Natural food brand NatureBox, based in Redwood City, California, announced its arrival into 900 Target stores across the U.S. Previously, NatureBox branded natural snacks could only be purchased online, through the company’s box-of-the-month delivery service. Through this new partnership with Target, however, NatureBox brings eight of its snacks--Mini Belgian Waffles, Cinnamon Yogurt Mini Grahams, Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps, Sea Salt Pop Pops, Praline Pumpkin Seeds, Sriracha Roasted Cashews, Lemon Tea Biscuits, and Big Apple Pineapple--to retail store shelves. This assortment was customized for Target and will be sold at an MSRP of $3.99 to $4.99.
Here, Guatam Gupta, NatureBox’s cofounder and chief executive officer, offers a peek behind the scenes of the company’s latest announcement.
After so much success with subscriptions, why pursue an in-store approach?
Guatam Gupta: Our long-term vision has been to build a multi-channel brand driven by consumer data and fast innovation. Currently, only 2 percent of food sales occur online. Moving into physical retail allows us to reach the other 98 percent of Americans still shopping for food in brick-and-mortar stores, while driving real-time, data-led innovation through our direct-to-consumer channels.
Target is an ideal first partner for us as it couldn’t be a better brand fit. Not only are they an innovative retailer, always seeking to highlight new brands, but they share our passion for health, wellness and providing better options for shoppers.
Why did you choose the products you did? Are they online SKUs or are they Target exclusives?
GG: The eight-product assortment launching in Target stores was curated specifically for Target using data to determine bestsellers, consumer reviews and items that complemented Target’s current snack assortment. The products sold in Target stores will also be available on naturebox.com, so as to provide multiple points of access and convenience for shoppers.
Essentially, we're leveraging products we have launched online because consumers have already “voted” on these items as winners so we have a great deal of data on them. Our model is differentiated from typical food CPGs in that we use consumer data to bring new products to market every month. Our ability to leverage data in this capacity and innovate so nimbly is a huge advantage to physical retailers in terms of being able to tap into these real-time insights and trends in-store.
How do you hope your partnership with Target will fuel your subscription service, and vice versa?
GG: As we see it, physical retail is a great channel to drive trial, while direct-to-consumer supports discovery, convenience and personalization.
While most brands are built on shelves, we’ve been able to build a large brand awareness purely online, with over 1 million fans on Facebook, and think that being on shelf will give those consumers another way to purchase NatureBox snacks. We’re also providing our members with exclusive benefits at shelf, so as to reward them for being loyal NatureBox customers and provide even more convenience in the NatureBox experience.
What's next for NatureBox?
GG: We’re currently focused on maximizing our partnership with Target and providing their guests with a dynamic assortment of delicious, better-for-you options. However, we’re just getting started and believe NatureBox has the ability to deliver value to consumers across a number of categories and channels.