NatureBox: Subscription-Based Snack Delivery Service

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What's This?

NatureBox is a subscription-based online snack delivery service that sends monthly boxes to subscribers priced at $19.95, which includes shipping.

Customers can pause or cancel orders anytime, or request a refund if they aren’t satisfied.

Subscribers can choose from a variety of all-natural snacks or opt for a Discovery Box, allowing NatureBox so-called snack experts to choose and send a new box of snacks each month.

NatureBox products are made from wholesome, minimally processed ingredients, and contain none of the following:

NO trans fats
NO artificial colors
NO artificial flavors
NO artificial sweeteners
NO high fructose corn syrup
NO partially hydrogenated oils

For each box sent to a subscriber, NatureBox claims to donate one meal to hungry children, but (unless I missed it) unlike a similar company who lists the NGO by name, no child or food organization is mentioned, or listed on the NatureBox website.

Each monthly box includes 4 to 6 different NatureBox snacks. The sample box we received, compliments of NatureBox, included Carrot Chips, Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Seeds, Chipotle Maple Almonds, Country Ranch Peas, and Cinnamon Spiced Granola.

There was a little over one ounce of food in each snack bag, for a total of about 5 ounces — that’s $4 an ounce.

I readily confess that every single item we sampled was delicious and oozed with health and freshness in every bite.

But we couldn’t help but notice an intriguing similarity the NatureBox business motif (for every subscriber meal one is donated to a hungry kid) shared with Love With Food, another subscription based company that delivers gourmet snacks and also match-donates a meal to battle childhood hunger.

Aihui Ong launched Love With Food late in 2011 with $645,000 raised from scores of investors. By June 2012, Ong attracted subscribers in all 50 U.S. states.

Last July, Ong’s site exploded with orders, in part through partnerships it arranged with publishers, including influential food and mom bloggers who help to curate and publicize upcoming boxes.

NatureBox founder Gautam Gupta, 26, left his job as a VC at General Catalyst Partners last year to begin his own startup.

Gupta started at General Catalyst as an intern at age 19. During his 4.5 years with the company, he started the firm’s Palo Alto office and worked closely with e-commerce companies.

According to TechCrunch, Gupta was a freshman at Babson College in Massachusetts, where he led his school’s entrepreneurship club and, in the process, fostered connections with a handful of the Boston’s venture capital investors.

“One of those connections developed into a more professional relationship. General Catalyst, a Cambridge, Mass-headquartered venture capital firm, which has recently opened offices in Palo Alto, CA and New York City, hired Gupta as an intern during the school years, a full summer internship, and during his senior year, offered him a full-time position in Harvard Square.”

Over the next five years, Gupta helped source and close five deals for General Catalyst, and helped open the firm’s new Palo Alto offices.

Another interesting similarity is both company founders, Aihui Ong and Gautam Gupta, provide harrowing explanations for why they began their e-Commerce business.

Ong was the victim of an abusive husband who set out to San Francisco with only a backpack, and Gupta grew up overweight, forced to struggle with obesity for most of his life.

But through hard work and dedication, Gautam lost weight by focusing on healthy foods. “Now I am dedicating my life to helping others discover a healthier you.”

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper


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