FreshRealm, a provider of ready-made meals, recently raised $200 million in funding led by an undisclosed institutional investor. The Ventura, California-based company will use the money to expand its reach and support innovation. FreshRealm previously raised $46.6 million over three rounds of funding, making this investment its largest to date.
“We’ve built the most sophisticated platform for fresh meals nationwide in partnership with retailers that represent about 10,000 retail locations across the country and over a million direct-to-consumer (DTC) customers over the last year,” said FreshRealm founder and CEO, Michael Lippold, in a press release.
Founded in 2013, FreshRealm provides fresh, ready-to-cook, ready-to-heat and low-prep meal kits for American consumers. The company’s foundation in fresh meals is rooted in a 360-degree product, marketing and sales strategy that starts with consumer insights and includes product design and strategic sourcing.
Last year, FreshRealm repositioned the company to better partner with retailers on creating in-store destinations for the future fresh meal department. The strategy was centered on the company’s vision to “connect people through meals” by delivering elevated meal experiences guided by consumer insights.
To help food retailers capitalize on the demand for simple everyday meal solutions, FreshRealm launched Kitchen Table, the company’s first branded line of fresh, quality meal offerings. The new brand allows grocers to bring a complete assortment of chef-tested fresh meals to their consumers in a few short months.
The line of oven, stovetop, microwave and slow-cooker fresh meals includes a diverse variety of Italian, Asian, global and classic cuisines in over 50 complete meal options. With ready-to-cook meals prepared in about 20 minutes, and ready-to-heat options in three minutes, the company takes on the planning and prep so that meals become effortless for consumers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has offered a huge opportunity to the market for meal delivery services as most restaurants, eateries and hotels were shut down across the globe. The heat and eat segment has been gaining traction among US consumers as several delivery service companies have been tapping into this segment by launching single and multiple servings for consumers.
The $200 million will allow FreshRealm to continue to drive the future of the $30 billion dine at home market. Its facilities, which will be able to produce over 400 million meals to consumers nationwide, will also enable the company to capture growing consumer demand. Since more than 90 percent of families say they plan to continue or increase home dining post-pandemic, FreshRealm is well positioned to capture a growing market opportunity.
Although the dining at home trend will remain elevated, many consumers have resumed their busy lifestyles and will look for convenience when preparing dinner. Little or no prep and fast dinner fixes, like frozen and ready-to-eat meals, especially during the work week, will continue to grow. That’s where FreshRealm will continue to have the advantage over other meal kit delivery services.
“As the retail fresh meals category continues to demonstrate compelling growth, this funding will allow FreshRealm to bolster our existing end-to-end platform that supports elevated private label and branded meal assortments and fresh meals destinations,” Lippold added.