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Every great innovation starts with a nagging problem, a moment of frustration that sparks a revolution. For the founders of TAINR, that moment arrived during their routine grocery shopping trips. As they stood amidst towering shelves of plastic-wrapped products, the sight of the mounting plastic waste left them pondering a simple yet profound question: Why is it so difficult to buy food without plastic waste?

Driven by a desire for change and armed with their collective expertise in engineering and product development, the founders of TAINR set out to transform the grocery industry. Their journey would be an extraordinary one, marked by innovation, determination, and a deep commitment to sustainability.

Leading the charge was Philip, TAINR's co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, whose inventive spirit had previously given birth to the Redbox DVD Dispenser. With a proven track record in the world of innovation, Philip brought his expertise and passion to TAINR, ready to tackle the challenge of plastic waste head-on. Joined by Camilo and Kathy, two brilliant minds who shared the same vision, they formed a formidable team ready to revolutionize the grocery industry.

But as they delved deeper into the intricacies of the market, the founders discovered a web of inefficiencies, labor shortages, and a glaring lack of data collection plaguing grocery stores. In 2021 alone, grocers suffered losses of a staggering $11 billion due to out-of-stock items. The industry was crying out for modernization, and TAINR was ready to answer the call.

The founders recognized that despite the arrival of tech behemoth Amazon and its acquisition of Whole Foods, there was still no comprehensive solution to meet the growing demand for sustainable, plastic-free groceries. This realization led TAINR to introduce an innovation that would redefine the shopping experience, not just by reducing plastic waste but also by offering unmatched convenience.

Enter TAINR's smart refill kiosk—a modernized version of the traditional bulk aisle found in grocery stores. This cutting-edge technology would revolutionize inventory management, slashing restocking times, minimizing product losses, and eliminating single-use plastic packaging waste. What truly set TAINR apart from its competitors was the ability to deploy autonomous kiosks in unattended settings such as airports, convenience stores, college campuses, and innovation hubs. The potential for scalability beyond supermarket bulk aisles was enormous.

But TAINR's commitment to convenience went beyond the elimination of plastic waste. They designed their refill kiosk with contactless and hygienic dispensing systems, ensuring a shopping experience that was both safe and seamless. With sustainability at its core, TAINR's refill kiosk emerged as a pioneering solution, setting new standards for the grocery industry.

Of course, no entrepreneurial journey is without its fair share of challenges. For TAINR, securing funds for hardware development proved to be a significant hurdle. They recognized that hardware-based products required substantial investment and time to gain market validation. However, armed with their expertise in product development, the founders devised a clever solution. They built a minimum viable product (MVP) with limited funding, resonating with early adopters and generating crucial traction.

Buoyed by this initial success, TAINR embarked on an equity crowdfunding campaign, inviting passionate shoppers to join them as stakeholders in their journey. The response was overwhelming—within a mere 24 hours, they surpassed their initial funding goal. The campaign not only provided additional capital but also established a powerful community of supporters who believed in TAINR's purpose and technology.

With milestones like commitments for over 20 kiosks, the first patent filing, successful plastic-free dispenses through the MVP, and recognition as a Fast Company World Changing Ideas 2023 honoree in the sustainability category, TAINR continues to push the boundaries of sustainable innovation.

The future of the grocery industry is being shaped by a younger generation of digital natives who demand sustainable alternatives. Legislation on plastic waste and refill solutions is gaining traction, and TAINR finds itself ideally positioned to capitalize on these trends. With their innovative refill technology and inventory management software, TAINR offers a sustainable and convenient way for consumers to shop for dry goods while reducing plastic waste and product losses for grocery retailers.

TAINR's journey is a testament to the power of determination and innovation. To aspiring entrepreneurs, they offer sage advice: have patience, solve real problems, find the right co-founders, and build a network of supportive allies. Through their unwavering commitment to a sustainable future, TAINR has transformed the grocery industry, proving that with passion, determination, and innovative solutions, we can create a world where convenience and sustainability go hand in hand.

To get in touch with TAINR contact them at


Jul 21, 2023




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