SquarEat, a Miami-based company, is breaking the internet with its latest food innovation. The company is reinventing meal kits by revolutionizing the way we eat them. The concept behind SquarEat is that any food can be shaped into a 50 g square that provides consumers with nutrients in a flavorful, affordable and ready-to-eat way.
The square-shaped food is made from natural ingredients prepared and created in low temperatures that preserve all the nutrients and extends the foods’ shelf life.
Xtalks spoke with Maria Laura Vacaflores, the CMO of SquarEat, about their company. She says, “SquarEat is a new sort of concept that is created to revolutionize the ready-to-eat meal plan industry. We have experienced firsthand all the inefficiencies of traditional meal plans. So, we have seen a clear possibility of disruption in bringing complete transformation to a sector that is growing tremendously fast.”
At first glance, this product seems like a meal replacement, but in fact, it is not a replacement at all. SquarEat does not compete with meal replacement companies like Soylent, which turns a full meal into a drink. Instead, SquarEat is the actual meal, which can be ready to eat in just a few minutes.
“You need plenty of squares for a meal. You need your proteins or carbs and your vegetables. The only different thing here is the shape,” Vacaflores continues.
The product targets a large consumer base that includes adults and children of all ages that are seeking a healthy lifestyle.
Many people might ask why the product shaped like a square? Vacaflores says, “This is one of the common questions. And I would say that a square is like the soul of our project. With this shape, we can run a mass production while keeping minimum staff on site. We can make a product that’s affordable for everyone, and the shape is futuristic.”
And despite the fact that the squares look like they could have a gelatine-like texture, the company says they’re made from whole foods with no additives. At the moment, the company is offering 15 different flavors to choose from. Some of these options include chicken, beef, asparagus, basmati rice and sweet potato.
The squares can be eaten cold or hot. Once the individually wrapped and vacuum-sealed squares are received, they can last up to four weeks in the fridge.
Alternatively, consumers can use the chef’s signature combo, which provides them with the full experience. This process includes taking a square, like the chicken, for example, placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then moving it over to a hot pan with a bit of olive oil to give it that crunchy coating. They can then add a sauce from the ones provided and pair it with another square of your liking.
Later this September, SquarEat will be launched as a meal delivery service and a storefront on Miami Beach. The company is also looking for other ways to expand in the market. They are exploring gyms, vending machines, offices, universities, and even airlines and hospitals as possible options.
When they introduced the product to the market, SquarEat also recognized that people with autism, and others with strong food aversions, have shown a lot of interest in their squares. Additionally, moms who have young babies or children find this product easier to present when dealing with picky eaters.
But SquarEat’s signature-shaped food has met with some controversy. Some Twitter users have described it as “wettened freeze-dried astronaut rations,” or said, “It looks a lot like the baby food we’d puree and freeze in an ice tray.”
Vacaflores says, “I understand people. When we started this project, we knew that we would encounter some resistance, of course. It’s something like you’ve never tried before. You’re scared. What is this? But we want to assure people that, as I said, our food is 100 percent natural and it’s real food, just in a different shape.”
“Our biggest goal is to make people’s lives easier and healthier without sacrificing the food taste. We are not forcing anyone to start eating some artificial ‘Matrix-like food.’ In fact, the taste and the texture is the heart of our product,” Vacaflores continues.
She concludes by asking, “Would you say that a pea soup is not pea simply because the shape is different from the original form? I can tell that people who try our squares abandon all the initial skepticism. And we hope that after trying the squares, people will be pleasantly surprised.”