To the Hungryroot community:
It was almost two years ago that I, along with my co-founder, Top Chef Masters alum Franklin Becker, set out on our journey to redefine indulgent eating.
Intrigued by the possibilities of using wholesome ingredients–vegetables, legumes and nuts–to reinvent traditionally unhealthy yet high in demand foods, we started dreaming up items such as Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese, Carrot Noodle Pad Thai and Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough. Dismayed by the nutrient-lacking, transfat-laden, borderline inedible options classified as “convenience food”, we sought to redefine a category dominated by Big Food. In doing so, we committed to build a brand centered on the idea that healthy foods can be indulgent and a customer experience built on a direct relationship between us and you, the end consumer.
To create that direct relationship, we launched the business online where we communicate one-on-one with and learn from you, incorporating your feedback real-time and tailoring our products to what you (and your tastebuds) want. Too salty? Too sweet? That instant and direct feedback empowers us to make informed decisions and empowers you to have your voice heard. We are very appreciative of the important role that you play in this effort as this approach is core to our product improvement and development ethos.
This is opposite to the approach of traditional Big Food companies, who launch their products directly into grocery and other traditional retailers, always at the mercy of in-store product placement and marketing tactics that add zero value to the end consumer. We’ve found a better way, and we’ve heard from you – our customers – that this is what you want. We are not in the business of securing retail shelf space, which is more about how the product is marketed than what the product is. We are in the business of creating the best possible food products for the always evolving human palette.
Simply stated: our customer is the person consuming our food, not the grocery store selling it.
Interestingly, this approach does not restrict us from selling through traditional channels. In fact, it enables us to be better at it, and uniquely so. We can leverage our customer feedback to determine which products are best suited for grocery stores and as a result, we are now successfully sold in a number of leading grocery outlets including Whole Foods Market.
We believe our approach will set a new paradigm for how food brands are developed in the future, and that you will reap the greatest rewards. You’ll get the best possible products at the best possible prices, tailored to your tastes and preferences.
We have a long way to go, but we’ve made a lot of progress. We were named one of the 25 most innovative brands of 2016 by Forbes, a million units of Hungryroot are now sold annually across the United States, and today, we are proud to announce that we recently raised $7.7 million in funding from some of the nation’s best investors to further our mission of creating healthy foods that people crave.
It’s an important mission and one that we know we could never have even begun to achieve without the support of you, our early adopters. We’re excited by how far healthy indulgence has come in the past two years, and where we will take it together in the years to come.
If you ever have any feedback on our products or our approach, please reach out and drop me a note. I look forward to hearing from you.