4 Reasons TreeDots had to remove the Vege Box

Saying goodbye is always tough, but sometimes it has to be done. The “Adopt a Vege Box” initiative was without a doubt one of the first few services that we had started as a weapon against edible food waste. Ugly vegetables sourced from our suppliers packed into a box and delivered to our adopters every Friday, sounds like a great plan!

Or maybe not. Here are some reasons that we have learnt along our journey to force us to pause this product for the time being:

1. Lack of Customers

It took us awhile to realise this but our initiative just wasn’t doing as great as how we envision it to be. Till date, we had only acquired around 20 consistent buyers for the initiative. We did a brief survey out there to find out why and it seems like people just didn’t like the surprise factor of these ugly produce. Either way, not enough customers simply means our operations would be expensive leading to expensive boxes and lesser customers – see the vicious cycle happening here?

2. Mismatch in Expectations

stop adopt vege box
Maybe we didn’t market the product right, maybe people don’t get the nature of food waste, but our survey had shown that our Vege Boxes just didn’t hit their expectations. We’ve had people saying that the vegetables are not ugly, and would like to boycott the suppliers whom had sold them via us. We’ve got people wanting to choose the items in the box or know the items a week before so they’re able to plan their groceries. We’ve even got people going to supermarkets and compare the prices asking why are they only saving $10 or even asking to have it for free.
Again, this is entirely due to our inexperience in communications and also lack of resources to properly do so. Therefore we have decided to just halt this, regroup, before we launch another initiative like that.

3. Slow response time from sellers

Our suppliers started to enjoy the other channels of clearance by TreeDots – towards our business clients – because we weren’t clearing their products quick enough with vege boxes. Over time, they started to become sluggish in their end of the week updates, and we had a lack of products to pack for the vege boxes.

4. Lack of sufficient resources

We were doing too many things at one time, catering to business clients took up more than we can chew in terms of resource allocation and we just didn’t have enough for anything else.
With this, we have closed the curtains to our pioneer product but it will definitely not be the end. We are just halting it to see how we can better improve our services to serve you all. Thank you to all the supporters for Vege Box and we hope to still see you around for other orders.
Posted in General Updates, The TreeDots Community.

2 Comments

  1. Great initiative still. Hopefully with more exposure people will be more accepting or less kiem peng.
    Perhaps can consider to offer e product as a mix n match for consumers to choose. Eg 1 box can select 6 portions of veggies, and have a list of veggies available to select from. A consumer may only have 3 types but 2 portions each. If they want surprise that week, then they can simply select ‘surprise me!’ 😀

    • Hey Pat, I think its how we were brought up – uglies means spoilt means must be free haha. It was really a lack of education on our end as well, a bit tough to reach out to too many people at one time so we are still regrouping to see how we can go about reaching out to the public and bringing our message across.

      Brilliant suggestions though, just a minor problem is that the timeline is usually too tight for us to allow them to choose, we only have 2-4 hours to pick out the veggies and fruits or they will just dump it away! We might be able to allow for that once the customer base for vege boxes are big enough though, hard to know since we’ve not reach that stage at this moment. 🙁

      Thanks for your feedback and support!

      – N

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