FreshRealm’s new operational facilities will ensure the freshest and highest quality meals — ready-to-cook, ready-to-heat and meal kits — are produced.
The prepared food section and the fresh perimeter have been busy during the pandemic. To optimize its position in the high-growth fresh meal category at retail, FreshRealm has plans to expand its operational facilities nationally. The facilities will allow the company to generate more than 100 million meals per year across its complete range of ready-to-cook, ready-to-heat and meal kits.
The increased demand for fresh meal solutions doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. February 2021 report from IRI estimates a $30 billion retail grocery market opportunity for fresh meals. According to May 2021 data from Acosta Research, more than 90% of families say they plan to continue or increase home dining post- pandemic. Additionally, Piplsay’s recent survey shows that 42% of Americans subscribed to a meal kit service this past year, with 45% of subscribers planning to continue using a meal kit service going forward.
The four new FreshRealm facilities in California, Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey will be fully operational in fall 2021. A fifth facility, located in Texas, is set to be online in the first half 2022. The expansion will further extend the company's reach, providing access to the top 20 metropolitan cities in the United States and reaching 85% of the U.S. population in just 10 hours. The strategic locations also will ensure just-in-time delivery to maximize the shelf life of the company's product lines, ensuring delivery within 24 hours of meal assembly.
"Our new state-of-the-art facilities will provide FreshRealm with increased agility, better quality control and rapid line expansion to ensure we can produce superior short-shelf-life meals at a scale that's relevant to the retail industry," explained Michael Lippold, founder and CEO of Ventura, Calif.-based FreshRealm. "Through extensive research and development, we've been able to optimize our production runs and capacity to create fresh meals for today's most innovative and forward-thinking retailers, while keeping our costs extremely competitive."
FreshRealm provides a complete retail solution, from product design, sourcing, implementation, meal assembly and logistics to marketing and promotion. The company recently received an infusion of capital, raising $32 million from investors for its launch of fresh meals in the grocery channel.