Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA on the opening night of our inaugural FOOD FOR KIDS summit, Merea predicted that the market for direct-to-consumer ready-to-make babyfood and toddlers’ meals is likely to grow significantly.
“Parents are tired, they just want to whip something together, feed it to their kids, figure out bath time, finally put their kids to sleep, and then figure out their own stuff…
"It’s really tough to do everything from scratch… but there’s nothing as good as home made,” said Merea, who has sold over 250,000 Raised Real meals over the past 10 months and has grown 30-50% month over month.
“So we tried and get as close as we could to home made. You just open the pouch, put it on the stove top and in five minutes you’re done, so you are cooking, but it just took you five minutes.
“The other reason we do online and delivered, is because it’s 2018 and people shop like that… it’s not like a meal kit, where you are entertaining every once in a while, it’s something you need to have in your home and you cannot run out of.
“The average user buys about 150 meals from Raised Real. Our retention rates are incredible. 70% of parents that place their first order, go on to order at least two boxes. It worked for them, and it becomes a routine.”
If it’s working for your kids, there’s no reason to bail
While users of meal kits are notoriously fickle, as brands compete for their attention with heavily discounted offers to encourage trial, the babyfood consumer is not the same, said Merea.
“If I gave you a coupon for something else, you’ll still hesitant to make the jump. If it’s working for your kids, there’s no reason to bail.”
Raised Real’s plant-based meals are delivered frozen in pre-portioned, ready to steam packages and made with ingredients sourced from organic and sustainable farms, he said.
“We ship with dry ice, and the beauty of frozen is you can ship more in a box, and people are willing to order more [at once] so our margins are higher than the average box that you order to your home.”