Social Smoothie

Social Smoothie: We transform special resources –the ugly fruits– into fresh and healthy Smoothie

Lisboa, PortugalLisboa, Portugal
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Do you like to throw food away? In Europe, 1.8 billion tons of food is wasted. Not perfectly shaped fruits and vegetables are thrown away due to obsessive compliance with regulations and industry standards. We want to use these ugly fruits and make fresh and healthy Smoothies.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we do not throw away the ridiculously exaggerated amount of food produced and produce even more waste, but just use it?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We are focusing on food waste caused by the retail and wholesale sector due to obsessive compliance with EU-regulations and industry standards, geographically focused in Portugal. Here are 4600 kcal of food per person are daily produced, but only 2000 kcal are finally consumed. Apart from ending up as waste, leading to financial losses for local farmers, these un-used resources make up 10% of unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Social Smoothies transform perfectly eatable resources – the ugly fruits – into a business opportunity by selling fresh and nutritious smoothies. We are more effective in decreasing the food waste as we can accept a greater variety of “ugly fruits” and can take advantage of cheaper resources. We are offering a fresher, faster, affordable and easier access to nutrients and vitamins. Our products are ready to consume. Furthermore, in giving a facelift to the non-compliant fruits and vegetables we can achieve a greater audience. As most of the people are not aware of the problem, we can increase the attention by connecting Smoothies with the food waste problem. We aim to give best transparency of our production to provide a complete picture.


First application here
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Local farmers have issues in using the fruits and vegetables rejected by strong country- and industrie regulations and standards. Most of the times, they throw the products away. They are still products of high quality, only the shape does not fit into the "perfect image". In using these fruits and vegetables for a Smoothie, the shape does not matter any more. What matters, is the "quality inside". The highest value is essentially created for local farmers and agriculturalists, achieving financial gains from food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Customers also prefer to know where does their products are coming from, like the fresh and healthy taste as well Smoothies itself are not so well-known in Portugal and therefore a new idea.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In using the ugly fruits and vegetables and produce Smoothies, less food waste is created, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the overall environmental burden. On the other hand side, waste disposal companies benefit from cost as well as time savings as less garbage has to be removed. The highest value is essentially created for local farmers and agriculturalists, achieving financial gains from food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Also, their perfectly eatable “second choice” products find valuable use for people attaching more importance to high quality than physical appearance. As a result, society profits from an increased provision of nutrients and vitamins, leading to an increased awareness and conscious handling.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

End of November will be the last pilot and the testing period ends. Until beginning of 2016, the market research will be analyzed and the business model improved. For the next two years, the phase of "Looking for potential collaboration" will start. In Portugal are several initiatives focusing on food waste, like Fruta Feia and Zero Desperdicio, that might be a possibility. Further, the food sector (Café, Restaurants) will be asked for partnerships. In total, the idea is to focus on regional area, though the idea may spread used as a franchise concept to make further impact.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The aim is to generate a Social Business, meaning in selling the Smoothies to customer the generated profit will be reinvested in the company as well as educational projects for children and adults will be used. Our resources are around 30% cheaper than normal fruits and vegetables and we are selling each Smoothie for a price tested through marketing research. We estimate to make a profit around 40% per Smoothie.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Focusing on the problem of food waste, in Lisbon are trying three organizations to solve this problem. Fruta Feia is the most similar to our organisation and is also tackling the farmers to buy their rejected food, but is selling the products to endconsumer only. They are not producing or transforming the products. DariAcordar relies on donations from restaurants to distribute the food to people and need, and ReFood is combining partnerships with supermarkets like Pingo Doce and restaurants with the same aim as DariAcordar.

Founding Story

Marietta is writing her master thesis in the area of Social Entrepreneurship and is elaborating a business plan for the idea "Social Smoothie". To test her assumptions and to bring the idea to the next level, she started the organization. She is enthusiastic about the idea and wants to spread it in order to generate more awareness for the problem and innovative solutions.


Marietta, full-time and is supervised by Professor Miguel Alves Martins, under the umbrella of Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

From a friend

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder, CEO

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Responsible Consumption and Production.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

My master in International Management provided me with the theoretical feedback in order to start and guide initiatives. I already founded the NGO "Collect Change" (, an organization that helps charity organization to increase their awareness and activity at universities in Lisbon.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?