Produce Startup Willo Launches DTC Program

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Produce Startup Willo Launches DTC Program

By Thad Rueter - 06/12/2020
Produce Startup Willo Launches DTC Program
A new DTC program could appeal to fans of local produce and healthy food.

The direct-to-consumer trend is moving further in the area of produce. Willo, which calls itself a “a state-of-the-art indoor vertical farming startup,” said Thursday that is has launched a “direct-to-consumer delivery program in San Jose to provide the highest quality custom produce experience in the Bay Area.”

Via the offering, consumers who live within 20 miles of Santa Clara, California, can pay $99 per month for access to their own plots at Willo’s farm. “The membership grants access to regular deliveries of customizable packaged salads starting in August,” the company said. “A single purchase option is also available for $49. The rapidly growing list of available crops currently includes Toscano Kale, Red Mizuna, Pea Shoots, Protein Crunch and Genovese Basil.”

Willo is betting that a service will appeal to consumers who desire healthy food from relatively local operators, and who want to have access to their own small plots of land, even within urban or suburban areas.

Personalization exists everywhere except for the food industry; and we’re here to give the market what they are asking for,” said Samuel Bertram, co-founder and CEO of Willo. “By letting people configure their own plot in Willo’s farm, we can grow the specific fruits and vegetables they desire, while making recommendations tailored to their health needs. Willo plans to build farms in every major city on Earth with the mission to eliminate diet-related disease through personalized plant-based nutrition.”

The move stands as the latest expansion of direct-to-consumer (DTC) commerce in the world of food retail. Impossible Foods — which sells the Impossible Burger plant-based meat substitution — just launched its own DTC program, for example, even as the company gets more of its products into retail stores. Ocean Spray and PepsiCo also have launched their own direct-to-consumer efforts in recent weeks.