Set up in 2008, online snack distributor Graze celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Thanks to a modern approach to almost every aspect of the consumer foods business, it now generates £75.8 million in annual revenues with huge profits to match.
As an innovative company, who is completely open to new ways of getting things done and improving its business, Graze is a notable example to businesses of all kinds.
Online food sales with a whole new flavour
Back in 2008, selling any kind of fresh food solely over the internet was a relatively new idea. For the most part, it was a sideshow for supermarkets and large distributors, and a concept for some shrewd but small enterprises. Then Graze came along and changed everything.
The interactive site, along with its shrewd customer profiling, allowed the company to easily gauge what snacks each of their customers most wanted. Meanwhile, their smart but simple distribution system, which involved posting their products in small and neat recycled boxes, meant they could then get the grub to the customer easily, cheaply and quickly.
This was good for the company, and their customers fell in love with it. Sales rose quickly as people who appreciated the ease of the tailored system signed up and spread the word.
A High-tech lightweight
When people think of the food industry, they might not imagine the most cutting-edge group of businesses. However, Graze is exactly this. Its highly automated, subscription-based distribution model is backed up by a range of top secret algorithms that ascertain what the customer likes, as well as a customer profile. It then creates boxes and distributes them with minimal human interaction. This means each customer can be automatically sent a bespoke menu of food at regular intervals, as well as targeted recommendations and offers. Graze were among the pioneers of this field and frequent updates to the algorithms mean that they are far ahead of the competition.
This elevated level of automation means that their company model is ultra-light, allowing approximately 500 employees to distribute foods across the UK, much of Europe and the US. Meanwhile, partnerships with many food suppliers, service providers and distributers mean that much of the day-to-day work of the company is outsourced to specialists. As a result, the staff can focus their efforts on improving their innovative system, reinvesting in the business and looking to the future. This type of lightweight, highly automated business is a product of corporate evolution that is increasingly dominating in all sectors. Graze, and companies like it, look set to take ever bigger bites of the economic pie.