From non-entity to 15 retailers in 2.5 years is a rapid rise, and doing so by blending health, convenience and affordability to produce prepared foods that also taste ‘amazing’ is only the beginning, says the Founder and CEO of Lyfe Kitchen Grocery.
Talking with FoodNavigator-USA at the recent Expo West show in Anaheim, Lyfe’s Steve Sidwell said that scaling up and time have not been the biggest challenge.
“The greatest challenge was the mindset that you cannot get amazing taste and healthy in one package.
“We had to prove that we could deliver on taste, and once we nailed that then we scaled it and made it affordable.”
Breakfasts retail for between $3.99 and $4.50, he said, while entrees will go for between $4.99 and $5.99. The meals are all formulated to contain fewer than 500 calories and 500 mg of sodium.
The meals are available in 15 retailers, including Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco in Northern California, Ralphs, Fred Meyers and QFC on the West Coast, and ShopRite on the East Coast. They are also available via HSN.com and Amazon.com.
The company has mobilized a high-profile army of celebrity ambassadors, including actress Jennifer Garner, Olympic swimmer Janet Evans, NFL player Troy Polamalu, and bestselling author and MD Mark Hyman.
“We’ve bringing together phenomenal people – chefs, doctors, celebrities, and athletes – who are able and willing to use their influence to make a difference.”
Chef John Mitchel, Lyfe Kitchen Retail, said that all the ingredients are on their way to being certified non-GMO by the non-GMO project, but such certifications were a detailed process.
The company sources ingredients from all over the world to ensure quality and standards, he said.
The foods have a long ingredients list, added Sidwell, “and people may say, ‘oh, that’s bad’, unless the ingredients are all really good.
“We manufacture clean food and add a lot of clean ingredients... We‘re working with small, nimble manufacturers who can deliver quality and an appropriate price point,” he added.
Next five years
The company is aiming big and aims to be in multiple categories in the grocery store, with consumers recognizing and trusting the brand. A line of flatbreads is in development inspired by one of the most popular items in the Lyfe Kitchen Restaurants in Palo Alto and Culver City, California.
“There are several thousand retailers around the world that our brand fits with, and we’ve had tremendous interest from Europe,” said Sidwell.
“Over the next five years we hope to make a difference, to become a global brand, and make it really easy for people to do the right thing.”