The Fresh Diet
A Diet Delivery Service Delivering Fresh Diet Weight Loss Programs
There is another Diet Delivery Service out there getting attention; The Fresh Diet. Their revenues are expanding by making your waistline slimmer
What Is a Diet Delivery Service?
They deliver diets AND they do deliver "hope", the hope of losing weight in an effortless manner. The "hope" they are selling is why people will fork over (just had to use the food metaphor) from $300 to $1,000 for a 31-day plan.
According to the Center for Disease Control U.S. Obesity Trends report here is a startling fact: "During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%." Check out the site, they have an animated map that shows obesity prevalence from 1985 through 2009.
Think of Diet Delivery Services as a combination of your own chef with a nutritionist making all or most of the meal decisions for you, helping you achieve your goal of losing weight.
For Many Consumers, Grocery Shopping Is a Chore and Time Consumer
Once you shop, there is the kitchen time for meal preparation made more complex if you are focusing "good for you meals." Creative meal planning that avoids the boredom of limited choice is a constant struggle. Maintaining a sustainable healthy diet is very difficult for most consumers, hence the disturbing trends in obesity. Finally, no one likes the cleanup associated with home prepared meals.
Most of the diet delivery services position themselves as food and nutrition experts that prepare "gourmet" meals that you can't prepare on your own and ship it to your house, either via an overnight delivery service, like FedEx or delivered in specially outfitted vans. The promise is heat, eat and lose weight in relatively short periods of time, attaining your goal in 30 to 90 days.
We are all familiar with the major brands such as Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem. You would be hard pressed to go more than a few days without seeing the Nutrisystem The New You Revolution commercials or their spokesperson Marie Osmond.
The Fresh Diet according to the Top Food & Beverage Companies on the Inc. 5000 list has revenue of approximately $30 Million and had a 3-year growth rate 1582% ranking them #4 in the food and beverage sector they cover. Fresh Diet started in Miami in 2006 and distribution in LA, Dallas, Miami, New York, and Chicago.
Its meals are prepared according to the well known Dr. Barry Sears 40/30/30 formula which stands for 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. They say we "…offer clients fresh daily-prepared meals that are never frozen, freeze-dried or vacuum packed" which is something the major players can't claim. They deliver 3 freshly prepared gourmet meals plus 2 snacks delivered directly to your home daily.
Next - See How They Created Awareness Through Public Relations and Social Media
It is hard to go up against the industry giants like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem who apparently have mega bucks for advertising, marketing, and celebrity spokespeople. It appears they are targeting consumer segments that can afford their program through public relations and social media.
The challenging economy has changed consumer behavior consumers are staying "in-house" according to the founder. If you based comparisons against the price of eating out, their product's pricing fairs well. This a "meta" trend that I reported on in US Grocery Shopper Trends. The Food Marketing Institute's CEO Leslie Sarasin notes that the eating home trend is also making consumers realize that "the food they eat at home is healthier than eating away from home." So The Fresh Diet will have retail competition as supermarkets strengthen their positioning as a resource helping their customers save money and help them make healthier choices. Amazon's launch of Amazon Fresh is a sign that retailers clearly understand they need to address health and wellness, the affordability factor and convenience.
In addition to press coverage in O Magazine, Ocean Drive and others... they have a convincing section of customer testimonials... real stories about the journey of real people... people who may look just like you.
Social Media in Food
Major brands and smaller specialty food brands are recognizing the power of Social Media. One of the best examples of social media in food is the Chobani Yogurt brand product launch campaigns the encompass a significant percent of marketing dollars went to YouTube and Facebook initiatives.
The Fresh Diet appears to have grabbed on to social media in a big way. They have their own YouTube Fresh Diet TV channel featuring an interview with Inside Edition, Fox News and spoof Undercover Boss -The Fresh Diet.
Their Facebook page sports over 200,000 fans which I find really impressive for a $30 Million company. They feature fitness model Amanda Adams and FitWithEmina showing their favorite exercises and have a Fitness Friday post to engage and inspire their fans.
They make you feel like part of their family by referring to customers as, well…, family, throughout the web site, their blog and facebook.
Their Blog is well written ... not a sales tool but a series of helpful health and fitness posts with relevant information and great visuals... important since Facebook posts with pictures generate 50% more Likes than posts without images.
Then there is the "little green bag" which refers to the insulated returnable bag that is their food is delivered. Michael Ventrella (the winner of season 9 on the popular reality show The Biggest Loser) now has his picture posted with Fresh Diet cooler bag. The Green Bag also appeared on Fantasia's reality show on VH1.
Next, Let's See What Can Your Learn for Your Food Business
So What Did We Learn
As always I like to end up with tips on food entrepreneurship so here are the takeaways for all you starting a specialty food business so you get your Idea Out of the Kitchen, on to the Retail Shelf and on to the Customers Plate.
Determine if Your Idea is Really an Opportunity. Although The Fresh Diet has astronomical growth rates, they clearly did not jump into the market with both feet quickly. Revenue of $7 million sounds huge, but it took them 5 years to get to that point. Starting out small and targeted geographically in Miami determined that they had a real food product opportunity allowing them to grow to where they are today.
Stay Focused and Know Your Customer. IF you are making a food product the whole world is NOT your customer just because we all must eat. The Fresh Diet is not a viable option for most people, particularly those with families. That's OK because there are customers out there who want to eat healthier, have no time or inclination to cook, want to have an easy to weight loss plan AND can afford it.
Think Social. Social Media for smaller food brands is fast becoming one of the most effective tools to communicate with your customer. It allows you to engage your customer in ways that make them feel special and part of a group if like-minded people. The low cost of Social Media is counterbalanced by the effort and time to do it correctly. Keeping your blog and Facebook fresh and updated is work, but well worth it evidenced by over 200,000 Facebook fans.
Create an Aspirational Brand. Social Media allows what is called aspirational marketing, positioning your brand to the consumer so they believe they are buying for lifestyle improvements. Selling the emotional connection in addition to the features and benefits of the diet program is smart? Why? Because the features and benefits across all of the competitors are fairly similar.