GRAZE – a new generation snacking brand

An odd looking snacking brand seems to be popping up in more and more places these days. It’s not another bar or bag of bites, it’s a huge variety of little trays of natural snacks. GRAZE is hot. You can see their ad below or watch it here.

Graze was Founded in 2007 by a bunch of friends including software engineers from Amazon’s Lovefilm business. They started by selling snacks online in the UK for delivery direct to the consumer at home or work – a brave & different business model for a snacks brand. And it worked. In 2015 they also got listed in Sainsbury’s, Boots and several other mainstream retailers, accelerating their growth. In 2016, they expanded to the USA,  helped by the link between Boots and Walgreens in the US. Graze now a £105m business supplying 500,00 snack boxes each month direct to consumers in the UK, and 600,000 in the US. This is clearly only the beginning.

The brand not only looks and tastes different. It also has a new type of business model. Here is how Graze is changing the way we snack, and the way snack brands go to market :

  • Disruptive business model: Their business model of selling direct-to-consumer gives them scope that their conventional snacking competitors simply don’t have – to tailor snacks to each individual customer. Having overcome the daunting IT & distribution hurdles with cutting edge software, they are building a business that the major mass-market snack brands would find extremely difficult to compete with.
  • Insightful packaging: The packaging is unique in many ways, including the outer box cleverly shaped to fit through a letter box. But one feature that particularly catches my eye is the pack shape – it’s a bowl. This is the perfect shape for grazing. All their competitors are in bags, tins or boxes – none of which is optimised for grazing. Graze has started with insight into consumption occasions and worked back, rather than designing a pack either for the factory, or the shelf.

  • Refine by data mining: Their US launch has been very successful, but it was not done by simply transferring the UK product range and hoping it would be a hit. Unlike their FMCG competitors, the direct-to-consumer model gives them an immense amount of feedback direct from consumers. Over the first 18months they mined this data and tailored the range to local US tastes. 96% of the original product range in the US no longer exists.
  • Global Expansion: The other advantage of a business model that doesn’t rely on retailers to launch is that you can more easily expand geographically. And Graze do indeed seem to have ambitious expansion plans, based on Supply Chain Director Tom Carroll’s recent bullish comments; “Now we’ve done the UK, now we’ve done the USA, guess what? France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Benelux, Japan…they are all within our sights.” 

Summary

Graze are showing that by harnessing consumer insight and digital technology they can take a ‘crazy idea’ (individually tailored snacks delivered directly to you) and make it work – globally. Are they the Uber of foods? Will we all be saying “can we do a Graze on this?” in our next innovation meeting? I already am.

Leave a Comment