Last week in class I presented on Freshly, the weekly meal delivery service that you can feel good about eating!
In case you forgot what Freshly was, here are some images to refresh your memory:
To elaborate further on Freshly’s services, the company offers bundles of 4, 6, 9, or 12 meal per week costing $49.99, $59.99, $89.99, $107.99 respectively. These meals are all delivered at once, to provide true “on-demand” service, since in the eyes of co-founder Michael Wystrach, “when you’re hungry, you’re hungry”. Having all of the meals in your kitchen for the week allows you to eat them at your leisure, or even bring them to work with you if you plan on having a late night at the office. All of the meals last at least 4-5 days in the refrigerator, and take just three minutes in the microwave to reheat.
Freshly’s menu offers both breakfast and lunch/dinner meals, and promises to use only all-natural, fresh ingredients. They use no refined sugars, and only sparingly use natural sweeteners like honey or maple. There is a list of 84 banned ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, modified starches, and bleached flour. All of Freshly’s meals are certified gluten-free and peanut free. Freshly chose to make their entire menu gluten-free since a large enough portion of people have tended to shy away from gluten in recent years. Along with the fact that fiber and other nutrients found in glutinous grains, can be found in other natural foods.
The average Freshly meal contains 30 grams of protein and is around 500 calories. However, if the customer is looking for even more protein or even less caloric-dense meals, there are icons beneath the meal images conveying this nutrition information. This also helps Freshly compete with restaurants that offer takeout and delivery services, since restaurants rarely offer the nutritional information of every item on their menu. By offering nutritional meals and being transparent about all of their ingredients, Freshly is able to serve as its customers’ personal nutritionists.
In addition to providing healthy meals for those with tight schedules, founders Michael and Carter set out to “democratize” these healthy meals through their company. Through Freshly, anyone is now able to enjoy a delicious, healthy, gourmet meal in the comfort of their own home at an affordable price. The notion that eating healthy costs more than it is worth now loses validity with the rise of companies like Freshly.
Some competitors that first come to mind when thinking of Freshly are Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, however upon further consideration, I do not feel that these are its true competitors. These meal kit services sell their customer the opportunity to cook a gourmet, healthy meal with a friend or family member, which is the opposite philosophy of Freshly. While Freshly markets to the health food industry as well, Freshly prioritizes speed and convenience by selling precooked meals. As a result, I find middleman delivery services such as Uber Eats, Grub Hub, and DoorDash as its true competitors. Though as I explained in my presentation, Freshly’s pricing includes its shipping fees, whereas these delivery services have fees in addition to the meal itself.
However, a related struggle I see Freshly having is marketing. Every time I have talked with someone about Freshly, they automatically assume I am talking about Hello Fresh. This comes from both a similarity in the names, and due to the rapid growth in the meal-kit industry. There are countless meal-kit subscriptions out there nowadays, however I have not been able to find other precooked meal delivery services like Freshly. Due to Freshly being one of the first in its field, many people do not yet understand what they offer, and how they differ from meal-kit services.
Now for some stats!
Freshly started up in 2013 with two million dollars in seed funding. They were then able to graduate to Series A funding and raise seven million, followed by 21 million in Series B funding. To date, they have finished their Series C funding with 77 million, with lead investors Nestle, Insight Venture Partners, and Highland Capital Partners.
As of 2016, there were 703,803 monthly web visitors, and the company’s annual revenue was around 4.3 million. For Freshly, this meant that they had experienced 20% monthly growth from their launch in 2015. Freshly’s growth has continued since then, and they are now opening a second kitchen in Maryland.
I am excited to see what the future will hold for Freshly, and am interested to see if other meal delivery services will begin to pop up, and how they will differentiate themselves.