The wealthy millennial lifestyle is summed up in a meal-delivery service beloved by Chrissy Teigen and Goop that charges $70 a day

danielle and whitney sakara
Sakara Life has gained a foothold among wealthy millennials.

It all kicked off with a dinner party in Soho. 

Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle, two 20-something NYC transplants at the time, were charging friends “admission” to their apartment soiree.

The year was 2012 and the party was a trial for their young business: Sakara Life, an organic food-delivery service offering plant-based, chemical-free, prepackaged meals.

The dinner raised the pair just $700 in capital, which they used to buy a domain, make business cards for distribution at cafes and yoga studios, and test out healthy, organic recipes on friends and neighbors, hand-delivered door-to-door on bikes. 

Just a year later, in 2013, Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed Sakara on GOOP, taking the brand mainstream. 

DuBoise and Tingle quickly began picking up press, featured everywhere from Vogue and The New York Times to Forbes’ 30 Under 30. By 2016, Sakara had raised $4.8 million in its only funding round to date. In 2017, the founders wrote in an article for Time, Sakara had 85 employees and delivered 1 million meals. Between then and 2019, its customer base tripled, per Glossy.

What began as a dinner party turned into a multimillion-dollar business in less than five years. While DuBoise and Tingle, now 35 and 36 years old, respectively, declined to share Saraka’s revenue for the past year with Insider, they said that as of 2020 it had 2 million subscribers and 200 employees.

Nearly a decade in, what they call the “Sakaralite community” has grown wide and diverse, they said. But along the way, the brand has garnered a cult following among models and celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen and Lena Dunham, becoming the go-to health detox for wealthy millennials in particular. It’s a staple among both Victoria’s Secret models like Lily Aldridge and “the fashion flock,” as Vogue puts it, and even caters backstage at runway shows.

A post shared by Sakara Life (@sakaralife)

Sakara has also forged partnerships with other cult-like millennial brands such as SoulCycle, GOOP, and Tata Harper, and sells products through millennial favorite Free People and high-end retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.

The cofounders, who served as co-CEOs while each had a pregnancy in 2020, told Insider about how Sakara took flight, how it’s still growing, and how its community of fans is transforming the company. What’s taken shape over the past decade is a lifestyle brand that sums up the wealthy millennial.

Organic meals for young professionals on-the-go

A Sakaralite may find on their doorstep for lunch something like Sakara Cobb Salad with coconut “bacon” (seed-crusted avocado) or Golden Pineapple Un-Fried Rice with tempeh and red cabbage. For breakfast, that might look more like a Sacha Inchi Pumpkin Scone with apple butter.

The meals arrive in intentionally shareable packaging that characterizes the millennial aesthetic, with clean and minimalist type, bold hues, and nature-inspired prints, ranging from colorful cacti to pink and purple petals.

Pricing starts at $80 a day for three days of meals for $240, or $70 a day for five days of meals for $349. A separate five-day detox runs for $400, and a four-week, 20-day program for brides is $1,395

Sakara life meal
A full-plated program.

A healthy, outsourced, Instagrammable meal seems to be the ultimate recipe for the young professional long on money and short on time. Sakaralites often seem to be women similar to DuBoise and Tingle, two chic blondes who exude an effortless cool girl aesthetic. They’re women who want to eat healthy but lack the time to figure out how, which DuBoise and Tingle were themselves, before that dinner party in 2012. 

Like many young adults, DuBoise and Tingle had relocated to New York City in their 20s from their hometowns (they are both from Sedona, Arizona) to pursue careers. But their lifestyles didn’t align with good nutrition.

The long, high-stress hours of Wall Street left Tingle eating quick, low-nutrient food that wrecked her gut health, while yo-yo dieting put DuBoise, then a student modeling part-time, in the hospital with pneumonia. 

danielle and whitney
Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle.

The health scare prompted DuBoise to switch from studying medicine to nutrition for alternative healing methods. She and Tingle educated themselves on every nutritional theory they could find, slowly transforming their relationship with food and overall health. 

“I decided that my mission would be to share that way of plant-rich eating and mindful living with the world in hopes I could help others have a similar transformation,” DuBoise said. 

Sakara’s wellness mantra made it a millennial status symbol

Sakara’s focus on the body and mind lures a millennial cohort, dubbed “the wellness generation.”

Millennials take a holistic approach to wellness, viewing it as something that can be incorporated into every aspect of their lives, Kenya Watson, Intelligence Analyst at CB Insights, told Insider. She added that millennials are influencing the health and wellness industry by breaking down traditional boundaries around product categories.

