This inspiring story is of a rising startup called MealPro started by Andy Sartori. MealPro is focused on creating a custom approach to nutrition, the kind that helps athletes perform, and busy professionals stay healthy. We want to make custom nutrition affordable and accessible to everyone – everywhere. We believe our best work can make a sustainable, positive impact in people’s lives. Here is the story of MealPro in Andy’s own words.
Introduce us to the idea of MealPro
MealPro is an online meal delivery company that is changing the future of food by customizing meal delivery. Today all nutrition sites provide you with an ideal meal plan and assume you have time to shop and cook. Alternatively, eateries provide standard food without taking your personal profile into account.
We are adding value to the eco-system by providing an end-to-end solution for your meal planning needs. MealPro is merging the customizations of a personal nutritionist and adding the operations/kitchen component that cooks, portions, and delivers all the meals to the end-user.
Currently, we are offering a standard a-la-carte menu that users can customize. In the future, we are going forward with providing users with an interface that has limitless meal building capabilities. This is like a blank canvas where users can build their ideal meal plan completely from scratch. Our team then sources all the ingredients, cooks, and portions meals to specifications and then delivers the meals.
We are solving a very big problem for a lot of people. A very large market.
What’s your strategy story? What led you to start MealPro?
I hatched the business idea for MealPro almost by chance, while I was out with two friends to grab a bite. My two friends were different in a lot of ways – gender, lifestyle, body type, and much more – and both were on a diet, but they ordered the same meal. The girl was eating too much for her diet, while my other friend was eating too little.
I realized that restaurants are standard but people are unique and recognized the business opportunity for customized meal prep.
My motivation behind starting a business: While there are many food delivery companies (Uber eats, DoorDash…) all of them leverage a network of existing restaurants and act as “middlemen” between the food maker and the final customer. What I wanted to do was build a company where the technology used to order food is in perfect sync with the Chef that is making the food. This means that through MealPro you can use our intuitive web platform to order a custom meal and our Chefs are on the same page as our technology.
So, I started MealPro. Today MealPro is an online food delivery service that specializes in custom, ready-to-eat meals made with natural ingredients. Unlike other startups, MealPro’s biggest advantage is that we make and sell the product – we then give the user more control over customizations.
What marketing, operation strategies are you adopting at MealPro?
We have established our presence by focusing on one message – healthy meals for active individuals – and we built our web presence around this.
We made the conscious decision to exclude some promising market segments from our strategy, like specialty meals for people with medical conditions, because it would have diluted our brand and ultimately confused our prospects. Some startups attempt to build a portfolio of messages to broaden their audience and hopefully increasing the response. But, I do not believe in “throwing the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.”
Our focus has allowed us to build a presence on social media, with videos, educational posts addressing best practice in nutrition (for example the below one: that brings independent value to casual readers and of course motivate them to learn more about our offering.
Any opportunity to generate content is really a sales call that the power of the web magnifies thousands of times, and that search engine algorithms latch on to enhance rankings. Our strategy is based on three tears including organic web traffic, social media, and some ad campaigns, where we seek to capture all synergies.
Any strategy mistakes you have made and what did you learn?
In my previous venture, I distributed commodity food and beverage products. It was a difficult market to penetrate because its low barriers to entry allowed in a multitude of competitors and stymied growth potential. There was little technology leverage, and logistics were a nightmare. In a nutshell, it had a bad business model. it took some courage, but one day I decided I needed to shut it down.
Following that I modified my strategy to create MealPro: This version leverages and the online marketplace and is the polar opposite: our meals are customized, the technology barriers to entry are high, and the growth prospects are just huge.
Finally what advice do you have for your fellow entrepreneur readers?
- Prioritize your ideas based on impact and let your desire to make your customers successful drive your product development roadmap.
- Be driven but not stubborn. If what you are working on does not work, dump it and cut your losses.
- Mind the details, but think big. Entrepreneurship is hard, growth is what makes it worthwhile.
- Be focused on listening to the market. The next trend is out there already, be the first to recognize it.
Disclaimer: The information in the above story is provided by the startup and The Strategy Story takes no responsibility for the authenticity of the product and services offered by the startup. Reader’s discretion is advised.
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