Graze, a venture started by seven friends who all share an interest in food, is a company that encourages healthy eating by sending its customers fresh fruit through the post. It has been around since 2009 and is gaining more customers day in day out.
Ben Jones, one of the co-founders of Graze, described the food parcels they send out as: “Natural wholesome food that keeps your energy levels fit, keeps your blood sugar levels consistent, so you are not feeling rubbish at 3pm and grabbing a chocolate bar.”
The company was inspired by a group of friends’ first entrepreneurial adventure, which was Love Film, a company that sends its customers DVDs through the post. Jones said: “In about 2007 we thought Love Film works well. We could recreate that model but with food.
“It was inspired by our own experience…we were always in a rush and always eating badly and on the spur of the moment. When you do that you make unhealthy decisions based on convenience.”
As a result of offering healthy food to people with hurried lifestyles, the Graze boxes are aimed at people working in offices, as the boxes can not only be delivered to your home, but also to your workplace.
“A result of modern day culture, everyone is in a rush… I think people who work in the cities… who are maybe rushing around a little bit more and have those busier lifestyles want a product that is maybe a little more convenient.”
However, the product has also proved popular with people who are not in cities, and do not have such a variety of places to eat from: “A lot of our boxes go out to people who are stuck out in industrial estates and don’t have a lot of choice… they’ve got the vending machine and we can help out with a Graze box.”
As a company, Graze is very different as every part of the organisation is dealt with in-house: “We’ve done everything from scratch, we’ve never outsourced a thing which is why we are quite a big founding group… so everything from the website design and build, the packaging design,the branding, marketing, all the procurement of goods, the manufacturing, the pick and packing, the distribution. It is all done by us… which is quite unique. We are in charge of our destiny.
“”When we first said to ourselves that we want to send food through the post everyone professional that we spoke to said ‘you can’t do it’ and we kept saying ‘well we can’. I don’t know, if you were a bigger corporate perhaps we would have stopped then, but being a little bit more entrepreneurial…we worked to do it.”
At Graze, a healthy lifestyle is something that they all take seriously: “We all consider ourselves nutritionists now, even though we don’t have qualifications.”
The nutritional side of the company is organised by Roz Kadir, who was head of nutrition for the England rugby team in 2003, who won the World Cup. Jones says that she is good for their credentials: “She is brilliant, she is a true advocate of grazing. She tells us off for eating bread because it is grain and we’ve been eating grain for 10,000 years and our bodies haven’t evolved.”
Despite the fact that the company are advocating healthier and more active lifestyles, Jones concedes that sometimes to maintain that is hard: “It’s all about balance. That’s why we have the 80/20 rule at Graze, which is be good 80% of the time and the other 20% of the time go and do whatever you like otherwise you are going to go mad from being too straight all the time.”
– If you would like to try a Graze box yourself then go to their website and enter the promotional code THELINC.Tweet