Daily Harvest: Delivering Healthy Food to Your Door
Burgers, pizza, pasta, pancakes, donuts, and other calorie cocktails can be at your door within minutes. What about healthy food?
We all know of the already existing fast-food delivery chains, but getting vegetables and fruits delivered to your home is usually not an option. Or better said - it wasn’t.
Daily Harvest is a customer-first platform that delivers healthy veggies and fruits upon subscription. The genius behind Daily Harvest is the 39-year-old New York entrepreneur Rachel Drori. The idea that made her consider Daily Harvest was to allow people to order fresh and nutritious food and ease their busy daily schedules.
Daily Harvest is one of the fastest-growing consumer brands in the US, thanks to its innovative approach and the fact that it shifted focus from the standard fast-food delivery service.
What is Rachel Drori’s inspiration, and how did she develop a plan of action? This is the complete entrepreneurial journey of Rachel Drori and how she founded Daily Harvest.
Be Different and Creative
Someone’s childhood can tell a lot about a person, and Rachel’s character spoke volumes. From a young age, Rachel wanted to be different from the others, which often was mistaken as stubbornness. As she grew, her ideas no longer seemed stubborn but innovative.
Pursuing her vivid dreams, Rachel Drori graduated in Arts and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and later MBA from the Columbia Business School. Rachel’s first employment was a successful story; she started her career as a marketing executive for Gilt Group.
However, Rachel’s new role kept her so busy that she didn’t have the time to prepare nutritious food for herself, let alone someone else.
Driven by the idea that everyone should have access to a healthy meal, Rachel wanted to help herself and others in their busy life schedules.
Her first venture into entrepreneurship was a project called The Sunday Fare, which started with a couple of her friends. Not only that it wasn’t successful, but the whole idea collapsed as soon as it started.
But instead of looking down and giving up on the idea, Rachel had set her mind on making the food delivery industry a healthier market. About $25,000 savings later, she was ready to provide new ways of delivering frozen food to people’s homes.
For such an undertaking, she would need to organize near-perfect logistics. But right when everything seemed on track - challenges started looming over Rachel.
The Road to Sustainability
People often think that money is a motive enough to be successful, but your personal story will take you a mile further. This certainly applies to Rachel and her plan for Daily Harvest.
As a mother of two and a businesswoman, Rachel's time was limited, and she decided to use it wisely.
Upon setting the grounds for what Daily Harvest would look like, Rachel had a personal front to deal with. Her oldest child, at just 9 months old, developed severe food allergies, which just further confirmed her case. Healthy food shouldn’t be a whenever-we-have-the-time thing but a lifestyle.
Therefore, the main idea for launching Daily Harvest was the busy schedule that didn’t allow most people, including herself, to prepaid nutritious food.
Now that she had established the platform’s purpose, it was time to create the menu. And as the idea was sustainability, Rachel decided to go for the vegetarian approach. But her vision for the platform didn’t just require transport logistics.
Instead, Rachel went as far as to sign contracts with local farmers to supply the chefs with ingredients. For this, she had to venture across the United States in search of farms that would collaborate with her new delivery platform.
The harvesting for farmers turned out to be very tricky, as Rachel needed to establish a strong relationship and build an entirely new infrastructure with them.
Once the ingredients were taken care of, it was time for Daily Harvest to go public. But delivering food to one’s home is nothing unheard of - in fact, the competition is fierce. Many fast-food delivery companies have been up and running for years, stealing the spotlight in the market.
And bringing Daily Harvest to the eyes of the right target audience was yet another challenge.
Reaching the Right Customers
Daily Harvest is a nutritious prepared food subscription platform that sends you pre-portioned vitamin shakes, salads, lunches, and more regularly. The cuisine is vegan, and you can choose which ingredients appear in each box.
So, as Rachel hoped, the first customers to try out Daily Harvest were vegetarians because the first meals offered were free of meat.
The smoothies quickly became a favorite, and soon other meals followed suit. Once the first users spread the news about Daily Harvest, the first founding was not far away.
Seeing this as a potentially huge business, BAM Ventures decided to invest $43 million, a sum of money that left Rachel stunned.
Once again, Rachel had no time to waste, so the plans were to expand the menu offered on the platform. Therefore, she quickly returned to work on the expansion. What started as a frozen food delivery for individuals quickly evolved into mass food delivery to companies as well.
The first customers had their food delivered by Rachel personally until she could handle the challenging logistics and transport issues. While building the website, Rachel also prepared the food, leaving most consumers in awe.
After all, this was a one-woman business.
Evolution in the Fastest-Growing Consumer Brand
In just a few years after Rachel’s Daily Harvest went online in the US, the food-ordering platform experienced significant growth in customer numbers. Knowing that more consumers will see the difference between fast food and the one sold at Daily Harvest, Rachel needed to twitch things up.
Rachel quickly added a few features to the website, including a place where consumers can get informed on the ingredients used and how they prepare the meals.
The biggest investment Rachel received by far for Daily Harvest is a $77 million Series D from Lone Pine Capital. The deal was completed in November 2021, prompting Rachel to realize that her platform had reached the world's top.
Within months, Daily Harvest became one of America’s fastest-growing consumer brands immediately after they noticed the difference between Daily Harvest and fast-food delivery chains.
Finally, Rachel’s idea to deliver healthy and nutritious food has come to life, even better than she previously expected.
The platform has had 3 leads and a total of 24 investors in the 6 funding rounds.
The Future is Bright For Daily Harvest
Today, Rachel Drori’s Daily Harvest is one of the fastest-growing consumer brands in the United States, with thousands of active daily users.
Since Daily Harvest was released, the platform has received around $120 million in funding, with the last one being a Series C in 2021. One of the most notable investors is former tennis star Serena Williams and the actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Nowadays, Daily Harvest counts over 250 employees, and it is further expanding. The company’s main headquarters is in New York City, New York, with all the major offices being located in the state.
Rachel’s company went public in 2021, and currently, it holds a unicorn status with an evaluation of a mind-blowing $1.1 billion. Rachel remains to work at her company, supported by her husband and two children.
The logistics she used to struggle with are working perfectly, and the future for Daily Harvest looks more than bright!