DH Harvests Fresh Capital to Further Grow Frozen Business
New York City-headquartered Daily Harvest (DH) has raised $43 million in a Series B round of financing led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with significant participation from VMG Partners, to support its plant-based frozen food ingredients business. The company specializes in home delivery of ready-to-blend kits to consumers who use the components to make smoothies in just 30 seconds, as well as other products.
Founded in 2015 by CEO Rachel Drori, the e-commerce subscription service was fast out of the blocks with backing from celebrity multi-millionaires including Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams and Oscar Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Among other A-Listers making recent investments are Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, Chef Bobby Flay and actor Haylie Duff.
Daily Harvest’s nutritionist-developed blends and 23 nutrient-rich combinations contain ingredients considered to be especially beneficial for health and wellbeing. The products are distributed directly to end users in pre-portioned units to assist them in making smoothies as well as soups and activated bowls (chia parfaits and overnight oats). From Mango + Papaya Smoothies and Zucchini + Black Garlic Minestrone Soup to Blackberry Majik Breakfast Bowls, the offerings feature organic fruits and/or vegetables devoid of refined sugars and preservatives. Consumers need only take a cup out of the freezer, add their liquid of choice and then blend, heat or soak as preferred.
“Daily Harvest is building a platform that is changing the reputation of frozen by delivering highly nutritious, extremely healthy food and beverage options in a convenient and portable manner,” said Carle Stenmark, vice president of VMG Partners.
“We’re going to continue changing the perceptions of frozen food. In eliminating the bias that comes with frozen, we can show people that nutritious, clean food is actually easier to access than taking a trip to the grocery store,” said Drori. “We’re shaping a new narrative about the benefits of frozen-fresh to solve the real life dilemma of having to choose between convenience or compromise.”
She pointed out that frozen blueberries have a whopping 200% more Vitamin C than so-called fresh blueberries three days after picking. Spinach contains 25% more Vitamin E and cauliflower has 50% more antioxidants than do their “fresh” counterparts three days after harvest.
The chief executive officer continued: “The convenience and accessibility of Daily Harvest could benefit all busy professionals and families who are looking to eat more nutrient-dense food. We sit at the intersection of the $53 billion frozen food market and the $43 billion organic food industry, expected to grow to $320 billion by 2025.”
For now the company is primarily targeting busy parents and consumers who prioritize healthy eating, including retired senior citizens. Sales are off to a good start, as more than a million smoothie kits have reportedly been purchased in the past year.