Today Danish meal delivery service Simple Feast raised a $12 million Series A. As TechCrunch first reported, the funding round was led by London’s Balderton Capital with participation from 14W and existing investors Sweet Capital and ByFounders.
Founded in 2015, Simple Feast’s website boasts that the company is working to create the most sustainable meal service on the planet. How exactly? By eliminating meat from their meals and skipping plastic and styrofoam in their packaging. But the main thing is meat, or lack thereof: after all, avoiding animal products is the single biggest action you can take to reduce negative environmental impact. Simple Feast wants to help people do that by delivering premade, plant-based meals to their doorstep.
They offer two plans: Green Feast, which is vegetarian, and Vegan Feast. Each is 63 DKK ($9.77) per portion if you order for 4-5 people, and features three meals per week. You can also order their “Comfort Food” set of three vegan stews for 69 DKK ($10.70), each of which have two servings. While we can’t access full pricing on the site because we are in the U.S., it seems like the three meal minimum would make ordering Simple Feast pretty expensive pretty fast.
Simple Feast, however, is very clearly not a meal kit. It’s actually more akin to microwaveable Indian food company Buttermilk Co. (also vegetarian!), or a Tovala or Suvie, minus the connected cooking appliance. The boxes come almost completely premade; all customers have to do is heat the food for 10 minutes and add dressing or sauces.
However, Simple Feast might still run into some of the same difficulties meal kit companies face. Customers might not like being locked into a subscription plan, forced to eat the Falafel with Herbs and Pitabread that they ordered last week and no longer crave.
Simple Feast is working to get around these pitfalls by offering customers the option to skip meals or forego the subscription altogether. The plant-based meals also come chilled, so if you have last-minute dinner plans you can always leave them for another night.
A bigger challenge they will face is variety. Each box contains three preset meals, with no option to change if you, say, don’t like oyster mushrooms. Also, when I looked on their website, the Vegan Feast and the Green Feast boxes were exactly the same — which isn’t really a problem, but does make me wonder about their breadth and creativity.
Regardless, Simple Feast seems like a good way to help (at least Danish) people who want to eat less meat but don’t want to put in a ton of (or any) time or effort. If they put some of their funding towards more meal options and ordering customization, they might be able to do just that.