Algramo means “by the gram”, and this Chilean based startup is providing customers with a way to order just as much of a product as they want without using single-use packaging.
Customers download an app, “charge it” with money, place their orders, and receive it directly in their “Smart Packaging” at home. Or, they can take Smart Packaging to vending locations where RFID chips identify the account, amount, and calculate the plastic saved in the cashless transaction.
According to the World Economic Forum, the system offers cost savings to the poor:
“Algramo was founded in 2011 after then-student José Manuel Moller moved to the outskirts of Santiago and realized that lower-income consumers were often unable to buy in bulk, forcing them to buy smaller amounts for higher prices.
Moller estimates that this meant they could pay as much as 30-50% more than the same product in a larger container. So he set up Algramo to supply small stores in poor areas of the city with vending machines dispensing household products.”
Algramo as an example of the concept of packaging as a service and bulk dispensing. Using technology, they have taken the old “milk man” model to a new level that gives brand owners a way to market without single-use packaging while offering financial benefits to customers.