In A Snap
Austin-born healthy meal delivery company snaps back into service
Snap Kitchen is making a comeback. The health-conscious packaged meal service operating in partnership with Whole Foods was hit hard by the early stages of the pandemic, declaring bankruptcy in 2020 and closing more than half of its stores. Down to six stores from 33 that year, the company recently announced it is beginning to expand again, this time focusing on Texas first.
The Austin Business Journalrecently reported two stores slated to open this fall in Houston and Dallas, with more planned in 2023, including potentially (but not definitely) in the Austin area.
Snap Kitchen CEO Tony Smith explained the contingencies to CultureMap, saying the company would have to hear from Austinites. The biggest factor driving growth in Texas is existing consumer demand, and Snap Kitchen is taking requests.
“It certainly helps that we have Texas roots having been founded in Austin, and we live in the communities we serve,” writes Smith in an email, discussing the store’s popularity in Austin so far, where there are nine current selling locations including at Whole Foods. “But more fundamentally, our growing assortment of delicious meals have become an integral part of our customers’ healthy lifestyles, which has created very strong customer loyalty.”
The only area with more Snap Kitchen locations than Austin is Dallas-Fort Worth, with 14 locations, but it’s a complicated comparison: Dallas-Fort Worth only has one standalone store, but Austin has four. The rest of the locations are inside different Whole Foods. Those independent locations rely on foot traffic and super-accessible placement in the city in order to promise 30-minute deliveries within 10 miles.
“Texas is unique in its size and how rapidly its major cities are growing, which is why our focus will be here,” writes Smith. “Our main advantage is having a centrally located Kitchen near DFW and a store footprint that can deliver fresh food quickly and provide a better customer experience than national shipping alternatives.”
Along with expanding locations, Snap Kitchen is expanding its menu. Smith also shared with CultureMap that a new local partnership with 44 Farms gives Snap Kitchen access to premium steaks, which claim “low-stress lives” for cows that have never been given hormones, antibiotics, or feed additives.
The shift in order fulfillment extends to packaging, which now includes a reusable cooler bag and ice pack instead of a disposable box. As they can be returned and reshipped, Smith declares the system “substantially more environmentally friendly.” In backing out of a national scale to a state scale, orders are arriving more quickly, and as such, with a larger window for consumption.
A new membership program called Snap Pass, launched in late July, connects locals with Snap Kitchen on a more regular basis with recurring weekly orders. Members receive 5percent off every order, and can continually tweak their orders, even returning new meals they didn’t like for ones they’ve tried before. There is no membership fee and no minimum.
More information on Snap Kitchen and Snap Pass are available at snapkitchen.com and on the Snap Kitchen app for iOS.