“Different aspects of physical wellness like food, fitness, and beauty are no longer compartmentalized,” Watson said. To millennials, she said, “it’s about how these products work together, which is why food products can be viewed through a beauty and wellness lens.”

Sakara has tapped into this shift with offerings beyond meal deliver. There’s Clean Boutique, an online marketplace with everything from beauty chocolates to metabolism super powder (raw cacao that promises to “fire up” metabolism); S-Life Mag, a digital magazine that dives into happiness and spirituality, touting headlines like “Heal Your Headspace” and “Strengthen Your Pranic Body;” and a cookbook, “Eat Clean Play Dirty.”

The cofounders have also hosted Sakara Sessions, panels across US cities featuring health and wellness leaders (the panels went virtual during the pandemic).

sakara
Sakara’s standalone offerings.

 

Balancing quarantine, their simultaneous pregnancies, and continuing to grow Sakara in 2020, DuBoise and Tingle aren’t slowing down. In March 2020, they launched a podcast that harkens back to their spiritual Sedona roots, billed as a mind and soul counterpart to Sakara’s food and science. They’ve spoken with everyone from Arianna Huffington on burnout culture to star astrologist Susan Miller on purpose in the planets. 

The cofounders said they believe Sakara has been able to carve out a durable niche because its philosophy is rooted in both emerging nutrition science and ancient healing practices. A Sakaralite, as they describe it, is a “person looking to take their health in their own hands, feel good in their bodies, and invest in their health, whether as a one-time reset or permanent lifestyle.”

It’s why DuBoise and Tingle have touted Sakara as more of a wellness company than anything, preaching lifestyle over diet and nutrition over calories. When asked to concisely describe the brand, they responded with “transformation and self-actualization.” 

A hands-on approach

Sakara’s foothold among wealthy millennials signals just how far the brand has come since its beginning, when one of DuBoise and Tingle’s first clients was DuBoise’s boss, who they said was suffering from a variety of health issues. As they tell it, they knew they had something worth sharing after seeing his transformation upon eating their meals.

By the time their client list hit 25 people in the first year, they had begun hiring and managing a team. In 2019, they diverged from their grassroots approach to increase their marketing budget by 60%, Glossy reported, with the majority allocated toward offline marketing. 

sakara life founders
DuBoise and Tingle said their relationship has been a key part of Sakara’s success.

Throughout all of Sakara’s journey, DuBoise and Tingle said, they’ve remained involved in everything. In the early days, they juggled everything from finance and customer service to recipe development and cooking.

Today, each targets certain business areas best suited to their strengths. DuBoise’s medicine and nutrition background enabled her to lean into scientific research and product development, while Tingle focuses on education and community.

Sakara has a grip on a competitive industry

In a time when eating out is more nostalgia than hobby, meal-kit delivery services have seen a surge. But that’s also meant the space has become more crowded, with restaurants foraying into the industry to compensate for the losses of their temporarily shut doors. 

The growing meal-delivery space is expected to reach nearly $20 billion by 2027. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and HungryRoot are just a few of Sakara’s competitors.  

Industry experts question whether this uptick will last once indoor dining and regular grocery trips become widespread again. Jason Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer at Publicis, previously told Insider Intelligence that he views meal-kit services as more product than standalone service.

Looking toward the rest of 2021, DuBoise and Tingle said they’re focused on hiring and “building out Sakara’s tool kit” by expanding the brand’s product offerings, enhancing technology, and creating new platforms. 

“We make it a priority to give people the tools to nourish, build a body they love (and feel good in), and understand that we should all enjoy that glass of wine or fries if it brings us joy,” Tingle said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh: Which meal kit service is best in 2021?

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Blue Apron vs HelloFresh 4x3

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

If ever there was a cure to your Seamless obsession, it’s another kind of delivery – the meal kit delivery. Here to save you from the never-ending rotation of takeout, these meal kits are re-introducing you to your kitchen in all its wonder. As it turns out, your stove is just as important as your microwave.

Both Blue Apron and HelloFresh are veritable giants on the meal kit scene; in fact, they’re among our favorite meal kit delivery services. They’ve been around for years, and have built up a loyal base thanks to their tasty recipes, wide selections, and ability to cater to various dietary restrictions. Both feature solid produce and protein options and are fantastic for a date night activity.

But there are certainly some aspects in which Blue Apron and HelloFresh begin to differentiate themselves from one another, and that’s really how you’ll be making your decision. Here are our thoughts after testing both.

Ease of use  

Blue Apron vs HelloFresh Graphic 2

If we’re thinking in terms of pure convenience, HelloFresh is a bit easier to use than Blue Apron. While both are extremely convenient, HelloFresh is more focused on providing meals that are truly no fuss, and as a result, can be ready in just a matter of minutes.

