedback,” says Michael Haase, CEO of start-up Plant Jammer.

Another great example of Rimi cooperation with Future Hub is the Luxembourgish startup’s solution fighting food waste in Europe – app Food4All (F4A) that has already been introduced to Estonian market, launching pilot project in April 2022 in 8 stores in city Tartu, Estonia.

*Survey regarding the public’s habits in relation to their consumption of fruit and vegetables conducted by ‘Solid Data’ in January 2022, surveying around 700 inhabitants of Estonia, 800 inhabitants of Latvia, 400 inhabitants of Lithuania aged 18-69 years.

** Recommendations by World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet)  

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