The original simple idea of ZacSnax was to buy discounted ripe or imperfect fruit from Hong Kong wet markets and supermarkets before they are thrown away, and to make nutritious fruit snacks for kids who can’t afford snacks, or otherwise would have bought unhealthy snacks. This involves slicing the fruit into thin slices, leaving them in dehydrators overnight, and in the morning, packaging them for delivery to low-income communities.
Then we met with Foodlink, an awesome Hong Kong-based food rescue charity, who kindly offered to provide rescued fruit from hotels and caterers for ZacSnax. This really allowed us to multiply our impact of addressing Hong Kong's food waste and landfill issues, the latter of which capacity will be exhausted by 2018.
Parents love it because ZacSnax is all natural, with no preservatives, no additives and no colouring. And best of all, kids love the taste of the healthy snacks made from rescued fruit! In the meantime, the children also learn more about imperfect fruit and feel empowered by being able to do something productive to fight food waste.
ZacSnax's young founder has since been recognised by receiving the Most Innovative Award for the AIA Emerging Entrepreneurs Challenge and Kids4Kids Young Change Makers Award, as well as a grant from UNLtd Hong Kong.
We hope to create a sustainable and scalable social enterprise by facilitating the selling of the healthy rescued fruit snacks to those who can afford it to subsidise those who cannot (like Tom's Shoes), and at the same time raise awareness of food waste and healthy snacking amongst youth.
We were also inspired after recently meeting with one of the leaders of flood disaster mapping project PetaJakarta, and are exploring establishing a GPS-based crowdsourcing and city-wide mapping platform to facilitate transparency of availability and citizen collection and delivery of such fruit from wet markets, green groceries and supermarkets (like a Pokemon Go map to rescue fruit). Such a system could be replicated in all urban environments (especially those with smart city initiatives) and adapted for other types of food rescue.
We sincerely welcome all input, support and collaboration on how we can grow and scale ZacSnax across Hong Kong, as well as beyond in other cities !