Blue Apron, on the other hand, sometimes requires just a bit more prep work or expertise – as a tradeoff, however, you may find Blue Apron’s meals a bit more complex and interesting.

I’ve found many of HelloFresh’s recipes to be a bit more straightforward and easy to follow, which is ideal for the beginner chef. If you’re just looking to dip your toe into culinary waters and are beginning to make your way around four burners and an oven, then HelloFresh certainly seems a bit less intimidating.

While both Blue Apron and HelloFresh’s directions are very clear, it often seems as though HelloFresh’s recipes simply require fewer steps. Not only is that ideal for the beginner chef, but it’s also well-suited for folks who perhaps are in a bit more of a rush. And if your main draw to a meal kit is convenience through and through, then HelloFresh is the way to go.

Winner: HelloFresh


Recipe quality and creativity

What Blue Apron may lack in convenience, it makes up for in creativity. The meal kit service is looking to put a bit of a gourmet spin on home cooking, and consequently, if you’re looking to expand your horizons a bit, you’ll be able to do so with Blue Apron.

I appreciate the internationally-inspired meals like Mushroom Tempura Rice Bowl or Crispy za’atar Chicken Tenders, which have the capacity to introduce cooks not only to new flavors but perhaps new techniques as well. Indeed, it’s not all that often that you’ll find meal kits making use of ingredients like fregola sarda, but Blue Apron could make it a staple in your kitchen.

For slightly more experienced chefs, Blue Apron is an ideal way to begin to expand horizons and check out different flavor combinations in a relatively risk-free environment. I’ve also had a number of friends adapt Blue Apron recipes to their own needs, something that seems more unique to this particular meal kit service than any other that I’ve tried.

Winner: Blue Apron


Ability to cater to dietary preferences

Blue Apron vs HelloFresh Graphic 3

HelloFresh has recently become something of a meal kit behemoth, acquiring a number of smaller meal kit services including Green Chef. As a result, HelloFresh now offers a wide range of menus, including pescatarian, paleo, and vegetarian options.

While Blue Apron also offers some menus that are catered specifically toward these various dietary preferencers, they’re not quite as well-curated as those of HelloFresh. As a result, if you’re really looking to satisfy very specific dining or cooking habits, you may have a slightly easier time picking out your weekly menu through HelloFresh.

While Blue Apron also caters to different needs, it’s a bit more difficult to actually narrow down your search by way of specific filters, so HelloFresh is a clear winner in this category.

Winner: HelloFresh


Taste

Blue Apron

Perhaps the deciding factor when it comes to picking a meal kit, taste is inevitably a subjective metric. I will say that given the variety of meals that I’ve been able to experience through HelloFresh with its many different menu options, there is more room for exploration through this service.

However, it’s not always the case that all recipes are equally delicious. I’ve found that some HelloFresh meals are much more interesting than others and that there’s more variation in terms of the level of quality.

Blue Apron, on the other hand, seems a bit more reliable in terms of quality. Though there may be a slightly lesser range of options available, I know that all options will be equally delicious.

Winner: Blue Apron


Price

The best way to compare meal kit prices is by meal and serving. 

Blue Apron plans start at $9.99 per serving and $7.99 in shipping if you opt for three recipes that feed two people a week, totaling around $68. HelloFresh will cost you $8.99 per serving for three recipes that feed two people a week and will also tack on an additional $8.99 for shipping, totaling around $63. If we’re going by this math, there’s only around a $5 difference between the two plans. 

However, there are ongoing introductory deals that’ll drop the cost down a bit, though the deals might change over time. Currently, HelloFresh is giving new subscribers 12 free meals but we’ve not been able to find a current deal for Blue Apron. HelloFresh also has a webpage for its current discounts and prices are while Blue Apron doesn’t so you’d have to do some digging on Google. We suggest shopping around or even waiting a bit to see if a promo code becomes available.

Even though Hello Fresh has a lower base price when you compare three weekly recipes for two people, the various discounts make it too difficult to call one of these services as the true winner. 

Winner: Too close to call 


The bottom line: Too close to call

Blue Apron vs HelloFresh Graphic 1

The choice between HelloFresh and Blue Apron ultimately comes down to convenience and your desire for new flavor profiles. If your priority is a quick, convenient, and delicious dinner, then HelloFresh becomes the obvious winner.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to do a bit more exploration with your cooking and are eager to try out new techniques, then Blue Apron is the one for you. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by giving takeout a day off.

Read the original article on Business Insider