Meal kit news

Sun Basket launches diabetes-friendly meal plan tapping into demographic of 100 million

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

The diabetes-friendly meal kit is designed to make cooking for those living with diabetes healthy, easy, and fun, Sun Basket CEO and co-founder Adam Zbar said.
The diabetes-friendly meal kit is designed to make cooking for those living with diabetes healthy, easy, and fun, Sun Basket CEO and co-founder Adam Zbar said.
Sun Basket has continued its individualized nutrition approach with the launch of a diabetes-friendly, “carbohydrate-conscious” meal plan developed in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

The new meal option joins the company’s recent vegan, Mediterranean, and pescatarian plans.

The San Francisco meal kit company was founded in 2014 and has been on a roll with investment and sales securing a series D financing round of $42.8m​ led by August Capital in January 2018, following a $15m injection of debt financing from Trinity Capital Investment.

These investments and its data-driven approach to the meal kit space has helped Sun Basket hit a $300m annual revenue run rate and open East Coast and Midwest distribution centers in Q1 2018.

Meeting nutrition needs of diabetics

Considering more than 100 million Americans, or 9.4% of the US population, live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, as well as prediabetes (according to the Centers for Disease Control), a meal kit plan geared towards this demographic seems to be an untapped opportunity in the category.

"Individualized nutrition is the cornerstone of diabetes management," ​said William T. Cefalu, MD, chief scientific, medical and mission officer of the ADA, who worked with Sun Basket to develop the meal plan.

While access to basic dietary information on how to follow a diabetes-friendly diet has become more widely available, many diabetics report challenges managing their diabetes through nutrition.

In a 2017 Health Union survey of individuals with type 2 diabetes, many respondents said they find managing their condition with a nutritional approach “frustrating”​, “annoying”​, “difficult”,​ or “inconvenient”​.

Most respondents said they have attempted to make lifestyle changes, including reducing sugar intake (81%); counting/reducing carbohydrates (69%); and adding/improving regular exercise (51%).

"Healthy eating is not one-size-fits-all,"​ Adam Zbar, CEO and co-founder of Sun Basket, said.

Zbar added that its recipes under its new plan are designed to make cooking and eating for Americans living with diabetes “easy, delicious, and fun again."

Recipes part of the diabetes-friendly meal plan include salmon cakes with celery salad and tahini goddess dressing, Manhattan-style cod chowder with potatoes and fennel, and harissa-rubbed chicken with artichoke tapenade and seared romaine.

All of the recipes were created by executive chef Justine Kelly to meet the ADA’s nutritional guidelines and emphasize nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as research suggests dietary fiber can help manage blood glucose levels, according to the ADA.

Each recipe under the new diabetes plan also meets the rest of criteria in Sun Basket’s meal kit portfolio of being 700 calories or less, less than 10% saturated fat from calories, between 20 and 100 grams of carbohydrates, at least five grams of fiber, less than 10% of calories from added sugar, and 700mg of sodium or less.

Sun Baskets diabetes-friendly recipes are now available for delivery through the company’s website reaching 98% of the US population.

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