Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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11 SOLUTIONS JUNE 2016 Handpick Inc.: Catering to grocery stores "Here is the problem [with meal kit delivery]: No matter how many hundreds of millions of dollars are invested to lure consumers to subscribe to an expensive yearly plan, these consumers will still need to buy milk, cereal and [other essentials]," says Payman Nejati, an entrepreneur who's banking on supermarket meal kits. He's combined a CPG background and tech expertise to found San Francisco-based Handpick Inc., a business that fts meal kits into existing shopping patterns. "Consumers will still rely on their grocery stores; it's how we shop. When customers see that their grocery store has a grab-and-go meal kit, they'll pick it up with the rest of their groceries," he says. His plan collects Big Data to create a food app aimed at the universal problem of what to do with ingredients. Handpick builds grocery retailer meal kit solutions that don't require repackaging or third-party couriers, provide three meal ideas for 15 to 20 full-sized SKUs, and leverage pre-existing fulfllment systems. Consumers who buy a Handpick kit receive a pack of traditional supermarket items and the recipes to make three original meals, pulled from 2 million recipes the company has curated from top food sites and blogs afer analyzing 1 billion social media food posts. Handpick orders can be bundled like any shopping basket online or pre-bundled for pickup at the store. Retailers decide what fulfllment and delivery procedures work for them. So far, Handpick has partnered with Te Kroger Co., run a pilot with Safeway/Albertsons in California and launched in Germany with Real/Metro, the seventh-largest world- wide retailer; it is scheduled to debut with FreshDirect delivery in the New York metro region this year. Handpick kits start at under $5 per meal, which is 50 per- cent less than Blue Apron's meal kit subscription service, and for a bigger portion size, says Nejati, who sees part of his strategy as creating solutions "for the 99 percent" of consumers who can't aford to commit to a meal sub- scription. "As a bigger mission, we've also started developing meal kits for the SNAP food stamp and the WIC program starting at $3 per meal," Nejati says, noting that he is seeking a distribution channel that accepts food stamps. DinnerCall: Putting family frst Another business idea that tries to solve the what's-for- dinner dilemma within the existing supermarket skill set is DinnerCall, a new app that enables users to order and pick up fully prepared family dinners or a dinner meal kit with fresh, pre-measured ingredients bundled by their su- permarket. Supermarkets that sign on with DinnerCall, an Indianapo- lis-based public beneft corporation that aims to bring families back together around the dinner table, get access to the app and ordering tech- nology, a plug-and-play platform that's easy to use and puts daily or weekly menus in their customers' hands. In late March 2016, Terre Haute, Ind.-based Baesler's Market became the frst grocery store to ofer DinnerCall for its three stores. With the DinnerCall app, shoppers can select favorite meals at the size needed, pay online and indicate what time they want to pick up the dinner. Customers call when they arrive, and dinner is deliv- ered to them curbside. "With the pre-ordering feature, we capture intention and commitment, so retailers avoid making a bunch of meals that may not sell. Less food waste is a huge plus," says Gerry Hays, co-founder and CEO of DinnerCall. As DinnerCall builds, he says, the sys- tem will aggregate demand

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