“The snacking landscape for children, as well as adults who like to snack, for the most part, is unhealthy. Goodybox wants to change that. With the consumer moving away from the unhealthy sodium-filled, lab-designed trash in a bag, Goodybox [is offering] healthy, natural and palatable alternatives.”
The initial idea started in June, with the co-founders taking six months to sort out the branding, sourcing, implementation plan and everything else in place, and eventually going live in December 2014.
MAKING IT HAPPEN
The married co-founders 30-year-old Neesha Law and 33-year-old Gaurav Law who both co-founded Personality Products, a company specializing in consumer products and supply chain in Hong Kong and China- wanted to fulfill similar dreams, and used their complementary skills and interests in health, wellness, and entrepreneurship to start this venture called Goodybox.
One of the reasons behind the high obesity rate in UAE can be drawn to how snacking options in the stores here are alarmingly unhealthy. What’s worse is that even though we’re particular about our meals, our snacking habits can mount up to unhealthy calories. The co-founders wanted to change the status quo and make snacking healthy, cost-effective and convenient to their customers by bringing Goodybox to their doorstep.
HOW IT WORKS
Goodybox has three subscription plans; AED149 monthly for a month-to-month plan, AED135 monthly for a six month plan, AED125 monthly for an annual plan, AED1500 monthly for offices to receive 100 snacks and AED175 to try a box without a subscription plan. Prices include free shipping and users can pay using COD and PayPal- although, users will be billed in USD. However, Law says they’re bringing AED payments with payment gateway 2Checkout that will be up next month. They also customize plans according to dietary specifications, preferences and allergies, with all of the non-GMO snacks free of artificial color, sweeteners, and refined sugar.
THE UNIQUE FACTOR
Their dedication to curating nutritionist-approved brands that are appetizing is one of the things that Law says sets them apart. Goodybox is also cost-effective, as it offers customers 8-10 snacks in a box starting at AED125 a month, and also the option to customize according to their specific preferences.
The subscription service has three channels of sales. First is direct-to-customer sales: customers can log in to their website and subscribe to one of its three plans. The second is a snack box service for office pantries, and the third is a reseller program for gyms and schools to sell snacks to their customers.
REACHING THE PEOPLE
As of July 2015, Goodybox currently has 500 monthly users including annual, six-month and monthly subscribers, and 3000 boxes shipped. Its marketing solutions include circulating newsletters, having discounts for nurseries and schools, regular food tasting with their B2B partners and through farmer’s markets. It also makes use of early adopters, food and lifestyle bloggers and nutritionists who spread the word about the product. The company has also changed its approach to demand-based marketing, wherein customers can customize their own box. Law emphasizes that the core of acquiring users for them is through education.
The co-founders stage talks paired with food tasting of the snacks available to demonstrate how tasty and cost-effective it can be. “We believe if we educate people to make better choices by choosing non-GMO, soy free, low sodium, no artificial flavors and no refined sugar products that taste as good as [other snacks], there will be no reason not to adopt the Goodybox way.” The duo partners with schools, nurseries and activity centers to talk to parents and educate them about nutrition, as well as other partners like the Ripe Farmers Market Dubai, which they call “a great channel to get visibility.” They were also invited to participate in a health and wellness forum for the employees of the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
Though there’s improvement, Law says it’s still raising money and getting support from the community as a whole that’s a challenge. Comparing how the U.S. and Europe has infrastructure to support startups and their growth, in the Middle East, institutions still prefer working with established companies, “instead of understanding the startup culture and supporting it.”
“For sure!” Law replies, when asked if they have plans to expand outside UAE, adding that the need and awareness of healthy food trends such as organic and gluten-free food is growing in Gulf countries.