Prepared Food Delivery Service
Startup Costs: $50,000 - $100,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes
Freshly is a D2C company that intersects the food & beverage, health & wellness, and tech industries. We’re the nation’s leading prepared meal delivery service, providing convenient and balanced nourishment for busy lives. Our mission at Freshly is to break down the barriers to healthy eating by filling people’s fridges with nutritious meals that are ready to enjoy. We also recently launched a dedicated B2B arm, FreshlyWell, that delivers mealtime solutions to employers, organizations, and member communities across markets — from corporations and healthcare systems to universities, hospitality and more. With on-site and at-home offerings that fit every need, FreshlyWell helps organizations nourish their people at scale, wherever they are.
Is the industry growing?
Coming out of the pandemic’s onset in 2020, most businesses in the industry saw an exponential spike. Consumers were looking for an easier way to eat healthy meals, and meal delivery services were the answer. As we come off of this lockdown demand, the industry needs to innovate and expand offerings to meet the new needs of consumers.
In a post-pandemic world, businesses and organizations are now searching for new and smarter ways to provide their people with nourishment, which is why we decided to launch FreshlyWell (we were seeing a gap in on-site and at-home mealtime solutions at-scale for businesses).
The real growth opportunity for our company and the industry comes with channel diversification. Our goal is to provide convenient access to healthy and balanced meals to as many people as possible, in as many formats as possible–meeting customers where they are.
What are the current trends and what type of person is a great fit to try this?
Sustainability continues to be a vital topic when it comes to meal delivery services. To ensure each meal is well-prepared, within food safety regulations and delivered fresh to customers’ doorsteps every week, meal delivery services do tend to incur heavier packaging amounts. To further minimize our footprint, we recently teamed up with Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim recycling program to make it easier than ever to recycle our packaging and keep our denim insulation liners out of our nation’s landfills.
We’re also always keeping a laser focus on the ever-changing wellness and food trends. New lifestyle trends pop up every day, and it’s our job to ensure we have offerings for every consumer. From gluten-free and dairy-free to paleo and vegan, we strive to have a menu that has something for everyone.
As for trends on the B2B side, office occupancy hit 44.2% in June–its highest point since the pandemic began in 2020, according to Kastle Systems. We are seeing employees heading back into the office and with our new FreshlyWell offering, we’ve been working to keep up with the ever-changing demand of hybrid work. We are also witnessing the ‘Death of the Cafeteria.’ Most offices are transitioning away from large, fully-staffed cafeterias to save on overhead costs. FreshlyWell is a great solution for both on-site and at-home work as we are able to help subsidize a self-service ‘cafeteria’ option with our micro markets and Freshly Smart Fridges or provide discounts for those working from home.
What do you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
The food and beverage industry is always evolving and to continue to stay relevant and grow the business, we need to remain nimble, anticipate trends and continuously innovate. We constantly work to ensure our menu is on par with what consumers are looking for without giving up taste and quality. Our sourcing team is consistently traveling and visiting farms across the country to get the best quality ingredients at scale for efficiency across the board. We have been able to build a community among our weekly subscribers and we take pride in knowing that they can count on us to deliver quality meals each week, despite supply chain issues and rising food costs.
One thing I wish I had known when first starting out at Freshly is everything that goes into creating a recipe. Because we are not a meal kit, our chefs need to not only source quality ingredients but also ensure that the flavors and consistency will hold up in transit and after heating in the microwave. It is truly an art, and it has been exciting to see those decisions being made in real-time.
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