FreshRealm, a Ventura, Calif.-based provider of fresh meals for retailers nationwide, has closed on a $200 million capital raise. According to the company, it's the only fresh meal provider to deliver a national platform that simplifies how fresh ready-to-cook, ready-to-heat and low-prep meal kits are brought to the table. Its end-to-end fresh meal retail solution encompasses product design, sourcing, commercialization, manufacturing and logistics through marketing and promotion.
The sizable raise, which comes at a time of record inflation and economic uncertainty, affirms the capital market's belief in enduring demand for convenient and fresh meals. FreshRealm points out that consumers today continue to be time-starved and seek quality meal solutions, with retailers vying for more share of stomach with cost-effective meal solutions, especially as consumers spend less on dining out.
In fact, NPD’s "Future of Dinner" report forecasts that in-home dinners will remain at a heightened level through 2024 as consumers resume their busy lifestyles and look for convenience when preparing meals. Furthermore, the report predicts that consumers will increasingly turn to retail on-the-go meals to help with meal prep. Retail ready-to-eat foods are predicted to grow by double-digits through 2024.
"We've built the most sophisticated platform for fresh meals nationwide in partnership with retailers that represent about 10,000 retail locations across the country and over a million DTC consumers over the last year," said FreshRealm founder and CEO Michael Lippold. "As the retail fresh meals category continues to demonstrate compelling growth, this funding will allow FreshRealm to bolster our existing end-to-end platform that supports elevated private label and branded meal assortments and fresh meals destinations."
FreshRealm will use this latest $200 million raise to help the organization do the following:
- Increase National Presence Through Expanded Facilities: Expanding the company's state-of-the-art operational facilities nationwide to address growing retailer demand for fresh meals, and increasing capabilities to deliver more than 400 million meals to consumers nationwide.
- Drive Accessibility Through Channel Expansion: Expanding production to offer new and in-demand fresh meal offerings at additional retail channels, including convenience and club stores.
- Grow Meal Innovation Pipeline: Using culinary team expertise and proprietary consumer data to deliver even greater sophistication and customization in meal innovation development for retail customers and end consumers.
- Bolster Operational Efficiencies: Pursuing continuous improvement to the company's equipment, facility technology and production capacity to maximize and optimize efficiency within FreshRealm's proprietary horizontally integrated operations model.
- Strengthen Supply Chain Surety: Expanding and solidifying the national network of ingredients with key current and new strategic partners to ensure supply chain security, building on the company's already industry-leading service level.
- Invest in Best-in-Class System Technology: Innovating to deliver new technology solutions to drive the transformation necessary to consistently manage the scale and complexity of meals and ingredients, across many customers and channels.
This recent capital raise comes just one year after the company raised $32 million. Within the past year, the organization has expanded facilities, reinforced its strong leadership team of category experts, introduced a new product brand for grocery, and established fortified channels of distribution in a challenging market and volatile supply chain environment.
BTIG LLC served as sole placement agent to FreshRealm in connection with the offering, while Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. served as legal advisor.