Food Delivery is Dealt Another Blow. What Can We Learn?

The Lempert Report
June 12, 2017

On-demand food delivery keeps getting tougher and tougher.

Late last month Sprig joined the ranks of Maple, SpoonRocket and rumors are that Munchery is on its last legs. Sprig had one of the best funding of over $55 million. So what is going wrong? 

There is lots of conjecture but the reality is that just delivering high quality locally sourced foods may not be enough. In this era where we want our foods delivered “now” we may have pushed this convenience into a dark hole where it's just too difficult to deliver on that promise – and the fact that supermarkets are stepping up with high quality, lower cost prepared meals and meal kits that we can pick up on our way home might be the fatal bullet for this burgeoning industry. 

I believe that there is a market for this type of business – but with a laser focus. Perhaps for health attributes, or as we’ve reported even meal kits for infants and toddlers. And…for pet food. 

The Farmer’s Dog, founded in 2015 and based in New York City has raised just over $10 million to deliver fresh dog food that is made specifically for your dog. Pet food is big business – almost $25 billion here in the US, and with our love of pets seemingly taking over – this might just be one of those start ups that make it big. 

The Farmer’s Dog meal plans start at $3 a day for small dogs and are customized based on each dog’s age, breed, size, activity level, and health needs in individually packaged servings. One plus is that they don’t deliver one or two meals at a time, but a couple weeks at a time keeping delivery costs and packaging more affordable. Another is that the meals are made with human-grade ingredients with less processing, natural nutrients and higher food safety standards.