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12/16/2020

Freshly Riding COVID-19 Meal Kit Wave

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
Gina Acosta profile picture
Freshly Riding COVID-19 Meal Kit Wave
The company has launched FreshlyFit, its first dedicated product line of ready-to-eat meals that are gluten-free and focus on a lower-carb, protein-powered nutritional profile. 

There's another company aiming to ride the coronavirus meal kit surge, but this one doesn't make consumers do any chopping or cooking.

Freshly, founded in New York in 2012 and recently acquired by Nestle, is aiming to be the largest provider of low-carb fresh prepared meals by the end of 2021. The company has launched FreshlyFit, its first dedicated product line of ready-to-eat meals that are gluten-free and focus on a lower-carb, protein-powered nutritional profile. FreshlyFit meals have an average of 14 grams of net carbs, over 30 grams of protein, and 550 calories or less. More than a third of the meals contain zero added sugars.

"In the past year, more than 60% of customers have expressed interest in lower-carb meals. With FreshlyFit we're tripling down on these offerings to make it easier to jumpstart a sustainable healthy lifestyle," said Freshly Founder and CEO Mike Wystrach. "The pandemic has brought on a renewed interest in nutrition as people are seeking new, creative solutions to stay healthy and active at home. We're excited to debut this new product line as we approach the new year and resolutions are top of mind."

Freshly is different from companies such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh in that meals arrive prepared and fully cooked in individual packaging that only need reheating. 

Meal delivery sales overall have surge during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers have stayed home, avoided restaurants and turned to delivery for easy meals during work hours. Now Freshly is looking to offer even more convenience by eliminating the need to cook or prepare the meals, which can be heated and served in three minutes with no chopping, cooking or cleaning required, taking the heavy lift of weekly meal prep off customers' plates.

Another reason for consumers to turn to meal kits in the new year, especially kits that focus on healthy ingredients, is to lose any weight gained during the pandemic.

It's great timing for Freshly.

After its acquisition by Nestlé USA in October, Freshly has announced plans to open a facility in the Commerce, Calif., to increase production and order fulfillment capacity. Currently, Freshly ships more than 1 million meals per week to customers in 48 states and the company says sales are growing.

"I think the biggest thing for us is capacity," Wystrach said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. "So you know, we've been sold out-- we're sold out almost every single week that we ship meals, and we're increasing capacity anywhere from 2% to 3% week on week. So you know, very few industries where there's more demand than there is supply."

FreshlyFit's menu is rotating and features over 25 satisfying single-serve entrees that can be eaten for lunch, dinner, and pre-or post-workout fuel.

Menu highlights include:

  • Paleo Pork Chop with Rainbow Roasted Veggies & Mushroom Sauce
  • Keto-Friendly Chicken Bowl with Super Greens Pesto & Cauli Rice
  • Crave-No-More Shepherd's Pie with Ground Beef & Cauli-Butternut Mash
  • Baked Turkey Meatballs with Butternut Spirals & Eight-Veggie Ragù
  • Sesame-Ginger Bliss Bowl with Noodle-Cut Hearts of Palm
     

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