Food Waste Matters

Industry Spotlight – I Am Grounded

I Am Grounded: Fighting food waste with coffee fruit snacks


I Am Grounded: Fighting food waste with coffee fruit snacks 

Vanessa Murillo and Lachlan Powell join Andrew on Food Waste Matters to talk about their company rescuing discarded coffee fruit from Colombia to manufacture healthy and delicious snacks. ‘I am Grounded’ combines the unique skills and backgrounds of these two entrepreneurs, resulting in an initiative that has so far saved more than ten tonnes of potentially wasted coffee fruit, while supporting Colombian farmers, removing chemicals from the environment, and providing consumers with a tasty, functional, and sustainable treat. Learn how they did it and listen to their advice for new businesses in this episode of Food Waste Matters.

How a background in the coffee industry and a flair for cooking led to an innovative upcycling opportunity advance food packaging in Australia.

  • “I Am Grounded” snack bars use discarded coffee fruit as the main ingredient, addressing a serious food waste issue while offering consumers a tasty, sustainable product.
  • The company has rescued more than ten tonnes of Colombian coffee fruit from landfill since 2017, supporting farmer incomes and removing potentially hazardous materials from the environment.
  • The company takes a consumer-first approach to ensure that there is a large enough market to support their ongoing efforts to fight food waste.
  • Vanessa and Lachlan have succeeded even without a background in the food industry, and they encourage other entrepreneurs to overcome this perceived barrier and emphasise the value of a fresh perspective in the industry.

Visit for more info or find the bars in your local Woolworths store.



Founded in 2017, “I Am Grounded” is an innovative Australian company that’s on a mission to make an impact on food waste. Their primary products? Delicious and healthy snack bars made from coffee fruit, a commonly discarded byproduct of the coffee production process. This inventive approach has led the brand to rescue an impressive 10 tonnes of coffee fruit from landfills in Colombia, while paying local farmers for their product.Lachlan and Vanessa, the brains behind “I Am Grounded”, have taken a holistic approach in their venture, meticulously developing recipes in-house and targeting a variety of consumer segments, from athletes to corporate millenials. The duo emphasises the importance of consumer feedback, having collaborated with coffee shops in the early stages to gauge product appeal and later establishing a dedicated group of ambassadors to gather insights.The company’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. They’ve secured a massive distribution deal, making their products available in around 1,000 Woolworths stores across Australia. Additionally, as local champions of the upcycling movement, they’ve become the first Australian members of the Upcycled Food Association, connecting with other global entities working towards sustainability. With a forward-thinking model, consumer-centric approach, and dedication to sustainability, “I Am Grounded” is making a meaningful contribution to the fight against food waste.