Careers at NatureBox
NatureBox’s mission is to make discovering bold, delicious foods easier by empowering consumers with direct access to better choices and a dynamic, personalized experience.
Gautam Gupta grew up struggling with obesity, the result of a diet filled with sugary and unhealthy foods. At the age of 18, as he prepared to head to college, he decided to learn about nutrition. He undertook healthy eating habits, and in the six months before he left for campus, he lost 70 pounds. His experience changed the way he thought about food permanently.
After graduating from university, Gupta felt a strong desire to help others achieve what he had. So he met up with Ken Chen, an old college friend who was also passionate about nutrition. In 2012 they decided to start a company that would make smart eating convenient by delivering healthy snacks to people’s doors. The snacks would be delivered in boxes, and the firm would be called NatureBox.
The two were initially not sure if their idea had a viable market. So one weekend they conducted a test in which they built a website for the service and advertised it on social media channels such as Facebook. By the end of the weekend they had received over 100 sign-ups for a subscription. Despite being unsure where to get the food, they were able to pack boxes for all the orders over two days.
At this point the guys knew they were onto something. They spent the next few months taking and sending out orders. The next step was figuring out how to scale the business to accommodate more customers. They obtained seed funding of $2 million. This allowed them to obtain vendors and a fulfillment facility, and expand. The company hopes to diversify to non-snack categories in the future.
Benefits at NatureBox
Business model of NatureBox
NatureBox has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offering at anyone who wants healthy snacks delivered.
NatureBox offers six primary value propositions: accessibility, customization, cost reduction, risk reduction, convenience, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It offers over 100 unique snacks, and adds 3 – 4 new snacks to its portfolio every month. NatureBox also increases access by delivering its snack boxes to not just consumers’ homes, but also corporate offices.
The company enables customization through its service. Customers can choose whatever snacks they want, and tailor them to their dietary preferences/needs (non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, etc.). Also, they can pick the number of snacks per box, and specify the frequency with which their boxes are delivered (once a month, bi-weekly, etc.). Furthermore, if users rate their snacks on the company’s website after consuming them, NatureBox provides personalized recommendations in the future.
The company reduces cost in a number of ways. For first-time users, it makes two out of their first five boxes free. Further, there are no shipping charges. If a customer does not like the snacks they chose after tasting them, they are replaced for free in the next box. Lastly, users can change elements of their subscription, skip a box, or cancel their membership at any time at no cost.
The company reduces risk by developing all of its products in-house and making its snacks as healthy and safe as possible. It guarantees that its products have:
- Simple, high-quality ingredients
- No artificial elements (flavors, colors, or sweeteners)
- No MSG
- No trans fats
- No high fructose corn syrup
- No partially hydrogenated oils
- Less than 200 calories per serving
The company offers convenience by delivering its products directly to the door of its customers.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It serves consumers in all 50 states, and its customer base grows at a rate of 50-100% per month. It has a number of prominent corporate clients, including Visa, Apple, Tesla, Electronic Arts, VMware, Gap, and Match.com. Lastly, NatureBox has won a number of honors, including a National Parenting Product Award.
NatureBox’s main channel is its website. The company also sells its products in the Target chain of retail stores, and uses a direct sales team for corporate customers.
NatureBox promotes its offering through its social media pages, offline advertising methods such as TV and radio, participation in conferences, and partnerships with hunger- and health-focused nonprofit organizations.
NatureBox’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature.
Customers utilize the service through the website while having limited interaction with employees. The website provides answers to frequently asked questions.
That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone, e-mail, and live chat support.
NatureBox’s business model entails designing and developing its products for customers.
NatureBox relies on a network of suppliers to provide the ingredients for its products. It utilizes a fulfillment center to process and package its orders.
Lastly, the company maintains a distribution partnership with Target, the only retail chain where its products are sold.
NatureBox’s main resources are its human resources, who include food experts that design and develop its offerings, sales personnel that promote them, delivery employees that transport its boxes, and customer service staff that provide support.
As a relatively new startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $58.5 million from eight investors as of May 2015.
NatureBox has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions.
Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and customer support/operations, both fixed costs.
NatureBox has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the subscription fees it charges for monthly access to its snack delivery service.
info: Gautam earned a B.S. in Business Administration at Babson College. He previously served as an Associate at General Catalyst Partners and worked in the Consumer Market Knowledge group of P&G‘s North American Fabric Care business unit.
info: Carrie earned a B.A. in Economics and an MBA from Stanford University. He previously served as VP of Finance and Administration, Corporate Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer at Silver Spring Networks. He has over 20 years of experience.
info: Michael earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering at California Polytechnic State University and an MBA/MEM at Northwestern University. He previously led North American operations at Bare Escentuals, where he spent eight years.
info: Kathryn earned a B.A. in Psychology at Lehigh University. She previously served as VP of Merchandising and Private Label at Dean & Deluca and VP of Merchandising and Food Development at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
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