'Unbelievably convenient' Proper Good lands $3.5m in seed funding to fuel retail expansion of shelf-stable meals
The funding was led by YETI Capital and Artisan Group, a food and beverage advisory and consultancy firm, with additional investment from Doug Bouton, founder and CEO of Halo Top, who will join Proper Good's board.
Since launching online in 2020 when founders Jennifer and Christopher Jane also appeared on celebrity investor TV show Shark Tank, the company has grown its DTC revenue by 400% selling over 500,000 meals in the first two years.
Its time spent homing its direct-to-consumer strategy has enabled the company to identify specific consumer need states and tailor its approach accordingly, said Maxx Karr, partner and managing director at YETI Capital.
“We are excited to invest in Proper Good, not only because Chris and Jennifer have created a new category of premium shelf-stable meals, but they've custom built a proprietary data platform with continuous feedback, ensuring consumers' ever-changing demands are met," said Karr.
The brand also recently entered more than 2,000 Walmart Supercenter stores and will use the funding to support future retail expansion.
“We’re thrilled to expand the availability of our high-quality products catering to different lifestyles and dietary preferences to Walmart with support from our roster of stellar entrepreneurs and investors," Jennifer and Christopher Jane said in a statement.
"Proper Good is a brand grounded in quality and innovation that is ready to disrupt. The combination of a talented team with a brand and product offering that has mass appeal has positioned the business to scale quickly across multiple channels," said Drew Zang, managing partner at Artisan Group.
Packaged in shelf-stable pouches that are ready-to-eat after 90 seconds in the microwave, Proper Good's product lineup includes soups, chilis, curries, and oatmeal with additional keto, plant-based, and gluten-free options to come.
“Consumers are increasingly looking for nutritious meals that are ready to eat, and made with delicious and clean ingredients," added Jennifer and Christopher Jane.
According to Deloitte's recent consumer research which surveyed 2,054 shoppers, one in five respondents are swapping fresh food for shelf-stable options that deliver comparable nutritional quality and clean ingredients to combat the sting of inflation.
In the soup aisle, year-over-year sales of shelf-stable ready-to-eat soup increased 7% to $3.8bn in the 52 weeks ending Oct. 22, 2022.
“Proper Good has created something truly innovative: ready-to-eat, healthy meals that taste incredibly great and are unbelievably convenient to eat," said Bouton, who has made his biggest angel investment to date into Proper Good.
"I feel like I've already been paid back with the amount of time Proper Good meals have saved me from cooking and cleaning.”