Jay-Z Backed Food Catering Platform HUNGRY Forays Into Healthy Snacks With Acquisition Of NatureBox

Technology-enabled food catering and delivery platform HUNGRY has acquired NatureBox, a subscription-based healthy snacks provider servicing corporate employees, for an undisclosed sum, marking the company’s third acquisition over the past three years after LocalStove and Ripe Catering.

HUNGRY, which was founded in 2017 by Eman Pahlavani, Shy Pahlavani, and Jeff Grass to provide corporate employees across 11 US cities with curated menus cooked by local chefs, has raised $60.12 million as of April 15, 2022 at an over $200 million post- money valuation, PitchBook data showed. Earlier backers include Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, Kevin Hart, Usher, as well as celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai.

The acquisition of NatureBox came after HUNGRY’s business reportedly tripled in size since the pandemic started, according to Mr. Grass, the CEO of the company, amping up competition among employee care-focused food and beverage players, such as Caroo, recently rebranded from SnackNation. Grass expects more people returning to the office will help cement the company as a leader in the corporate food-tech industry.

“NatureBox had previously raised roughly $60 million in venture capital funding,” Grass wrote me via email. “We project that NatureBox will add at least 20% to HUNGRY’s overall revenue in 2022, and we expect our business to double in sales in 2023.”

The Birth of HUNGRY Snacks & Business Synergies

In addition to providing its own branded jerky, nuts, pretzels, and other popular snacks, NatureBox also pairs with several independent brands in its customized care packages, including Field Trip Cripsy Cuts, Rise Coffee, and beef biltong maker Stryve Foods that recently went public through a SPAC deal. With the acquisition, these snack options also become available to HUNGRY’s existing clients through a newly born platform HUNGRY Snacks, Grass noted.

“We greatly enhance the in-office snacking solutions currently available to NatureBox clients with a much broader selection of snack options, drinks, fresh fruit and other solutions plus world-class onsite service and replenishment,” he told me. “Exclusive access to healthy, better-for-you NatureBox snacks and all these additional capabilities will make HUNGRY Snacks an unbeatable office snacking solution.”

HUNGRY’s two other recently acquired subsidiaries LocalStove and Ripe Catering are also expected to enable NatureBox to better serve its customers particularly in Philadelphia and New York City. “We’re growing like wildfire, and we expect that will continue for the foreseeable future,” Grass said. “We just launched in our 11th city – Nashville – and you’ll see HUNGRY launching in more US cities throughout 2022 and beyond.

“While COVID, supply chain bottlenecks, inflation and a myriad of other challenges have confronted us over the last two years, they’ve only made us stronger, faster and better than ever before,” Grass added. “We are also really excited about the huge return to office that is accelerating daily, and how our clients are effectively leveraging food as a powerful motivator to entice their teams back to their offices.”

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