Campbell Now Chef’d’s Largest Strategic Investor
The Campbell Soup Co. has become the largest strategic investor in meal-kit company Chef’d, according to D.A. Davidson & Co., which acted as Chef’d exclusive financial adviser in its first closing of the Series B capital raise with Camden, N.J.-based Campbell and online grocer FreshDirect LLC, in Long Island City, N.Y. As part of this first close, FreshDirect made a follow-on investment to its Series A investment.
With the investment, Campbell will also gain a seat on the company’s board of directors. Under the terms of the partnership, Chef’d will help with infrastructure and meal solution distribution via the Campbell’s Kitchen site. Further, Campbell will be able to leverage Chef’d’s insights on e-commerce business models, access to data analytics and knowledge about shopper behaviors, and, over the three-year agreement, the two companies will test various capabilities with regard to product innovation and fulfilment.
“Ecommerce will transform the food industry in similar ways to how it transformed entertainment and apparel,” observed Campbell President and CEO Denise Morrison. “It is a game changer for consumers, food makers and retailers alike. The movement is irrevocable and irreversible. In the future, shopping for and preparing meals will be flexible, fully automated and even anticipatory. Chef’d will help Campbell connect with our consumers where they are today and, more importantly, where they’re headed.”
“We are fully committed to growing our ecommerce business with an emphasis on bold moves and rapid pace,” added Mark Alexander, president, Americas simple meals and beverages at Campbell. “We are firm believers in building relationships with partners that share our vision while enabling us to rapidly learn, evolve and test new capabilities.”
“We are always looking to add strategic partners, and Campbell’s outlook on the future of food and ecommerce aligns perfectly with the Chef’d vision of the future of online grocery,” said Kyle Ransford, CEO of El Segundo, Calif.-based Chef’d. “Both Campbell and Chef’d believe in continuing to drive innovation in the new food economy, particularly around consumer customization and e-commerce solutions.”
“Chef’d is a true innovator in the rapidly growing direct-to-consumer food market,” noted Jeff Cleveland, managing director and head of food, beverage and agriculture investment banking at Costa Mesa, Calif.-based D.A. Davidson. “It is fitting that they have aligned with a dynamic, progressive, forward-looking organization such as Campbell Soup Co.”
Chef’d offers consumers across the U.S. the opportunity to choose and reorder meals at any given time subscriptions or membership fees. The company aligned with more than 125 commercial partners, including celebrity chefs, culinary personalities, media outlets, technology companies, and various food, fitness and health-and-wellness brands to offer 1,000-plus meal solutions spanning all dayparts.