Sun Basket cooks up another $15 million for gluten-free and paleo meal kits

Meal kit delivery startups, at this point, are nothing new. They send pre-measured ingredients in an insulated package right to a subscribers door, and promise to alleviate the inconvenience of grocery trips. One company in this burgeoning channel of food retail, Sun Basket, has just raised $15 million in a Series C round of venture funding to put a health-conscious twist on the meal kit. Sun Basket offers its subscribers lots of options for what the company calls clean eating, including recipes and ingredients that fitgluten-free, paleoor vegetarian lifestyles. Executive Chef Justine Kelly, of Slanted Door and Iron Chef fame, is the creative tour de force behind those recipes. Sun Basket executive chef, Justine Kelly According to Sun Basket CEO and co-founder Adam Zbar, the startupalso employs data scientists and nutritionists who evaluate the recipes Kelly develops to categorize them, and make sure that ingredients available to make them will be up to the companys standards. Customers expect Sun Basket to adhere to its advertised standards, which are all about health and sustainability. It promisespackaging thats 100 percent recyclable or compostable, and meal kits that include only: organic, non-genetically modified produce; humanely raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat; seafood thats approved by the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch list; and nutritionist-approved recipes. While the food market is huge (everybodys gotta eat) the competition for customers is steep, including other health-minded meal kit companies like Green Chef, Purple Carrot and Plated, as well as gourmet grocers and restaurants offering healthful options to diners. Healthy meals and transparency about ingredientsare trends expected to drive sales in the industry this year, according to the National Restaurant Associations Whats Hot 2017 forecast.

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