Mark Fachler is the founder and CEO of Veestro, a meal delivery service based out of Los Angeles, California delivering ready to eat plant-based meals to your doorstep. Inspired by the healthy meals of their childhoods in Costa Rica, Mark and his sister Monica Klausner co-founded Veestro just over three years ago to fill their personal need of wanting great food but not having much time to prepare and cook it. Since it started out as a small company run by two siblings, Veestro now reports an average growth of three hundred percent a year. Mark gave us some information on what makes Veestro successful and what people are looking for in delivery, as well as why Veestro underwent a rebrand this past month.
Mark, what attracts people to eating healthier, ready to eat meals?
I would attribute that attraction to several different reasons. People want to eat healthier, but it is also the result of many years of companies like us educating people. Eating healthy, plant-based food doesn’t have to be expensive or boring. Anybody can do it and you don’t have to sacrifice a lot of time to do so.
The other component is people are getting used to purchasing food over the internet. That was a struggle a few years ago but now it is more acceptable. People used to ask, why buy food online? My answer is simple, not only is it convenient for people, but it makes sense in places throughout the country where healthy produce and high quality fresh food is not easily attainable.
Who is your customer base?
A big percentage of our customers are people who found us because they were looking for plant-based options. Those are our core customers. However we are making a big marketing effort toward people who don’t only eat plant-based and are not vegan. We are trying to educate them to understand that one plant-based meal a day will make a big difference for them
Is the meal delivery service getting larger in general?
The space is growing rapidly. There are more and more competitors each week. I keep seeing new, beautiful companies pop up. However right now a lot of the focus is on meal kits. There are less prepared meal delivery companies like us. Meal kits are fun but they take time to prepare and cook. If you come home and are exhausted or in a rush you can pull out one of our meals, and within a few minutes you can eat a healthy dinner that tastes homemade.
How does your meal delivery service work?
First you choose the meals to order via the online menu. Meals can be ordered a la carte or through various meal packages. The meals arrive fresh-frozen and waiting for you on your doorstep when you get home after a long day. Simply put them in the freezer until you are ready to enjoy them. They expire after eight weeks so you have plenty of time to eat them, they won’t go bad quickly.
You recently underwent a brand redesign. Could you talk about that?
The decision to rebrand was something we knew would happen eventually. When we started Veestro we did not have the resources to spend much money on the logo and whatnot. As we grew we wanted a meaningful logo on a good website with beautiful imagery. We wanted to communicate to our customers that we are about freshness, taste and health.
Our logo and website conveys that plant-based meals are not just fruits and salads. They can be meals you are used to eating every day minus the animal products. They are healthy, delicious, and satisfying. We think we accomplished that with the redesign.
How does Veestro market itself?
Social media is a big part of our marketing efforts. People like to get involved with our products. We engage with our customers quite a bit. People are so excited about our products that they call us every week about how much they enjoy them. They put a lot of effort into reaching out to us to tell us how our meals have helped change their lives, which is what we aim to do.
How is Veestro planning to grow in the future?
Since we did our rebranding we are starting to ramp up our marketing efforts. We are developing a new blog, the idea being that we will become an authority on plant-based eating and nutrition. We have been talking to nutritionists and bloggers because we want to create a hub for plant-based content on our website. We also recently moved to a larger facility. A month and a half ago we moved into a 20,000 square foot production facility. Menu wise we have forty meals to choose from, which will increase to sixty in the next few months.
Finally, over the last three years we have been moving toward more eco-friendly packaging. Our trays are now all compostable. All the elements of our packaging are also compostable except for the lining of the boxes which we are testing different options to replace and will be changing over soon. So we will be full eco-friendly soon.
For more information, check out Veestro’s products at http://www.veestro.com