How This Company Is Using ‘Wonky' Fruit In Its Hard Seltzers To Help Put A Stop To Food Waste

Anna Lewis
·3-min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Delish

Each year, a staggering 50 million tonnes of delicious fruits and vegetables are thrown away in Europe. Not because they’ve gone off, but simply because they don’t look quite how they should. Bent bananas, ropey raspberries and lumpy limes all end up in the rubbish heap unnecessarily. But one company is using these unique fruits to make hard seltzers that are not only good for the environment, but good for you too.

When brothers Ryan, 35, and 33-year-old Dean Ginsberg (both former restaurateurs) launched Served in the summer of 2020, they had a clear idea of what they wanted their drinks company to be.

“For us, enjoying a healthy lifestyle is a priority and maintaining this has always governed a large part of our lives,” Ryan tells Delish UK. “With this, we’ve also become increasingly aware of the provenance of not just what we’re eating, but also what we drink.”

Photo credit: Served Drinks
Photo credit: Served Drinks

Dean adds, “We realised that we’re living in an age where people really care about the food they put in their bodies – both for themselves and for the planet. With this in mind, we couldn’t seem to get our heads around why companies creating alcoholic drinks all seemed to be packing them with sugar and artificial ingredients, and offering little to no ingredient or nutritional transparency. So, we did it ourselves.”

Soon, Ryan and Dean were embarking on an extraordinary 12-month journey to make this dream a reality – from wading through crystal clear natural springs in rural Staffordshire, to handpicking raspberries with local farmers in the heart of Scotland’s Strathmere Valley, the guys were all set to bring their ethical company to the UK market. But little did they know they’d be doing this during the UK’s biggest recession in hundreds of years.

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“Covid has certainly had an impact on our business – some positive and some negative. We knew going into this that building a successful brand means you face numerous challenges every day.”

But it would take more than a worldwide pandemic to slow Ryan and Dean down as they worked tirelessly to craft a sustainable drinks company in which ‘wonky’ fruit is the best type of fruit.

“Have you ever been to the supermarket and bought some perfectly-shaped, beautiful-looking fruit, only to find it was lacking flavour? At Served, we’re not interested in what our fruit looks like, as we infuse them into our drinks. But we do go to extraordinary lengths to find the world's best fruit; bursting with flavour.”

While other hard seltzer companies might use artificial flavouring, Served uses Tahiti limes, which are grown in the Catanduva region of Brazil for their deliciously sweet, less acidic flavour, and raspberries sourced from local farms in Scotland to bring their gluten-free, vegan, low-calorie drinks to life.

Photo credit: Served Drinks
Photo credit: Served Drinks

“As looks never come into it, we’re able to use bumped, bent and broken fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste. It's important to us as a business that we do our bit to help reduce perfectly good fruit and veg ending up in the waste heap.”

But it’s not just companies working to reduce the yearly 6.6 million tonnes of food waste in the UK (4.5 million of which could have been eaten). We, as consumers, have to do our bit to change how supermarkets source their fresh produce too.

“The biggest change we can make on a day-to-day basis as consumers is to shift our focus away from perfect-looking fruit, and rather focus on what it actually tastes like. This in turn will change the way the major supermarkets buy.”

As well as making use of fruit that would otherwise have gone to waste, Served invests 5% of its profits into environmental projects and saving critically endangered species around the world. So when Dean and Ryan say their drinks are as good for us as they are for the planet, they’re not kidding.

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