Boasting menus from chefs at French Laundry, vegetarian mealkit startup Simple Feast hits the U.S. – TechCrunch

Giving the richest 20% of Americans a break from processed foods, Simple Feast has landed on the shores of the United States to grow its presence by funding $ 45 million from investors.

The European startup wants to take a page out of the screaming LIVEKINDLY Collective playbook and hit the US market with gourmet ready-made meals that come with a gourmet price tag and a mission to get Americans to eat less meat by Offer tastier and more delicious vegetarian options.

This strategy has rewarded LIVEKINDLY Collective’s business with $ 335 million in a recent funding round, making it one of the best capitalized new entrants in the vegetarian food brand category.

“There is a general health problem, mainly due to what we put in our mouths,” said Jakob Jønck, co-founder and CEO of the company.

For people in the US who can afford it, Simple Feast has packaged meal sets with menus created by chefs from some of the best restaurants in the world – French Laundry in California or Noma in Norway, for example, which has meals around US $ 350 -Dollars per person. Person.

A choice of three ready-made meals for two to three people costs customers around $ 98 per week, and for a family of four or five, that number rises to $ 159 per week.

Simple Feast’s entry into the US market is only a small fraction of the company’s total offering. In the Nordic region, the company offers around 30 different products, all of which are aimed at people who want to eat less meat.

Investors definitely love what the company has to offer because, as Jønck says, the products probably represent the highest margin in the food set category.

These financiers include companies such as European venture capitalists Balderton Capital and Kinnevik, and New York-based 14W.

The company’s customers are mostly mothers with children, whose income puts them in the top 20% of the population. Though far more affluent than the Hoi Polloi, they still suffer from the worst aspects of America’s industrial food machine – highly processed foods that are causing an explosion in chronic health conditions like diabetes and obesity, according to Jønck.

Data from places like the Rand Institute shows that America’s exposure to inadequate nutrition and the resulting chronic illness disproportionately affect low- and middle-income families.

Health is a concern in the US, with an estimated $ 794 billion per year lost in productivity between 2016 and 2030. A HealthAffairs article cited research by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies that found health inequalities and premature death cost the US economy $ 309.3 billion a year.

However, these costs are borne primarily by the poorest Americans, especially minorities. “People of color are more likely to experience diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart disease and cancer than whites,” said HealthAffairs’ article.

Simple Feast is working to correct that, says Jønck. The company’s European packaged ready meals available in retail stores cost around $ 15, and the company will offer salaries well above the US minimum wage to help improve the wealth inequalities in the country.

“This is a general game for an industry that needs to change from the ground up. This system has to change, ”said Jønck.

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