One start-up is attempting to corner the market on obscure vegetables.
Blue Apron, a meal-kit delivery service, is slated to purchase the entire commercial supply of at least 40 specialty crops, according to The Washington Post.
The company has already secured a half a million pounds of fairy-tale eggplants, a small, nearly seedless plant that is less bitter than a common variety eggplant. In addition, Blue Apron hopes to secure supplies of Shokichi Shiro squash and Atlas carrots.
The dinner-in-a-box start-up hopes to match supply with demand by having farmers grow only what is needed to cater to Blue Apron's consumer base. The company's strategy, which includes teaching farmers how to grow the unique produce it needs, was devised to battle against the industry's typically thin profit margins.
"If you have really great ingredients," Matt Wadiak, co-founder of Blue Apron, told the publication. "The food almost cooks itself."