The target? Mums looking to feed their families and portion control snacks for their kids, company CEO Anthony Fletcher told BakeryandSnacks.com.
UK-headquartered Graze.com would roll out ‘big box’ snacks in the UK and US in the coming weeks; consumer orders had already been placed.
The box orders, made with five separate snack bags equivalent to 20 servings chosen by the online consumer, were much larger than its traditional single portions. Graze had also used color printing on pack for the first time and used the extra pack space for more consumer messaging, the CEO explained.
Targeting a ‘very different set of consumers’
“We’ve had this big focus for quite a number of years on this letterbox, desk-friendly concept and what we’ve discovered is that we have this very different set of consumers emerging,” he said.
“And it’s much more around mothers grazing at home. And they’ve got this very big desire to feed their family as well as treat themselves.”
While letterbox subscription snacks continued to hold appeal with young, urban professionals, he said mothers were looking for larger sharing options for the home.
“This concept is about sharing… To be even more precise, it’s the idea of stocking up the pantry and feeding several people – the family is definitely the core of it versus something ‘just for me’,” he said.
Consumer feedback had indicated a desire to feed kids but also control what they snacked on, in terms of product and portion, he said. “Mum just wants to give the kids a few snacks in a plastic cup or on the side of their plates, and that’s the beauty of these big bags,” he said.
Battling the big guys in ‘sharing’
The move would take Graze into a whole new snacking category – one that had been monopolized by major brands like Frito-Lay, Kellogg and Kettle.
Asked if the company was ready for such competition, Fletcher said: “You have to look at what we can offer which they can’t, which is the convenience of delivery. We have a much larger range of healthier products than stocked in a normal store, that range will rotate and we can use our technology so people can quickly select snacks based on preferences or allergies.”
While share snacking was a much more competitive part of the market, he said Graze hoped it could significantly grow using its technology edge.
Set for instant success in the US
This would likely be far more achievable in the US, where consumers relished the concept of stocking up, he said.
“The US consumer is much more relaxed about having large parcels delivered to their home – this is the feedback we’ve had from them. They actually like these larger boxes, sent less frequently.”
Graze opened a New York office in June, 2014 and in February, subscriptions exceeded 100,000.
“The success in the US is unprecedented for us as a UK business,” the CEO said.
The move into the US had contributed strongly to the company’s 31% year on year sales growth, he said.
New concepts and areas to drive future
Beyond market expansion, Graze would look to other growth drivers such as moving into new categories of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) world, he said.
Graze, for example, had already edged into the kids’ snacking market in the past year and trialed the breakfast concept.
“What we’ll see in the market, and we’re seeing it already, is a recognition that this direct-to-consumer model is actually a good way to sell CPG. I think we’ll see a flurry of activity in other categories, and Graze will ask if it should continue to be a single-category product or not,” he said.
“…I’ve had some very interesting conversations about the world of the online brand, and it does feel like we’re on a bit of a journey. We’re discovering how technology can help differentiate us but also how we’re very similar to the fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) category. What we’re discovering is different positionings – how your brand can be stretched into different areas can change our addressable markets.”