GREENBAY: The uk’s first omnichannel vegan supermarket celebrates 5 years in business

Co-founders, Paula Alcalde and Anderson Caicedo arrived in the UK some 11 and 13 years ago respectively, Paula with £150 in her pocket and not being able to speak the language and Anderson in nearly a similar situation.

Against all odds, they both established themselves in their careers over the following years, with backgrounds in some of the most prestigious firms in the world, such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Bloomberg.

Now they are celebrating 5 years of launching what we believe is the UK’s first vegan Omnichannel supermarket, with both a physical and online presence – GreenBay in West London.

The business has experienced incredible growth over the past few years: with over 50,000 customers and over half million of plant-based products sold, they now employ 10 members of staff.

Background

Around 2014, we both switched to a plant-based diet for ethical, health and environmental reasons, and we quickly realised how time consuming and inconvenient it was to do our regular shopping: scattered and sub-par offerings across different retailers, having to search for suitable products, reading all the labels, and a purely transactional experience with a complete lack of expertise or advice. The idea of GreenBay was then born, and we both decided to give up our established careers to start the company. Our mission is to remove animals from the equation by making it easy, fun and convenient for everyone to access plant-based products, inspiring people to make positive choices every day.

Customer Demand

In 2017 we established our e-commerce arm, and today we ship thousands of positive impact brands across the UK on a Carbon Neutral Next Day Delivery. This is where we’ve seen the biggest growth over the years, and the impact of COVID has only accelerated the demand for online groceries. There are also some categories that stand out and attract more customer demand, like plant-based meat & dairy alternatives. With this insight in mind, this year we launched our own range of GreenBay products – vegan meat alternatives that are kinder to the planet but don’t compromise on taste.

Holiday Season

This Holiday season is going to be particularly challenging for many people due to the impact of Brexit and the supply of products. We anticipate a lot of demand for good quality plant-based roasts like Vegusto and Sgaia, as well as charcuterie boards from our favourite vegan cheese brands like Mouse’s Favourite, New Roots, Honestly Tasty, and many more. The smoked salmon alternative by Odontella was extremely popular last year and a great addition to any table.

Veganuary

The rise of plant-based products during the month of January has definitely had an impact, and as more and more people start adopting a vegan diet, we see this movement exponentially growing over the next few years.

The Plant-Based Revolution

The market is currently exploding ($290bn by 2035 – CAGR 11.9%); With people increasingly aware about the impact of their choices and the explosion of new products in the coming years, we don’t see the movement stopping (not now, or in the future). When GreenBay first opened in 2016, customers didn’t even know what ‘vegan’ was; nonetheless, we truly believed the revolution was about to happen, and we think this is just the beginning. In a few years, plant-based will be the new normal, whereas animal products will be relegated to a thing of the past. In order to ride the wave, we are raising the company’s first funding round, gearing towards our next stage of growth to position ourselves as category leaders in the coming years.

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