The way consumers buy their food has been changed forever by an online retail grocer who links farmers and growers direct to consumers.
This all part of a push that is expected to reduce sales volume of big supermarkets, by 50 per cent or more by 2025.
Stepping into the void is local firm MegaFresh.co as it launches the world’s first online marketplace for food and groceries that allows farmers and food producers to sell direct to consumers with very little effort.
MegaFresh looks similar to the current online services offered by the major supermarkets, but all the products are listed by farmers who also set their own retail price. Stage-1 has just been launched in Victoria, soon to be followed by NSW and QLD.
The platform completely surpasses wholesalers, distributors and retailers. And by cutting out the expensive middlemen, producers will be able to increase their margins while also reducing the retail price relative to big supermarkets. In fact, at least 50 per cent more profit will go directly to the farmer using MegaFresh instead of a traditional supermarket.
MegaFresh is the one-stop-shop for farmers as it is also a fulfillment service that stores, packs and delivers the products on behalf of the sellers. The consumer can purchase multiple products and produce from a variety of farmers/food manufacturers on the platform in one transaction and have it delivered for free.
MegaFresh is calling out to all farmers and food producers Australia-wide to list their products on the platform and determine their own destiny by selling direct to consumer.
This is how it works.
A farmer registers with MegaFresh by simply going to www.megafresh.co and filling in some basic details. The farmer then creates their product listing and sets their own retail price and then sends their produce such as fruit and vegetables or products such as condiments and skincare to the MegaFresh fulfillment centre. The farmer/seller has complete control of their produce’s pricing and how it is promoted.
From there, consumers can view the products and produce on offer, view images and videos, as well as read about the farmer/producer selling the product. The consumers select their products and can jump from one seller to another in one transaction.
Once the order is completed, MegaFresh will pick and pack the order and deliver to the consumer the same or next business day depending on the location. Victorian consumers will be able to connect to any of the farmers and producers, and get to know where their food is coming from.
According to MegaFresh Founder and CEO, Alex Stefan, MegaFresh will be a key player in transforming how farmers, big or small reach consumers. This will shift the balance of power from the big supermarkets to the farmers and producers.
“Farmers and food producers have not been given a fair go by the big companies who act as gate keepers between the producers and the consumers,” he said.
“With the technology that we now have, it shouldn’t be necessary for producers to have to sell via antiquated methods. Before MegaFresh, there has not been a viable path direct to consumers, except for fortnightly or monthly farmers markets which are very pleasant, but are not viable for many producers as they only reach a small segment of consumers, and are expensive and time consuming to attend.
“There are also limited online tools for farmers and producers to interact with the world; we have Linkedin for professionals and Facebook for consumers but there isn’t really anything for farmers and food producers. Which is strange since food and groceries is the world’s biggest industry. MegaFresh is about to change that. It will be the Linkedin/Instagram for all things food and groceries.
“About 20-30 per cent of all food grown never leaves the farm and is thrown out because it does not meet the cosmetic standards imposed by the big supermarkets. We’re talking about thousands of tonnes of perfectly edible food. By eliminating the wholesaler and retailer, farmers and sellers can sell directly to the consumers, minimising waste and making a much tidier profit for themselves,”.
For example, if a farmer sells a box of tomatoes via a wholesaler at the wholesale market for $10, the agent will take 20 per cent on average ($2.00) and the farmer will get $8.00 per box. The retailer that purchased the box of tomatoes may then sell them by the kg and that same box may end up selling for $20 retail. However, if the farmer sells his box of tomatoes via MegaFresh at retail, direct to the consumer, they could sell them for $15-$20, whereby they would pocket $11.25 to $15.00 after paying the Megafresh fulfillment fee instead of just $8.00. Therefore the farmer can earn almost double what they currently make.
Third-generation Apple grower Kevin Sanders from H & LM Sanders Pty Ltd in the Yarra Valley, who recently joined MegaFresh as a seller, is excited about the prospect in presenting his produce to an even wider audience, with minimal effort.
“MegaFresh is not only a perfect platform to present and sell my apples, but also gives more consumers, who are passionate about agriculture and top-notch produce, the opportunity to know who grew their food and where it comes from.” he said.
The first 1500 buyers to register on Megafresh will be given a free $20 credit that can be used to purchase any product on the platform.
Alex Stefan has a passion for healthy living and agriculture and is also the founder of Feast Cold Pressed a manufacturer of ultra-premium organic juices and cleanses which are now available through Megafresh as well. Check it out now at www.megafresh.co