graze.com, an online retailer of healthier snacks, announces its official nationwide launch following a successful beta testing period. The company, formed by seven friends in 2008, is the pioneer of portioned, healthier and mailbox-friendly snack boxes. graze already has more than 55,000 customers, or “grazers” in the U.S. and more than 350 employees internationally. In November 2012, The Carlyle Group became the majority shareholder, with Octopus Investments, DFJ Esprit and management owning the remaining share.
In the last two years, the company has experienced international growth of over 130 percent and reported over $65 million of revenue for the year to Feb. 28, 2013.
graze.com began testing its product in the U.S. early in 2013 with an email sent to 100 friends. Within 24 hours graze.com had customers in 48 American states and had more than 20,000 customers after two weeks. To fulfill this phenomenal demand, graze.com has invested over $5 million in establishing a permanent operation in America. In January, graze.com opened its “top secret” U.S. graze kitchen and PostHub in New Jersey which is currently employing a new staff member every day to meet production needs.
“We are delighted to be officially launching in the U.S. and are passionate about helping people eat versatile, healthier, delicious snacks,” said Anthony Fletcher, chief executive officer of graze.com. “We are expanding rapidly and hiring new employees daily including engineers, developers and what we call ‘snack hunters.’ We believe our boxes are perfect for busy Americans facing the inevitable snack challenges no matter where in the U.S. they want to receive them. We offer a smarter (also affordable and convenient) snack experience.”
For $6 (including delivery), grazers are able to order graze boxes online at graze.com and have them delivered conveniently to their home or to their desk at work due to their innovative design, which means they fit through the mail box or can be delivered to an office without the need for a signature. There are currently over 90 products to choose from including the graze.com take on the cinnamon roll, which combines cinnamon and honey almonds and poppy seed pretzels. Each letter box-sized delivery contains four individually packaged and portioned snack combinations that are personalized to each user’s taste and dietary specifications, including gluten free options, and packaged in a 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable box. Full nutritional data is available online and is provided within each delivery. Grazers can also determine exactly how often they would like to receive their boxes and have the ability to change and manage them online.
“To ensure we can reach as great a proportion of the country in a reliable and cost-effective manner, we have designed a proprietary logistics solution, codenamed ‘the brain,’ which analyses the best way to get each graze box to the grazer,” said Fletcher. “This integrates graze.com, FedEx and USPS, and we believe it is a completely unique delivery model.”
Technology is at the heart of the graze.com operation and is central to each and every part of the process from product inception to the end delivery to grazers. graze.com uses a state-of-the-art algorithm called DARWIN (Decision Algorithm Rating What Ingredient's Next) to determine how snack portions are sorted, how boxes are labeled and how each box is customized to the individual customer based on dietary requirements and feedback on food preferences. It also records the customer's order history and preferences and monitors stock levels. graze.com gets over 15,000 new ratings per hour and can use this data to create, package and market new innovative products to grazers within 48 hours.
Full-time “ingredient hunters” search for the best natural ingredients of the highest quality from all over the world. graze.com works with small or specialist suppliers that can deliver the finest ingredients and create inspired products that are not available from any other retailer. Working within FDA guidelines, graze’s nutrition experts make sure that every snack recipe has a healthy benefit—whether it is essential vitamins and minerals, under 100 calories, or a good source of protein.
Committed to giving back, graze also established the graze School of Farming in Uganda, which helps create sustainable farming practices. grazers can help contribute by simply enjoying the product and sharing with friends online. graze is currently an invitation only service. Customers can be referred by a current grazer or use the code ‘EarlyVIP’ at graze.com to try their first box free.