The newly launched meal kit company Meal Mrkt offers "almost ready-made" meals. They realised early on that the concept was appreciated as requests to start delivering to more areas came flooding in. With rented refrigerated vans and only themselves as drivers, it became difficult to keep up, and even more challenging to scale up. Today, Meal Mrkt partners with Gordon to focus on what they do best: cooking great food from scratch and building their brand.
Fredrik Grahn has been an entrepreneur for most of his professional life and has experience in both tech and restaurants. He has founded and sold several businesses and, with many lessons learned and some capital in his backpack, he is now the founder and CEO of Meal Mrkt on Värmdö in Stockholm.
Want to solve the meal
Meal Mrkt offers a fixed menu for four people with three new, chef-cooked dishes weekly. The goal is to make people's everyday lives easier, so they offer their customers "almost ready-made" meals. This means that Meal Mrkt solves the most time-consuming steps for the customer, such as preparing a rich meat stew or a bolognese. When it's time to eat, the bolognese is heated up in a few minutes, and the only thing the customer needs to add and prepare is pasta, rice, potatoes or their preferred side dishes.
At Meal Mrkt, the food is almost ready-made, cooked from scratch, consists of at least 80% Swedish ingredients in season, tastes good and has a price that is in line with that of the grocery store. The most important things for them are quality, cost and time, and it is clear that this also means a lot to those with children. Most of Meal Mrkt's customers are, in fact, families with children.
– But we also have customers who bring their food as lunch to the office and eat it as it is, without carbs. They only need to heat and eat, says Fredrik.
Had to say no to new customers
The team at Meal Mrkt think they have an excellent product, and they realised early on that customers agreed when requests to start delivering to more areas came in.
– We rented refrigerated vans from OKQ8 and delivered ourselves initially, but we had to turn down many new customers because we didn't have time to deliver everything. We also didn't have a platform for managing customer communication, so we had to text the estimated delivery time to each customer manually, says Fredrik.
Since Meal Mrkt's ambition is to scale up quickly, they needed to rethink their logistics and decided to let someone else handle the deliveries. Fredrik explains why they chose Gordon:
– With smaller hauliers, we would not have achieved the same quality. If we are to be able to scale up and become large, which we want to do, Gordon is the way to go.
Can focus on growth
For some time now, Gordon has been handling the communication with Meal Mrkt's customers and taking care of the deliveries. Fredrik is relieved:
– Gordon has relieved us of things we spent a lot of time on before, allowing us to focus on what we are good at: cooking great food from scratch and building our brand.
The growth is also facilitated by Gordon's reach. Meal Mrkt no longer has to turn away new customers because of where they live. Eventually, they want to reach out to all of Sweden and even globally, but they are focusing on Stockholm County for now.
– The meal market in Sweden is enormous. Theoretically, we could probably grow with the same offer for another five years, but of course, we want to develop, says Fredrik.
Plans for the future
There are plenty of plans and motivation in the company. The next step is to start offering customers more options in terms of choice of dishes, number of portions and delivery days. Later, the goal is for all Meal Mrkt's menus to also be sustainable from an environmental perspective. Already today, the packaging is made from 100% recycled CPET and some meat is replaced with vegetables. Still, the ambition is for the weekly menu to follow WWF:s climate budget of a maximum of 0.5 kg CO2e per portion.
– Offering an environmentally friendly and healthy menu without compromising the customer's taste preferences will be our biggest challenge, says Fredrik. Keeping the price down to the level of the grocery store while keeping the business profitable will also be a test, but we expect to get better prices from our supplier as our volumes increase.
Right now, he is excited that they can start marketing themselves more:
– It will be really fun because now we have Gordon taking care of the deliveries. Before, we could only bring in new customers if they lived in areas where we were already operating. We don't have that challenge anymore, so it will be nice not to have to say no to customers. We want everyone to be able to eat almost ready-made food from scratch, concludes Fredrik.