The Covid-19 pandemic triggered an increase in home deliveries and boosted the wellness and wellness industry, which is growing 13% annually, according to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).
This factor helped to increase the operations of Manzana Verde, the startup that offers personalized meal plans at home, arrived in the Mexican market in 2020 after raising capital for 200 thousand dollars, with which it managed to get the first users of the app in the country and train workers of restaurants and medium-sized fondas with which they have alliances for the preparation of the dishes.
The main objective of the company created by Larissa Arias, country manager in Mexico, and Carlos Andrade, co-founder and CEO of Manzana Verde, was to offer through their app a meal plan that aligns with the nutritional objectives of each user, such as: losing weight, gaining muscle mass or just improving their health; however, they also managed to support local restaurants or fondas with which they have alliances and that saw their operations diminished due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Instead of having our own kitchen, we support micro-entrepreneurs, giving them the opportunity to generate additional recurring income at times when they were not working. For example, 95% of these businesses do not sell breakfast, according to an analysis we made, and it is an income that strengthens them and gives them stability, especially now that the pandemic has hit the restaurant industry,” explained Carlos Andrade.
The startup born in Peru already has partnerships with just over 20 food establishments in Mexico and its country of origin, which work 4 hours in the mornings, extra to their usual schedule, during which they prepare 150 to 200 dishes, each one, for the users of the app.
Currently, the company already has operations in the three main cities in the country: Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, where in less than 10 months they have already achieved close to a thousand deliveries a day; but their goal for the end of 2021 is to have at least three thousand orders a day and consolidate Mexico as their main market with 60% of total sales, as it currently represents 25%.
To strengthen its expansion plan and increase user retention by improving its operation and food variety, Manzana Verde is closing an investment round for 1.5 million dollars, with which it could establish itself in two other cities: Puebla and Veracruz, as well as creating 100 new dishes for the Mexican market.
Change of habits
According to the study “Actions & Interventions for Weightloss” by the multinational consulting firm specializing in market research, Ipsos, the health crisis that forced confinement triggered an increase in people’s weight of 6.1 kilograms on average worldwide, but in Mexico the figure soars to 8.5 kilograms, which places it in the number one position in this analysis.
For Larissa Arias, these data reveal the lifestyle of Mexicans, who “due to lack of time, derived from a heavy workload, neglect their diet and physical activity, more so now during the pandemic, with the confinement and the increase in daily work”.
This is where the advantages for the app user come in, because instead of spending an average of two hours a day preparing food, they can dedicate it to other tasks, while, depending on their habits, they receive the dishes directly at home.
The country manager of Manzana Verde in Mexico recalled that its main target market is people between 25 and 50 years old, who are 60% women and 40% men, of which 60% are looking to lose weight, and the rest want to eat healthier or gain muscle mass.