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Safia Qureshi, Founder of CLUBZERO Talks About Sustainable Packaging on Conquer The Noise

In this episode of Conquer The Noise, Jonathan talks with Safia Qureshi, founder and CEO of CLUBZERO. CLUBZERO pioneered an award winning returnable packaging system for food and beverage brands globally. They partner with businesses to make food and beverage on-the-go more sustainable; working towards the ultimate goal of zero waste. They serve customers across the EU and North America, including the world’s largest food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway, NextGen Consortium brands (Starbucks, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Yum Brands, Nestle, Wendy’s) as well as leading food service company Baxter Storey, Cushman & Wakefield and retailer John Lewis & Partners.

With a philosophy of making reusables free and rewarding to use, safe and convenient to return, they’ve achieved a market leading return-rate of 95% vs industry standard of 60%. Safia talks about how they found a solution where they provide FNB outlets (brands, chains, small independents) the ability to give their customers an experience where they can take away their food in reusable packaging that they can return when finished.

Safia talks about how there are startups that will deliver beverages direct to home in glass and how CLUBZERO differs by looking at the to-go experience and connecting tech to all of it. As a brand you can understand where your inventory is and how many times they’re used before the end of life.

The brief she created for herself was: How do we get rid of using something for 20 seconds and replace it with better products designed to last longer and have a better experience? Part of Safia’s approach is an infrastructure play, creating the system for it to function.

Safia talks through the roles of consumers and entrepreneurs. She says that consumers consume and take what they are given. While the role of an entrepreneur is to design what they are given.
To further the point, she explains that we don’t dictate what is in the supermarket — we buy what we see – and we vote with our dollar to what we want to see more of. So, how do I design things people will want to see more of and vote on?

Her self-developed brief involved the genesis of reusable packaging to have a unique identifier of each object. Their idea is that every item that exists has its own genome. It has a QR code, a unique identifier just for that item. It gets generated and exists in the world and is recorded by our platform. We develop a platform for clients to use their own packaging lines and empower brands to use reusable packaging by providing them guidelines. She continues that they don’t want to own all the world’s packaging – they deploy a number of it in every city and then work with brands to create their own. Once that’s generated, these packaging items are distributed and set up in any given city. We work on a city-by-city basis and are scientifica about which cities we evaluate. The end goal is to have a drop off point within 5 minutes in any direction. Think like a mailbox. Once that’s done, the customer journey is finished. You can buy from one location and drop off to any location near you.

Safia talks about a new line launching next month for food with Just Eat. This is an opportunity to engage with customers and understand what the other types of packaging are that they can look at for them. She has come in to look at tech, plastic, cpg, and how the recycling world works and it’s quite complex and unregulated.

As the show comes to a conclusion, Safia talks about how the world is not a finished project — if you see something, question it, and if you feel something could be better, go for it. Everything around us is a work in progress