Daily Harvest, the online meal delivery service that sells frozen soups, smoothies and bowls on a weekly or monthly basis, is opening a Manhattan pop-up on Nov. 14 to pull in potential customers.
The Daily Harvest “Refueling Station,” designed in partnership with creative agency The Gathery to look like a 1970s Palm Springs gas station, gives visitors free samples of several Daily Harvest products, a walk-through of its ingredient sourcing process, an explainer on the benefits of frozen foods, and a chance to win products with faux scratch tickets. Located at 446 Broadway in SoHo, customers can also buy individual items, like a Blueberry & Hemp smoothie or a Mushroom & Miso soup, and take them to go. The focus is on brand awareness and direct sales, rather than driving Daily Harvest’s weekly or monthly subscriptions (individual items aren’t available to purchase on the company’s website).
“This is meant to drive direct sales. The one thing we know about our customers is that they need to taste it to understand why it’s different,” said Daily Harvest CEO and founder Rachel Drori. “So we want to meet customers offline, and interact with them there.”
Daily Harvest launched in 2015 and has so far raised $43 million in funding in three rounds, with high-profile investors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Bobby Flay and Serena Williams, as well as firm Lightspeed Venture Partners. So far, it’s been running an online-only, subscription-only model, so testing the waters of new retail channels is the natural next step. Digitally native brands have moved offline, in both temporary and permanent stores, chasing a new outlet for customer acquisition and awareness as digital marketing plateaus; subscription brands have shifted focus to e-commerce, like Birchbox, or pivoted to a more flexible membership model, like MeUndies.
And scaling meal delivery services has been tested online. Blue Apron, which sells meal kits by subscription, is partnering with Jet.com after losing customers. Sakara Life, a digital brand selling fresh, prepared meals, power bars and other supplements, has started selling products in wellness retailers to grow awareness.
“Subscriptions give you a nice, tight grip on your customer, but there’s a much higher barrier to entry,” said Chris Paradysz, the founder of the agency PMX.
Drori said Daily Harvest is targeting a different customer than other meal services on the market — unlike meal kits, Daily Harvest prep only takes a few minutes, and since the products are frozen, they don’t perish. She said that so far, the brand has built awareness and acquired customers through all the usual digital marketing engines, with Instagram advertisements and podcast spots being among the biggest drivers. By testing physical retail through a pop-up store, Drori said there’s “no agenda” other than to introduce more people to Daily Harvest’s brand and food selection, but that the company will be paying attention to see how it performs.
“We’re proud of our ability in general as a company to test things, see how customers respond, and then react quickly,” said Drori.
Data influences Daily Harvest’s regular production schedule: It owns its supply chain, and can make new products on an eight-week cycle. To gather feedback from the pop-up, all Daily Harvest employees will take turns being on the grounds, talking to customers at checkout and as they go through the experience. Visitors will also be given cards when they enter the pop-up so they can record what flavors they liked best (there are both smoothie and lunch and breakfast samples on hand to try), which will then be given to the staff.
“Getting to interact with customers is fundamental to the soul of our business,” said Drori.
Subscribe to the Digiday Retail Briefing: A weekly email with news, analysis and research covering the modernization of retail and e-commerce.
Member ExclusiveFuture of TV Briefing: TikTok’s other creator monetization program
This week’s Future of TV Briefing looks at the role TikTok's Branded Missions program plays in keeping creators on the platform as YouTube readies its short-form video revenue-sharing program.
How Philadelphia Cream Cheese is finding its place on Reddit
Hoping to tap into honest, authentic conversations, Philadelphia Cream Cheese is investing in Reddit ads for the first time.
Why Tractor Supply Company made its TV ad to look like TikTok
Tractor Supply Company, a retailer founded in 1938, is using 100% of its marketing spend for this quarter on Paramount's TV channel. The company's new "TikTok style ad," debuted on the premiere of Yellowstone on Nov. 13, is part of a push to build brand awareness.
SponsoredPublishers are adapting advertising strategies for a privacy-first world
Tina Iannacchino, senior publisher director, Seedtag So much of the attention around the death of third-party cookies and its impact on the digital advertising industry is focused on the implications for brands and consumers, which is far from the complete picture. The digital publishing industry in the U.S. is massive and set to be shaken […]
As purpose-driven ads face challenges this holiday, could podcasting provide a lift?
Purpose-driven marketing may face growing challenges this year as consumers wrestle with inflation and the ad market gets more competitive.
Amid record-breaking Thanksgiving weekend e-commerce growth, there was an uninvited guest – bot traffic
A record 196.7 million Americans shopped online and offline from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday — a lift of 17 million from 2021 — per NRF.