Freshly, the New york-based prepared meal delivery which was founded by Michael Wystrach and Carter Comstock in 2012 is now unstoppable.
“I think we’ve hit a tipping point,” said Wystrach the founder CEO. The company now is offering next day delivery to 48 states from kitchens in New Jersey, Maryland, and Arizona. The company adopted minimal food waste and sustainability into its menus and delivers all meals for a given week and are heated by microwave or oven without preparation. Freshly also donates excess ingredients and meals to local food banks as part of its partnership with Feeding America.
The company is now shipping out a million meals a week. With an average of $10 a meal, the annual sales would come to $520 million. Freshly donated $500 thousand in prepared foods to Meals on Wheels amidst the ongoing pandemic and reported sales up 50% year over year. In 2020, Freshly expanded to business-to-business food delivery, including to hospitals and essential service workers.
The company has also launched a B2B service to tap into demand from senior care facilities and other locations where due to the pandemic, food delivery services were disrupted.
” We’ve seen a huge influx of new customers, and existing customers are still ordering around 10 percent more now. we’ve also seen an increase in people ordering food for elderly parents, but in general, I’d say there are three power users: young urban singles or couples with no kids; family with kids aged 10and older; and then empty nesters”. said the CEO.
The uniqueness of the company is very much evident in terms of convenience, freshness price, and quantity. The company delivers 4, 6,10, or 12 chilled ‘ heat and eat’ meals a week, from $8.49 to $11.49 depending on how many one buys. Trends have indicated that people are cooking less. The pondering question is that during these COVID hit recessionary times, can Americans afford to spend $8-12 on a meal?
Wystrach clears the air by stating “Every year people are cooking less and the fact is that the food market is $1.4 tr and it’s going online at scale. And so we fell that the market potential is massive “. When asked if the American is reluctant to commit to an online subscription model for prepared meals or meal kits, he said that the failure of some high-end players should not be seen as proof that the model does not work.
Nestle had acquired a minority stake in the company in 2017 and has a board member seat. “It is an amazing partner to us we’ll have to see where things go”, he said. “Right now the focus is on adding new capacity to meet demand. We would be growing a lot faster, but demand far outstrips supply.”
The COVID 19 has indeed proved to be a game-changer and the company seems to have hit the tipping point.