U.S. consumers now have convenient access to the healthiest and best tasting sustainably raised beef from independent ranchers
SEATTLE, Wash., June 6, 2017 -- Just in time for Father’s Day and the summer barbeque season, food tech startup Crowd Cow (www.crowdcow.com) announced today that it is now shipping to beef lovers throughout the U.S. The sharing economy’s latest big idea allows consumers to buy portions of an actual cow online with strangers by claiming their favorite cuts, tipping the cow and becoming a “steak holder.” Backed by the likes of NFL great Joe Montana, the founders of Zulily and venture firms such as Fuel Capital and Maveron, Crowd Cow now makes it fun and convenient for consumers nationwide to order from independent farms, and enjoy the great taste and transparency of sustainably-raised beef.
Whole Cow, Whole Country
Crowd Cow cuts out the middleman to bring sustainably-raised beef direct to consumers, including access to beef that’s hard (if not impossible) to find in stores like grass-finished Black Angus and sought-after varieties like Wagyu — all of it dry-aged and hormone and antibiotic free.
Crowd Cow’s unique whole-cow, independent ranch approach means more transparency for consumers and greater reach for farms. “We hand-select the best producers and bring their beef to consumers everywhere, pairing every shipment with recipes and support. As a result, marrow bones and tongues sell out as quickly as tenderloins and nothing goes to waste,” says co-founder Joe Heitzeberg.
How it Works
Crowd Cow features a particular ranch, detailing their story and practices in a short video and web page. Users select from the cuts of a single animal, choosing as much or as little of the exact cuts they want. When everything is sold, the company ships direct to their door with recipes and a welcome note from the founders.
The company’s success to-date aligns with growing consumer demand for visibility into where food comes from. According to the Food Revolution Study, 94 percent of consumers say it’s important for brands to be transparent about what is in their food and how it is made. At the same time, a Consumer Reports survey found that 80% of consumers think better living conditions for farm animals is important. By featuring specialty beef producers with each event, and detailing how they feed and treat their animals, Crowd Cow is at the forefront of shifting the beef industry towards a more sustainable model in demand by health-conscious consumers.
Founded by Tech Start Up Veterans
Crowd Cow was founded in 2015 by startup veterans Ethan Lowry (Urbanspoon) and Joe Heitzeberg (Madrona Venture Labs). After hearing a friend brag about how much better beef from independent ranches was, but discovering that it is typically only sold to specialty restaurants, high end butcher shops or in quantities of 300 to 600 pounds at a time, they sought out a better solution.
"Our friend told us we'd need a meat freezer, a pickup truck and a few thousand dollars in cash," explains Heitzeberg. "Ethan suggested that we crowdfund a cow so 50 people could each purchase 5 to 10 pounds." After emailing 100 friends, the first cow was sold in 24 hours and was delivered in time for July 4th BBQs.