How City Treatment Accelerates Progress by Democratizing Wholesome Meals

Purpose at Work: How Urban Remedy Accelerates Growth by Democratizing Healthy Food

PHOTO BY Urban Remedy

Food has such a powerful impact on public health and the environment. Many Americans lack proper nutrients and fresh foods, which contribute to higher rates of inflammation and the diseases that it causes. Similarly, overconsumption of industrialized foods continues global warming. One company that works to democratize access to healthy and environmentally friendly food is Urban Remedy.

“Real food has the power to heal,” Paul Coletta, CEO of Urban Remedy, told We First. “Very fresh, clean and practical. These are the three most important needs that we meet, ”he says. “Ultra-fresh, ie nutrient-rich and as close to nature as possible. Clean, ie free from herbicides and pesticides. And handy in this age of Amazon. The taste has to be ‘Oh Wow’ too. ”

Today’s consumers want to empower brands that make positive change and provide solutions for better lives. “We see Urban Remedy as a platform to create the alternative to what we call” Big Food “,” says Coletta. “Big food is a big problem. It’s just not sustainable for our health or our planet. “The company’s innovative business strategy has resulted in Urban Remedy doubling annually for the past seven years. The company’s path and purpose provide valuable lessons for founders and executives who wish to lead with us.

Building the infrastructure for changes:

Creating the framework necessary for fresh food delivery across the country is not an easy task. The short shelf life and the uncertainty about the demand, especially for new products, pose challenges for Urban Remedy. “It’s complex and diverse. It’s what I would call the omnichannel hub and spoke business model, ”says Paul. “It’s a very difficult problem. How do you keep this product in stock so that it is available to consumers at an affordable price and still makes money? “

Urban Remedy overcomes these challenges, among other things, through a diversified sales network. The brand has three sales branches; Retail, wholesale and direct to the consumer. Urban Remedy offers fully curated shopping experiences with its nearly 20 own small grocery retail stores. The company also sells to consumers through urbanremedy.com. While all three channels create dynamic synergies, wholesale sales to larger retailers like Whole Foods bring the greatest sources of income. To showcase their products, Urban Remedy operates refrigerated kiosks that contain around 30 to 40 products in their national wholesale network.

“We can go from concept to consumer in our retail stores in about eight weeks,” says Coletta. “Over the next few months we will receive a quick indication from the consumer as to whether this is a successful product.” They often tweak it and refine it in the lab, putting it back on the shelf until it works well. “If it really sells, it sells at wholesale kiosks in 20 states, mostly in natural grocery stores.”

“When we go to market with something that doesn’t work, we have a real problem in the income statement,” he says. “Suddenly we have to deal with waste and write off products. What we have created is an omnichannel flywheel that allows us to incubate products in our vertical channels. Then if they are successful, you can transfer them to our wholesale channel and online channel and really reduce the risk of risky thing. “

Unlike many CPG companies, Urban Remedy owns all of the products and bears all the waste risk in their grocery kiosks. It is difficult to sell products with a shelf life of less than a week at a national grocery store such as Whole Foods. “If we take the risk, they’ll say, ‘Great, this is your place. Knock yourself out. We’ll split the profits. “And that’s how we built this business. We decide what goes into this cooler. We can change it within 48 hours. All we have to do is upload a new UPC to your point of sales system.” , Says Coletta.

In addition to the ability to incubate products and reduce risk, Urban Remedy uses technology to provide fresh food to more people. “We are constantly working on that. We have just introduced a new ERP system that gives us real-time inventory management, more demand forecasts and cost accounting, ”says Coletta.

“We’re always learning and spinning, trying to reach as many people as possible while being financially sustainable.” Purpose, revenue, and reach create a positive feedback loop. The more money that comes in, the more people Urban Remedy can reach and the more healthy meals they can serve.

According to Paul, the expansion also helps with the challenges of short shelf life products. “If you’re in the short shelf life business, the more scalability you have, the more leverage you have. The more leverage you have, the greater the chance that you will actually bring some cash into the black. “

The lesson here is that it is important to lay the foundations for sustainable growth, both socioeconomically and economically.

Maintain culture:

Purpose at Work: How Urban Remedy Accelerates Growth by Democratizing Healthy Food

Purpose at Work: How Urban Remedy Accelerates Growth by Democratizing Healthy Food

PHOTO BY Urban Remedy

This foundation is also essential for your internal team. By fostering a close community in your company, you can increase employee retention, advocacy, and productivity. “Culture is about a group of people with a common belief system who have a common goal, which is a mission,” says Coletta. This belief is based on the idea that food can heal. “It’s radical to say, but we believe that great food could be part of the solution and Urban Remedy could be the blueprint. That drives us. “Purpose and commitment to a shared vision essentially inspires employees to work toward something greater than selling products and collecting a paycheck.

Storytelling and word of mouth:

The company and its products are a function of a larger cultural conversation about food. Through this conversation and the fame through its wholesale kiosks, Urban Remedy was able to gain well-deserved media and word-of-mouth advertising.

“Great marketing is great storytelling,” says Coletta. “We tell a story about this idea that food heals.” Not only can food heal people, it can also heal our planet. Regenerative agriculture is one way to achieve CO2 neutrality. According to Coletta, they are working with Organic Regenerative Certification to connect with suppliers and ingredients.

In recent years the company has focused more on operations and sales than marketing. “I didn’t want to raise the volume of our story until we had the right operational blueprint because that’s a recipe for disaster, too. All of a sudden you scale and bleed the bottom line. Our best marketing was word of mouth. You try us, you like us, you tell your friends and family and you repeat. In this and that way we grew this business and that was the primary way of marketing.

Build a movement

Ultimately, there are ways to provoke advocacy and sales by improving people’s understanding of a problem and then positioning the brand and products as meaningful contributions to further developing that conversation. “There is a movement around regenerative agriculture and movements create markets,” says Coletta. “It’s coming. The challenge is one of the supply chain. But it’s going to catch up. I mean, look at the world of organic. In the US, the organic food industry is about $ 60 billion Years every year by about 15 percent and companies like Whole Foods are no longer leaders. The three biggest players in the organic food industry are Walmart, Costco and Kroger. And that tells you it’s mass marketed. Organic is mass market, “says he.

Purpose at Work: How Urban Remedy Accelerates Growth by Democratizing Healthy Food

Purpose at Work: How Urban Remedy Accelerates Growth by Democratizing Healthy Food

PHOTO BY Urban Remedy

Coletta believes the regenerative agriculture movement will follow in the footsteps of organic food. “Everything we do is from organic farming. We can do this because the consumer asked for it and the supply chain has caught up. The same is true of regenerative age over time. We want to be part of this turning point by telling this story and creating demand for our farmers doing the right thing. “

One of the challenges in democratizing healthy, clean food is that it can be prohibitively expensive for many Americans. Urban Remedy is working to cut costs in innovative ways. “We are very passionate about turning some of the ingredients we could call waste, like the pulp from our cold-pressed juice, into food,” says Coletta. The company’s Upbeet Vegan Cheeseburger Wrap and Carrot Curry Cracker, both made from juice pulp that would otherwise have been wasted.

Most importantly, Urban Remedy is changing people’s values ​​and behavior by improving accessibility, consumer education and adaptability. If you want to dig deeper into Paul and Urban Remedy and other purpose-built businesses, check out the Lead with We podcast here so you too can build a business that will transform consumer behavior and our future.

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