Ziscuit, the world’s first grocery search engine, made its’ debut at the 2021 Techstars Farm To Fork Accelerator Demo Day on October 14, 2021. It has been almost one year since the launch of the platform. The grocery search engine initially launched in two zip codes in the Atlanta metro area where it was to help budget-sensitive customers save $5-to- $10 per shopping trip by instantly showing them where the cheapest groceries are in their neighborhood. They are still working on rolling out more zip codes.
Founder & CEO Mark Anthony Peterson shared that he started Ziscuit because according to FeedingAmerica.org, 35M people are struggling to put food on the table. This problem is exacerbated by inflation-driven food prices and the elimination of food supplemental programs. Budget-sensitive customers are feeling the most pain, and African-Americans are hit especially hard. FeedingAmerica.org reported that in 2020, one in five African-Americans were food insecure, three times the rate of their white counterparts.
“The only way for these shoppers to fight back is to clip coupons and make multiple stops during a shopping trip to save money,” said Peterson. “Unfortunately, despite the hours they invest preparing to shop, they are only saving pennies”. Ziscuit’s algorithm instantly shops grocery lists with neighborhood stores and suggests combinations of store options that save consumers time and money.
“Ziscuit aims to empower underserved shoppers with information that will put more food on their tables,” Peterson said. As an African-American founder, raised in Selma, Alabama, he is well aware of the hardship associated with food insecurity and food deserts. And for Peterson, this is also personal. “My late mother spent countless hours combing through store flyers, clipping coupons, and making multiple stops to stretch our grocery budget. Ziscuit would have made her life a lot easier by saving her more money and more time,” he remembers.
Ziscuit is one of the 11 companies chosen to participate in the exclusive Techstars Farm to Fork accelerator. The Techstars programs support many fast-growing and innovative startups to rapidly increase their awareness and accelerate growth, like ClassPass to SendGrid to name a few. Peterson continues, “Techstars Farm to Fork marks the next stage in our development as we move closer to our Minimum Viable Product launch in the state of Georgia.”
Brett Brohl, Managing Director of Techstars Farm to Fork, said, “Mark embodies key qualities I look for in phenomenal entrepreneurs – he can imagine the future but also understands the problem he’s solving. Ziscuit is a platform that can have a tremendous social impact while also returning tremendous value to its stakeholders. I’m delighted that we’re able to connect it to our network and support it as they grow and scale in the US and around the world over the coming months and years.”
Ziscuit launched its search engine platform in Atlanta, Georgia initially in two zip codes (30058 and 30082) and will quickly roll out to the Atlanta metro area. Ziscuit’s will target 25 additional cities. “My parents lived paycheck to paycheck for many years. Putting $5 to $10 per week back into their budget would have made a real difference. That would have paid a bill or put more food on our plates,” says Peterson.
Interested in learning more about Ziscuit? Go to www.ziscuit.shop to sign up now and support Ziscuit in building a product that will help stretch the food budgets of our neighbors and families.