Fresh Del Monte Produce takes $4m stake in plant-based meal kit co Purple Carrot

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Fresh Del Monte Produce takes $4m stake in plant-based meal kit co Purple Carrot
Plant-based meal kit company Purple carrot has sold an equity stake in its company to fresh cut fruit and veggie firm Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc for $4m in a deal that will give it access to additional ingredients, farms, and the retail distribution channel.

CEO Andy Levitt – who founded Purple Carrot in October 2014 - said the investment was “a huge validation of our business model,” ​adding: “This… will improve our core product, and open up a world of possibilities for brand expansion.”

Based in Needham, Massachusetts, Purple Carrot fulfills orders from distribution centers in Las Vegas, Ohio and New Jersey, with the heaviest users being Millennials and young families with higher than average household incomes. The vast majority of subscribers to the vegan meals are meat-eaters.

“We always said we were making vegan food for non-vegans and reaching a segment of the population that is looking to us to help them eat plant-based some of the time,”​ Levitt told FoodNavigator-USA last fall.

“We’ve been extremely capital efficient compared to many of the other players out there, who are largely backed by substantial amounts of venture capital.​​They spent extensive amounts even with large losses to acquire customers in order to continue to grow with a very undifferentiated set of offerings that has led to a relatively promiscuous user base with no switching costs to move between these brands.”​​

Purple Carrot piloted meal kits at selected Whole Foods stores in the Northeast in 2016, but chose to put the program on hold and focus energy and resources on the launch of the TB12 performance meals​​​ with Tom Brady, said Levitt.

“We gained a whole host of learnings from that experience and would be poised to introduce or reintroduce our meals at the retail level when the right partnership presents itself.”​​

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