July 20 - 22, 2020
Hilton Austin, TX
Crowd Cow Wants to Change the Way You Buy Meat and Bring You Closer to Farmers
Brought to you by WBR Insights
There are certain sectors of industry which face a few extra challenges when it comes to offering their products or services through ecommerce.
The food and beverage sector is one of them, facing, as it does, tight regulatory compliance issues (particularly those relating to international shipping), and factors such as perishability, which all contribute to added complexity when it comes to ecommerce offerings. Not including the home delivery options offered by large supermarkets - which have the benefit of local stores from which to offer such services - the number of brands offering unprepared food products online is relatively small.
However, there are a handful of innovative startups which are willing to buck this trend and find new ways of bringing great products to their hungry customers.
If the media is to be believed, the recent trend in vegan and vegetarian lifestyles should have the meat industry breaking into a cold sweat. However, far from collapsing with fear, craft meat brand Crowd Cow is looking instead to change the way the omnivores among us buy their meat.
Crowd Cow's mission is to "create an alternative to the current meat commodity system, and to create a meaningful connection between the farmer and the customer, so people can know and appreciate exactly where their food comes from. We are the marketplace for high-quality craft beef and meats from farms and ranches around the world. We only work with farms that we know personally because we believe that when you know where and how your meat was raised, you're able to make better decisions for yourself, your family and your health."
Interestingly, Crowd Cow does, in fact, agree with some of the arguments made by the vegan/vegetarian movement. It believes the industrialization of meat production is both unsustainable and unhealthy, and, while it clearly doesn't agree with living a life free of meat altogether, it does think we should be treating our animals better and becoming more connected to where our food comes from.
"A lot of people have concerns about different aspects of meat, and I think a lot of those come down to industrial animal agriculture," said Crowd Cow Cofounder, Ethan Lowry. "This is a profoundly unpleasant way to think about food and what you are putting in your body, and the impact it has on your health, the health of the animals, and the environment. These are all very legitimate concerns and formed the genesis for Crowd Cow, along with the disparity between what people think they're getting, when the label has a picture of a happy looking cow, and what they're actually getting."
Who'd have thought a meat company and vegans would find something to agree on?
From the Crowd Cow website, customers can purchase beef, pork or chicken in several cuts and varieties - including luxurious Japanese Wagyu beef straight from the Land of the Rising Sun itself.
Perhaps most interestingly of all is the Crowd Cow shopping experience, which allows customers to filter search results not just by the type or cut of meat they're looking for, but also by the farm on which it was produced. This allows customers to learn where their food comes from, a little about the farm itself, and ensure that they are purchasing from the location closest to themselves - cutting down on food miles and guaranteeing maximum freshness.
New for 2019, Crowd Cow is also doing away with Styrofoam packaging and switching to a far more environmentally-friendly green cell foam insulation. This remarkable substance is 100% recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable, and is even soluble in water.
"It's a win-win-win," says the company website. "When you buy craft meat from Crowd Cow, you'll feel better ordering it, we feel better shipping it, and together we all make strides at conserving our earth. Upon China's refusal to continue accepting America's recyclables in 2018, we believe it's more vital than ever to do our part as a company to minimize waste as a country. You know the farms that produced your food, you're using biodegradable materials, and you're enjoying better meat."
Everything Crowd Cow sells is backed up by an impressive suite of content, including advice on cooking techniques, recipes, and blog posts.
Whether you eat meat yourself or not, it's hard to disagree with the offering being put forward by Crowd Cow. If people are going to consume animal products (and it seems they are for the time being), then it's important that they do so in the most environmentally-friendly and health-conscious (human health and animal health) manner possible.
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