Meal Subscription Service Freshly Hires Its New CMO From Spotify

Mayur Gupta aims to help the startup stand out among ‘food tech’ players


By Nat Ives, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Jan. 3, 2019


Mayur Gupta, vice president of growth and marketing at Spotify Technology SA, is joining the prepared-meal subscription startup Freshly as chief marketing officer, effective Jan. 7. The post had been vacant since Sharon Fox left last spring.


Mr. Gupta joins Freshly as a swarm of companies are striving to bring high-quality food to homes at affordable prices. Munchery, which delivers prepared meals like Freshly but on an on-demand basis, last year ended service in New York. Prepared-food delivery startups Sprig Inc. and Maple Food Co. ceased operations in 2017.


The prepared-meal services have to contend not only with logistics and distribution challenges but competition from restaurant delivery startups, meal-kit services and, of course, home cooking, restaurant takeout and eating out.


Mr. Gupta said Freshly is in the right spot to grow. “There’s a massive evolution happening from the meal-kit space that everybody thought could disrupt the category and really drive convenience,” he said. “As things go along, there’s the realization that it isn’t really that convenient.”


But prepared meals have an opportunity if they focus on health, price, convenience and data, Mr. Gupta said. “We are redefining the future of consumer packaged-goods companies,” he said, referring to a category that traditionally comprises marketers such as Nestlé SA, Procter & Gamble Co. and Tyson Foods Inc. “The future CPG companies are the ones with data at the core and delivering those personalized experiences.”


Marketing is an essential part of the effort, said Brita Rosenheim, partner at the Better Food Ventures investment firm. “Whether it’s meal kits or prepared food, you still have labor costs and ultimately high distribution costs,” she said. “And even harder than that is customer acquisition and retention.”


“Marketing is a two-way conversation,” Ms. Rosenheim added...


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