Back in time: My Food Bag celebrates four years

  • News
  • April 21, 2017
  • Courtney Devereux
Back in time: My Food Bag celebrates four years

My Food Bag has surpassed the $100m annual revenue mark just four years after it began.

With almost 50,000 customers across 18 cities in New Zealand and Australia, My Food Bag is now one of New Zealand's fastest-growing companies.

The business was started in 2013 – it was founded by Cecilia and James Robinson in March 2013, together with businesswoman Theresa Gattung, and Nadia Lim and her husband Carlos Bagrie.

The My Food Bag empire grew by 25 percent in the six weeks leading up to March 2016 and is now worth a whopping $100 million dollars. Delivering over 10 million meals, the company has come a long way from when Lim packed the first delivery of about 50 bags in her mum's house.

The meal delivery business made its first $80 million in its first two and a half years - that's faster than market darling Xero and even speedier than Trade Me. In New Zealand, My Food Bag is the third largest food retailer behind Foodstuffs and Progressive, bigger even than Veritas Group.

The business model is targeted at busy people, and with home deliveries; a week's worth of dinner recipes; and ingredients to make them with. It is unsurprising that it is growing within New Zealand’s fast-paced food lifestyle.

A large amount of care and decisions go into the production and distribution of the bags. There are several stages involved in the development of My Food Bag recipes, which are cooked up by a fully-fledged team of foodies in the Parnell headquarters. Lim said the kitchen very much runs itself - one of the test kitchen members takes charge of each type of bag and compiles recipes to fill it for the coming weeks. 

A recipe development team and a recipe testing team create recipes about eight to 10 weeks out from when they would be delivered. 

After any necessary tweaking has been done to the recipe, the final product is photographed and analysed by nutritionists before it goes into the thousands of bags which are sent out each week. The team includes people from all walks of life - which Nadia says is a key to the success.

In June 2016 the "My Family Food Bag" was released, a cheaper option for bigger families. It is one of the six options available in the My Food Bag range. 

Others cater for the gluten free and the vegetarian, and there are now My Food Bag extras, like "My Lunch Box" or "My Fruit Choice" add-ons. 

Co-chief executive Cecilia Robinson said the company had received a number of unsolicited approaches from investors and had asked PwC to manage these both in New Zealand and overseas.

New Zealand private equity player Waterman Capital has invested in My Food Bag, ahead of a planned sharemarket listing for the fast-growing food delivery company in the next three years.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but it was one of the most significant transactions involving such a young New Zealand business, stakeholders said. Waterman Capital was founded in 2004, and its investments include David Reid Homes and Guthrie Bowron.

My Food Bag had chosen to focus on New Zealand, and decided to exit Australia. With people increasingly time-poor and health conscious, the company said it saw further opportunities to grow.

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