FreshPaper is leading the charge to preserve food longer.
Indian American entrepreneur Kavita Shukla’s invention FreshPaper, which started out as a middle school science project to keep food fresh longer, and is now distributed through big retail outlets like Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Whole Foods, is in the reckoning for a television commercial in the Super Bowl.
Shukla’s middle school science project was inspired by a homemade “spice tea” her grandmother in India once gave her as a remedy for drinking contaminated tap water. A grassroots movement has since taken FreshPaper from a single farmer’s market stall in Cambridge, MA to farmers and families worldwide.
The inspiring FreshPaper story has captured the attention of influencers like Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson, and was the subject of a short film by Hollywood director Bryce Dallas Howard, according to a press release.
In 2013, FreshPaper was presented with the INDEX: Award, the world’s largest prize for design (previously awarded to Apple and Tesla) by Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark.
FreshPaper sheets are infused with organic spices that keep fruits and vegetables fresh for 2–4x longer, naturally. One small sheet is simply dropped into fridge drawers, cartons, and bags filled with produce. FreshPaper is made in the USA, and is recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable.
The FreshPaper brand is recognized as a pioneer in the movement towards reducing food waste. Shukla hopes that the road to the Super Bowl commercial will spark a national conversation around the enormous global challenge of food waste, and inspire other entrepreneurs, especially women, to think bigger with their ideas.
“This is an incredible opportunity that would help us make fresh, healthy eating more accessible and affordable than ever before,” said Shukla, in a statement. “When I set up a stall at my local farmer’s market, after trying and failing for years to bring my idea to the world, I could never have imagined that one day we’d have a chance to share our vision for a better food system with 100 million people during the Super Bowl.”
The winner of the Super Bowl ad will be determined by a global vote. Supporters can cast their daily votes for FreshPaper at www.NationalFreshLeague.com
The patented and award-winning product is carried by national retailers like Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ace Hardware, and Amazon.com, and is sold in packs of 8 sheets (approximately a 2-month supply) for $9.99. FreshPaper helps customers save money, reduce food waste, and eat fresh.
While the world’s farmers harvest enough food to feed the planet, more than 25 percent of the world’s food supply is lost to spoilage, resulting in massive land, water, energy, and human costs.
The Maryland-based Fenugreen (the company that launched FreshPaper –www.fenugreen.com) is taking on this enormous, yet often overlooked, global challenge.
FreshPaper has received international recognition for its potential to change the global food system, including awards from the Social Venture Network, Sustainable Brands, The Economist, Harvard, the Lemelson-MIT Foundation, the Women in the World Foundation, Intel, Cartier, Toyota, Target, and the Home Depot. FreshPaper has also been recognized by the British Consulate, the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the Swiss Consulate, and Fenugreen has been recognized as the “most innovative young company in the world” by the Kauffman Foundation’s Startup Open, awarded by Sir Richard Branson.
Shukla holds four patents, and has received several international honors as an inventor, designer, and entrepreneur. Apart from the INDEX award, she has been inducted into the National Gallery for America’s Young Inventors and was a First Place Winner at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair for her initial research on FreshPaper.
She was also featured as one of the “7 Entrepreneurs Changing the World” by Fast Company and on the Forbes “30 under 30” list. She holds a BA from Harvard University.