Freshly: Meal delivery vs. meal-kit

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

9 thoughts on “Freshly: Meal delivery vs. meal-kit

  1. Very cool company! It seems like a very convenient service for working health oriented people. I know I will consider it when I don’t have a meal plan. The only thing that I don’t particularly like is that the average calories for a meal seem rather low. If you got 3 freshly meals a day then you would only eat 1500 calories which for most people is not enough.

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  2. Loved your presentation on Freshly! I am excited to see this company grow. I agree with you that uber eats and doordash are probably the biggest competitors, but once the idea of Freshly catches on, I think it will be hugely successful. Living off campus without a meal plan, I definitely understand how beneficial Freshly would be to the busy, health-oriented student/employee that just doesn’t have the time to cook healthy meals at home. Great post!

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  3. I wish Freshly would deliver to Boston College! For the first couple weeks living off campus, I struggled to manage my time between academics, clubs, and cooking. I can see the appeal of having a prepared meal delivered to your door, that only takes 3 minutes to heat up. Additionally, because customers know Freshly’s meals are healthy and are given the nutritional facts, it is a guilt-free way to order food. I would definitely be a customer if I were in their delivery range.

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  4. Thank you for sharing, Quinn! I think that Freshly would be extremely beneficial to have, especially with the struggle to cook all of the time. I am curious and interested to see with the growth of Freshly if they will expand into developing personal nutritional advice and planned out diets for people trying to gain or lose weight. This seems like a natural addition to their service, which already offers health conscious meals.

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  5. I love this post, Mary! You made an interesting comment that people confused Freshly with Hello Fresh. I wonder if the company’s CEO has considered rebranding the company to differentiate itself for consumers. Also, it is very exciting news that they opened a kitchen in Maryland– hopefully this means they are expanding to the east coast soon. I’m still surprised their headquarters is in NYC if they only cater to the west coast currently. Overall, great presentation/blog and I’m looking forward to visiting the company!!

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  6. I really enjoyed your presentation on Freshly! I definitely agree in terms of their lack of marketing because Hello Fresh sponsors so many influencers I follow on social media, so I am constantly seeing advertisements for their company and I have never seen one for Freshly. That being said, there is a different market with Hello Fresh’s clientele compared to those targeted by Freshly. I wonder if they will try and market to companies as whole, especially those with younger employees, to try and gain more clients. Great post!

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  7. Great job! Your presentation made me crave some Freshly, so I hope they can deliver to MA as soon as possible! Based on my limited knowledge of their product offering, I am very bullish on the future growth potential in the easy-prep meal space. Blue Apron has obviously been hammered since their infamous IPO last year, but Freshly can differentiate itself as a healthy, ready-made meal option. While high, the price is not unreasonable and will hopefully be brought down as the company expands — without sacrificing the integrity or brand image I hope. I can’t wait to see where Freshly goes!

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  8. Great post! I think its interesting that you note that Freshly might have a struggle with their marketing because of Hello Fresh. When you began your presentation, I initially thought it was about Hello Fresh! I have always struggled to find time for cooking so I know I would benefit from Freshly’s service. Currently, I use Blue Apron but at times it can get very complicated. Freshly seems so much easier!

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