Lettuce, an Austin-based food startup, is currently equity crowdfunding. As well as operating its own farm, the company also installs low-maintenance raised grow beds for local residents so they can grow food in their gardens. For those who aren’t willing or able to manage their plots themselves, the company will match other local gardeners to assist, or Lettuce staff can also manage the mini-farms. The surplus produce is collected and used in hyperlocal subscription meal kits which are sold direct to consumers, similar to Blue Apron. All food is delivered in zero-waste, reusable packaging; customers are encouraged to put their food waste into these containers for Lettuce to collect and compost.
Where do we start?! There’s so much we could say about this innovation, but here are a couple of deeper, second-order insights for you to reflect on:
Status shifts. Being alert to the changing nature of status symbols, and you’ll have a huge head start in understanding consumer behavior. Every aspect of Lettuce’s business model gives its customers powerful status stories to tell: from empowering people to grow their own food, to connecting communities, to its circular and sustainable model. What status stories does your brand offer people? Are they ones that they are still excited to share?
Innovation = combination. Savvy trend watchers will have already spotted that this innovation brings together so many current trends: hyperlocal sustainability, decentralized networks, D2C and subscription business models, crowdfunding and the sharing economy to name a few! As attendees to our events will have experienced when we make ‘trend babies’, combining two or more trends is a powerful way to create something that resonates with consumers. Ask yourself, “which two or three big trends could we combine to create an entirely new business model that customers will love?”