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The Berlin start-up share now sells products in supermarkets and donates meals in return. Is this a sensible initiative or skillful marketing?

Berliner start-up share: shopping for a better world

The Berlin start-up share now sells products in supermarkets and donates meals in return. Is this a sensible initiative or skillful marketing?

Berliner start-up share: shopping for a better world

Sebastian Knitter knows how much even little money can help. For example, it costs 40 cents to feed a starving child in developing countries for one day. The Austrian refore developed app "share meal" in 2014, with which smartphone users should be given an easy way to donate. You can use it to fund a meal for UN's World Food Programme. 21.5 million daily rations have been made possible since n.

A year ago, Knitter got out at share meal. "There's a super team and since I left, it's even better," says Knitter. He has been working on a new project since n: Share Foods is name of company headquartered in Rosenthaler Straße. It has developed three products that will be traded throughout Germany on this Monday: a nut bar, water and a hand soap. "Every time you buy something, someone else gets something," explains idea of knitter.

For each item sold in return, eir a meal is financed, a person is supplied with water or a piece of soap. Support projects in Liberia, Senegal, Cambodia or Ethiopia are supported, as well as Berlin table. The items are initially sold in approximately 5,000 stores of Rewe and DM. "I know that re has never been such a big start to a social food brand," says Knitter.

Lemonaid has sold 60 million bottles

In recent years, in addition to organic or Fairtradeartikeln, more and more products have been added to sales shelves, which are used to support purchase of social purposes – especially beverages. A well-known example is Lemonaid, which sells lemonades under this name and also has iced tea under brand Charitea. At same time, five cents per bottle sold are channelled into aid projects. Since start of 2009, 60 million bottles have now been sold, and now re are drinks in 15 countries.

The project Viva Con Agua, which was created by former football pro of FC St. Pauli, Benjamin Adrion, works a little differently. His association collects donations to supply people with drinking water, because more than half a billion people have no access to clean water. Meanwhile, Viva-Con-agua bottles are also sold, but in previous year re were 23 million. "But we are not a classic social business," says André Lau, head of Viva Con Agua Wasser GmbH. Because company does not produce itself, but gives licenses to partners who can use logo and sell water under brand. The previous year's licence fees amounted to approximately 1.4 million euros. Of this, after costs and taxes, about half a million euros remain in profits, which flow into aid projects.

For some critics, however, se are "gooders drinks", which are supposed to give ir mostly better-earning buyers a good conscience. "In consumer sector, people think less than donations," says Lau. But behind approach of Viva Con Agua There is a second idea: "In case of charitable associations, question is always how to make advertising for mselves," says Lau. Donors do not like to see parts of ir money spent on posters. That is why Viva Con Agua is making its mark on consumer products, which is now also known as toilet paper, and hopes to encourage ir buyers to make furr donations.

A shoe manufacturer invented one-for-one principle

The one-for-one principle that share now relies on was invented in 2006 by US shoe manufacturer Toms. After a visit to Argentina, Toms chief decided to distribute material shoes known as Alpargatas in world and to sell shoes in developing countries. This approach, for example, is also followed by US eyewear brand Warby Parker.

Knitter wants to spread idea now in food sector in Germany. "What big food companies invest in marketing is what we put into social projects," says 35-year-old. "We hope this is better marketing". The first production of three million products is financed by end of year. Among or things, money comes from Atlantic labs of Berlin investor Christophe Maire and Andreas Berger, a former manager of Swiss trading group Valora. "My dream is, of course, that we are still going to expand range," says Knitter. He would like to have an educational product on offer to finance notebooks or pens.

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