Comment

Graze.com versus Nibblr: Let’s bet peanuts…

A solid subscription snacking service needs to be have strength in logistics and consumer relationships - Graze.com was founded on both

It takes no genius to realize that if you deliver ready-made, healthy, portion-controlled snacks to the millennial snacker they’ll gobble the concept right up. What it does take a genius to do is to give that concept legs.

Particularly in a time where snacking has become a way of life it has become harder than ever to differentiate and grab consumer attention as the globe’s $123.3bn snacks sector morphs.

One in five Americans now graze on snacks throughout the day, in place of three square meals. US kids eat 4.1 snacks a day and teens eat 3.8. And this serial snacking trend has started to redefine the US food market, opening up opportunities, and challenges, for snack makers.

So, when I saw that General Mills had launched Nibblr (its take on subscription snacking) my eyebrow twitched, for two reasons: Firstly, the model was inextricably like Graze.com, a five-year-old UK subscription snacking service that has just expanded into the US. But secondly, the timing meant that both were going head-to-head to woo Americans into home and office, delivered-to-you snacking. How exciting.

Could this become the new Pepsi versus Coke? The new Lay’s versus Pringles? Perhaps it could… 

Anything you can do, I can do better

Let’s set the scene. You’ve got General Mills, a full giant that pulled in net sales of $17.8bn in fiscal 2013 battling it out on home turf against Graze.com who for the same year generated sales of $65m.  

But just because it's a well-established food specialist and snacking mega brand with a bucket load more marketing muscle and cash, I don’t think that spells a sure win for the company.

Graze.com has an innovative, passionate and hungry team ready to drive forward a business model they have created from scratch.

I’m not saying General Mills lacks innovation, passion or even hunger, and it almost certainly has a creative team behind Nibblr – but to fail would be somewhat less important for them. If everything were to fail, there’s just the small back up of a multi-billion dollar snacking, cereal and food empire.

But is passion and hunger enough to drive Graze.com into the psyche of Americans? That’s no sure bet either. It’s definitely going to take some hard work.

Subscription needs service, and good service

The foundation to a solid subscription snacking business is the former – subscription. It needs to function logistically. The next thing it needs is the latter - service. This isn’t just about getting a product on shelf and hoping for footfall, this by definition is more intimate. Service is a two-way relationship between company and consumer; it’s about engagement.

Subscription and service are the two very concepts that Graze.com was founded on; the founding principles of the company. This, as far as bets go, puts them in the running for short-, mid- and long-term success. Yes, ahead of snack titan General Mills.

Now, I don’t think General Mills is set for failure. I’m sure it will do very well, fueled by R&D experience and NPD know-how. But the company is a good few steps behind Graze.com in the concept of subscription snacking.

It’s quite invigorating to see a small start-up hungry to take on a multinational. We've seen evidence of underdog brands taking on market leaders in the past - just look at Chobani. 

Graze.com’s CEO made clear that the company was not afraid of competing against General Mills. Its CEO and management are the company founders - the people who designed the business; the eager innovators; the thought-leaders.

For these reasons, if I were betting peanuts on who will triumph in US subscription snacking, I’d put a pile on Graze.com.

 

Kacey Culliney is a reporter for BakeryandSnacks.com and she has been writing about the global food sector for several years. 

Related News

Pass the noodles! I fancy a snack. Does the snackification of everything mean the death of the potato chip?

Everything is a snack: Time to re-invent the potato chip

Graze data research has valued the US subscription snacking market opportunity at $500m

Graze has tripled business in US since January

NatureBox on subscription snacks: ‘We can go where health food stores can’t’

NatureBox on subscription snacks: ‘We can go where health food stores can’t’

Graze CEO: 'This concept is about sharing… To be even more precise, it’s the idea of stocking up the pantry and feeding several people'

Graze targets mums with ‘big box’ subscription snacks

Graze will 'fully embrace' the taste profile differences between the US and UK in its NPD efforts, the CEO says

Graze CEO: We have to better localize our US portfolio

Love With Food acquires Taste Guru subscription food services

Love With Food acquires Taste Guru as consolidation in subscription food services continues

The Graze Good to Go range comprises 12 SKUs

Online snacks business Graze ramps up UK retail presence with Tesco and Asda listings

Graze.com has big hopes for its US expansion - 'this is a market we only think will evolve', says CEO

Graze.com ready to gobble up US market prospects

'Nibblr is a unique model and offering for us. It allows us to tap into even more snacking occasions, especially snacking at work,' says marketing director

General Mills: Next generation growth is in subscription snacking

A majority of US snackers say snacking healthily is difficult - most are concerned with taste compromise, research finds

Uneasy bedfellows: Salt and health in US snacking

Consumers have a burning desire for ethnic flavors - a trend Punjabi Popcorn hopes to profit from

Start-up hopes to burst into US snacks market with Punjabi Popcorn

"People are actually increasingly open to experimenting in snacks in a way they aren't ready to in other food groups," says healthy foods analyst

The future of snacks: Health halos, pouch formats and semi-liquid treats

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.