Following its major Nestlé USA acquisition in the fall, meal delivery service Freshly Inc. has recruited top Amazon executive Anna Fabrega as the company's first chief commercialization officer.
Founded in 2015, Freshly delivers a menu of fresh chef-cooked meals to customers across the United States, making it easier to eat healthy by offering nutrition and convenience at scale.
Nestlé, the largest food and beverage company in the United States, purchased an approximately 16% stake in Freshly in 2017 in a strategic move to evaluate and test the burgeoning market. After experiencing a steep rise in popularity during the pandemic, Nestlé revealed its acquisition of the meal kit service in late October 2020. The deal valued Freshly at $950 million, with potential earnouts up to $550 million contingent on the successful growth of the business.
Fabrega will help with that progress. With experiences that range from running a multibillion-dollar e-commerce business to working alongside startup innovators, she brings to Freshly a unique perspective on success at the crossroads of growth.
"As we continue to scale, we are dedicated to supporting rapid innovation across our meals portfolio, brand and customer base. Anna's years of industry expertise will be a key ingredient in our success," said Mike Wystrach, founder and CEO of New York-based Freshly. "I'm thrilled to welcome Anna to the team at this pivotal moment in Freshly's strategic expansion."
A native of Panama, Fabrega brings nearly 20 years of diverse experience across the food, retail and e-commerce industries. She has filled leadership positions at the convenience store chain Stripes (acquired by 7-Eleven), Microsoft and, most recently, Amazon. Fabrega has held various positions at the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, including managing director for Amazon Go brick-and-mortar stores. She’s also led the Amazon Kitchen private label fresh food businesses.
In her new role, Fabrega will lead Freshly's growth and strategic partnership initiatives, building and leading teams across marketing, brand, menu development, customer experience and sales.
"As a working mother of two and someone who's passionate about food, Freshly's mission truly resonates with me," said Fabrega. "Even prior to joining the team, I was a loyal Freshly customer. I strive to eat tasty, healthy food, but rarely have enough time for meal prep during the workweek — plus the convenience frees up more quality time with my family. I'm excited to join Freshly as we continue to innovate, scale and work to solve similar challenges for customers who are looking for convenient and healthy meal solutions."
Since joining the Nestlé USA family last year, Freshly remains focused on continuing to scale and meeting the growing demand for nutritious, tasty and convenient meals at home.
Freshly recently launched FreshlyFit, the company's first dedicated product line of ready-to-eat meals that are gluten-free and focus on a lower-carb, protein-powered nutritional profile. The meals have an average of 14 grams of net carbs, more than 30 grams of protein, and 550 calories or fewer.
Additionally, the company recently grew its Southeast operations by opening its fifth facility in Austell, Georgia. The 134,000-square-foot facility is Freshly's largest dedicated order-assembly facility to date. In the past year, the company has surpassed its goal of delivering 1 million meals per week and continues to grow its customer base and meal offerings month over month. The new facility is projected to increase assembly and distribution operations capacity by 40% this year, for an additional 450,000 meals distributed weekly.
Freshly also has operations in Phoenix; Savage, Maryland; Linden, New Jersey; and Commerce, California.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Nestlé recently reported its full-year results for 2020. Organic growth reached 3.6%, with real internal growth of 3.2% and pricing of 0.4%. Growth was supported by strong momentum in the Americas, Purina PetCare and Nestlé Health Science.
Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top grocers in the United States, while its Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods banner is No. 24.