5 Minutes With... Alex Wright, Co-Founder of Dash Water
Dash was set up by two friends Alex and Jack, on a mission to encourage people to start drinking more water and stop throwing away deliciously-wonky fruit and veg. Here, we meet one of the half, Alex.
How did Dash come about?
We’re both from farming backgrounds and have seen first-hand up to 30% of the fruit & vegetables grown in the UK goes to waste. The idea came when we developed a daily ritual of concocting our own tasty infused waters, lemon & lime or cucumber infused water, and thought why can’t we get something like this in the shops which didn’t contain all the usual sugar or artificial flavourings whilst using wonky fruit, so Dash was born…How long did it take from concept to getting the product ready for market? What was the biggest trial you faced?
From concept to producing our first beverages ready for market took nearly two years! We were backed by Virgin Startup who gave us lots of support and an amazing mentor called Ben Keene which really helped to get going. The biggest trial was producing a natural beverage with a good shelf life. You’re already stocked at Selfridges. How did that come about?
Absolutely, it came around when Selfridges had a food waste popup run by American chef Dan Barber using only waste and leftover food. Through this food waste initiative, as well as their tendency to launch innovative brands, shows they’re a perfect partner to launch with. MPs from cross-party Environment Food and Rural AffairsCommittee (Efra) recently called for a legally-bound target for food waste reduction in England, stating that a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, 60% of which could be avoided. What has your experience been using ‘wonky’ fruit, and what has the reception been from stockists, and consumers?
From a stockist’s view they see themselves the huge quantity of waste which goes on and are happy to have products using misshapen ingredients. In turn this encourages the consumers to purchase products which use surplus. What advice can you give to those wanting to cut down on their own personal food waste?
We think it starts with people taking an active interest to see how much waste they can personally cut out of daily life. Using one’s own initiative to decide on a product’s ‘sell by date’, through what we call a ‘smell-by date’ (smelling a product to check if it’s safe to eat) on your food, as well as having the culinary imagination to create a dish which could include the odd ingredients which are about to go off instead of putting them in the bin is a great start.You don’t use added sweeteners or sugar in your products, and we can safely say that they are delicious. That along with the introduction of the tax on sugar, do you think this is the end of the ‘fizzy drink’ as we know it?
Absolutely, we like to believe Dash is a perfect alternative to get people off their usual fizzy drinks!What’s it like going into business with a friend? And what advice would you give to those looking to start their own business?
It’s a lot of fun! A‘day’s work’ is creative, exciting and you can enjoy the ride together. In terms of advice, there’s never been a better time to start your own business with the ease of marketing through social media and other online business tools – go do it!At the moment there are just the lemon and cucumber flavours. Are you planning on expanding the range?
Our flavours are relatable to the ones people are infusing in the own water at home. So keeping along those lines is our plan and watch this space for new ones coming out soon…