Sakara Life secures $4.8 million to expand nationwide meal delivery service that feeds body, mind

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Sakara Life
Source: Sakara Life

Related tags Nutrition

Most players in the increasingly crowded subscription food delivery category focus on providing high quality nutrition and hard-to-find or novel ingredients, but Sakara Life sets itself apart from the pack by going one step farther and also promising to feed the mind and spirit, in addition to the body. 

“Food should nourish a person both mentally and physically … because when you understand the impact of your thoughts and actions related to food, your overall outlook on healthy living and life in general is changed,”​ co-founder Danielle DuBoise told FoodNavigator-USA.

She explain that is why the company spends a lot of time “making sure that every element of a meal serves a specific benefit to your body – whether that element empowers the brain or builds muscle, it all ties together.”

Specifically, Sakara Life feeds its clients mentally and spiritually by delivering S-Life Magazine digitally along with its ready-to-eat, organic meals. The magazine launched in June 2015 and “is full of information on everything from nutrition and exercise, to love and science,”​ the co-founders say. “It is a place for our clients to discover and navigate new information to help them form the most beautiful life possible,"​ co-founder Whitney Tingle said.

Recent posts on the magazine’s website include a roundup of scientific studies and current events presented in a chatty tone, guides on how to choose a yoga class or set an intention, as well as beauty product reviews and light-hearted “cosmic content” that explores how the stars and planets influence readers.

Clean eating

As for feeding the body, Sakara Life delivers freshly-made, ready-to-eat meals to subscribers’ doors either three or five days a week, depending on geography. And beginning in February, consumers will have the option to order a single meal program or subscribe to a recurring weekly meal program.

“All meals contain nutrient-dense, plant-based ingredients and are free from dairy, gluten, pesticides, chemicals, additives, preservatives, flavorings and dyes,”​ according to the company.

The meals also are based on 10 “nutritional pillars”​ that include: no calorie counting, plant protein, hydrating foods to help flush toxins, eating one to three cups of greens at lunch and dinner, energizing healthy fats, eating the rainbow, nutrient-density, sulfur-rich vegetables and listening to what your body says.

Ready-to-eat vs. meal kits

Sakara Life opted to offer ready-to-eat meals, unlike many competing meal kit delivery services, because the founders wanted to eliminate a common excuse for not eating healthy.

“One of the most common excuses people give for not eating healthy is that they don’t have the time – they don’t the time to shop for food, prep it, cook it and bring it to work, worry about eating healthy while traveling – whatever their busy lives might entail,”​ Tingle said. “Sakara Life makes eating healthy a no-brainer with organic meals delivered straight to your office or home.”

While the subscriptions mostly are based on eating three square meals a day, the company recognizes that America increasingly is a nation of snackers and now offers consumers a way to meet this need.

“In December, we introduced our Clean Boutique. It’s our online store that we keep stocked full of more than 30 products packed with functional ingredients to feed the body’s every need​, such as granola, nutrition bars and probiotic chocolate, DuBoise said.

“Clients can order these products separate from the meal programs to supplement them and most importantly provide high-quality and nutritious snacking options,”​ the founders said.

High price & high demand

The service and snacks also differ from many competitors in price. The company targets the “ultra-high-end,”​ including celebrities and models, and the price reflects this.

The options start at $69, but go up to $265 for three meals three days a week and $420 for three meals five days a week.

Items in the boutique are similarly priced. For example, a 2.5 ounce bag of watermelon jerky goes for $11 and a six pack of Detox Bars sells for $29 or about $4.80 each.

The women believe the market can withstand the high price point though. Tingle noted: “The healthy living industry alone is anticipated to reach $1 trillion by 2017 and according to Nielsen, 88% of consumers say they are ready to pay more for products that claim to boost health and weight loss, which is why Sakara’s organic meal program is needed and relevant.”

The company’s meteoric growth supports also this. In just four years, the company has grown from just the two founders cooking the meals and delivering them on their bicycles each day to a team of 65 employees in offices on each coast who deliver thousands of meals a week. Last November alone, the firm delivered 20,000 meals.

National expansion

The founders do not anticipate slowing down in the New Year. In fact, as of Jan. 5 they secured $4.8 million in Series A funding to expand nationwide from a handful of cities on each coast.

“The Series A funding round comes from a number of high profile investors, including Jeff Boyd and Bob Mylod, former CEO and CFO of Priceline, who became angel investors after helping to lead one of the great success stories in tech history, as well as SV Angel, among others,”​ Tingle said.

The funds will help them expand nationally, which in turn should help them company double revenue and triple clientele in 2016, they say.

While the expansion is the “big project at the moment,”​ Tingle said the company also wants to expand their food and editorial offerings in the future. 

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