Once upon a time, as a New Yorker and working mom, Rachel founded Daily Harvest after realizing the difficulty in finding time to shop, chop, prep, and create nutrient-dense and delicious foods. I had the opportunity to chat with CEO of Daily Harvest, Rachel Drori to learn more about her fruity endeavor along with some of her own favorite flavors, and whats up next for her and Daily Harvest.
In fact, Gwenyth Paltrow and Serena Williams have invested in this business as well.
The Oscar Award-winning actress and founder of Goop as well as the 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion, entrepreneur and fashion icon have joined the company’s Series A financing round. Paltrow and Williams join a round that includes Collaborative Fund, WME Ventures, 14W, and Rubicon Venture Capital, as well as angel investors Nick Brown, Natalie Massenet, and Carter Reum, among others.
“Serena and Gwyneth immediately understood our mission to provide convenient foods without nutritional compromise, and their passion for what we are building will make them instrumental members of our investment team,” said Rachel Drori, Founder and CEO of Daily Harvest. “As we continue to grow the Daily Harvest brand, partnering with like-minded investors furthers our mission to redefine the frozen food category. We’re excited to educate and inspire Americans across the country to incorporate healthier foods into their busy lives.”
What primarily piqued your interest in starting Daily Harvest and how did you come up with the concept?
Rachel: Daily Harvest, as is the case for many startups, was born from personal need. I always felt that the way I aspired to eat and the way I had time to eat were in conflict. I began gathering ingredients on Sunday nights and packing them into bags for instant smoothies during the week. It made getting out the door in the morning so easy, and kept me energized throughout the day. It became such a game-changer for me day-to-day that I knew others would appreciate the easiness of a 30-second smoothie, and had to share my idea.
What are your favorite flavors in each category (smoothie, chia parfait, overnight oats, soup)?
Smoothie: blueberry hemp
Chia parfait: Mango Golden Milk
Overnight Oats: Dragon Fruit Mulberry
Soup: Carrot + Coconut
What flavors do you plan on launching in the future?
Rachel: We are always cooking up something exciting (and delicious), stay tuned for new products and flavors dropping in the next few weeks!
Where do you see food trends going with there being so much more focus on superfoods and health food?
Rachel: We are all looking for ways to make our diets healthier, more nutrient dense, and more sustainable. It’s this country-wide change in tide that is sparking a lot of the current innovation in the food space, including ours! Daily Harvest is a direct response to a need in the market, and it’s great to see people taking more of an interest in their general health and adapting their eating behaviors accordingly.
What have you learned on your journey with Daily Harvest thus far that you wish you knew prior to starting?
Rachel: Don’t look for reasons not to do things. Life is full of uncertainty but if your instinct is telling you to take a chance, you’re not being true to yourself if you don’t follow that impulse.
How do you determine the peak freshness of fruit especially when 3 days in the fridge can leave the fruit almost with no nutrition?
Rachel: Frozen produce is nutrient-packed, low-waste and convenient. Farm-frozen produce is picked at its nutritional peak, whereas stuff in the grocery store is picked before it’s actually ripe and sits on trucks for weeks on its way to the store, while its nutrient content is degrading. Our produce is picked at peak ripeness and frozen within hours, maintaining its optimal nutrition. Also, the freezing process generally involves chopping the ingredients before they’re frozen, so it doesn’t matter if some of the produce isn’t picture-perfect. It still tastes delish. Eat frozen, eat ugly, and prevent food waste.
What do you want your clients to ultimately gain from Daily Harvest beyond superfood at a super-fast level?
Rachel: Our brand is meant to speak to anyone who’s looking for “convenience without compromise.” Our customer is someone who lives a busy life but aspires to eat better – it’s important for us to deliver a top-quality product that provides the most nutritionally dense superfoods. That doesn’t go far if it’s not easy and quick to make. That’s where the convenience factor comes in, and why all of our products take just minutes to prepare.
What do you believe the involvement with Serena Williams and Gwenyth Paltrow will play in Daily Harvest’s growth (no pun intended)?
Rachel: Both women have such amazing platforms to help us tell our story. They are not just celebrities with large reach, but respected authorities when it comes to health, nutrition, and fitness, and we’re so excited to have them on board.
Why do you think we’re busier than ever before that we need more delivery services to help run our lives and make them more convenient?
Rachel: Technology is a catalyst behind the rapidly changing way everyone is living their lives, both in the US and abroad. With increasing connectedness, we now have “always-on” jobs and lives in general, and it’s allowed other things (for better or for worse) to take priority in our lives. That said, technology has also allowed for innovative new services that allow consumers access to superior foods in convenient formats (delivery included).
What’s next for Daily Harvest?
Rachel: A major goal we are working towards is changing the perceptions around frozen food. For decades, the space has been dominated by unhealthy or pseudo-healthy products that are hyper-refined and preserved. We are working hard to tell a new story, about the potential in freezing unadulterated to solve real life challenges.
Some of my personal faves include: Pumpkin & Chai Overnight Oats, Cinnamon Protein + Banana, Cacao + Almond Smoothie, Cold Brew + Almond, and Cacao + Mint.
Order up and enjoy! xoxo