Sun Basket Remains Competitive: Distribution and Operation

The food delivery subscription service space, as a business model, has remained a challenging one to stay competitive in. With a growing number of online grocery chains adding meals to their menu options, and a varying number of companies with different offerings on the market, a business in this space needs to offer factors of differentiation that exceed the competition while finding ways to minimize overhead. Sun Basket has remained the leader in the category by offering transparent and fair trade practices, fresh organic food, customizable meal plans tailored to meet different diets and even medical conditions, and a multitude of other benefits that really challenge the market and make it difficult for other main players. But they’re also quite crafty concerning minimizing costs, while maintaining the highest quality of service and standards of product.

Distribution, Supply & Work: Leading To Higher Quality

With other competitors in the market facing distribution and supply chain issues, Sun Basket remains highly organized and continues to exceed demand while offering solutions to consumer problems. The San-Francisco based company offers customized meal plans with gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, and other specifications, but it’s all delicious and made of the freshest and best sourced ingredients. They also save on utility costs and manage to allocate more resources to the best quality of food and product… by owning a cave. With three centers and points of distribution they are able to supply nearly 100 percent of the United States, approximately 2.5-3 times more supply than the majority of competitors. In the Midwest, the distribution center is inside of a retrofitted cave. With an already low temperature, the company is able to save thousands in utility costs and spend the funds on better food production and new meal plan options, as well as healthcare initiatives that are shifting the focus for the entire model (such as partnerships with the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association). The crafty move ensures more money is spent on well sourced ingredients and an excellent standard of service to customer and less on distribution costs, the latter which has hurt other companies in the category, ultimately leading to smaller portions or downgraded quality of food. Most items are kept at around 34 degrees F during packaging, with exceptions for dry goods or meats (kept frozen).

An additional benefit is being able to purchase larger facilities for distribution, where the company, founded on principles of fair policy, trade, environmental protection, and fair conditions, employs more workers and is able to create space for work. They’ve recently created upwards of 400 jobs in New Jersey. Workers are all provided with insulated clothing, overcoats, and gloves. The center part of the center, “the pantry,” is kept at about 34 degrees F and holds all pre-packaged items, all meal kits are put together in this location. Sun Basket even allocates different ice distribution per box, based on the delivery address, to ensure all food is kept at a temperature needed to maximize freshness and top quality. The company even specifies ice requirements based on season, with additional supply used during hot months. In the quarters “prep room,” also at about 34 degrees F, a portion of ingredients are kept prior to allocation and divided into stated portion sizes. The meat freezer is home to all sources of protein, and kept at 5-10 degrees. A separate area is home to fresh produce at slightly above typical refrigeration levels. Certain items, that are either ethylene producing and ethylene sensitive (produce producing gases that can harm the quality of other produce), are all labeled and kept separately.

All of the fine details and the commitment to ensuring every product is provided in only the best conditions and freshest standards remain a testament to the quality of overall meal service, food, and produce delivered to consumer. In a market that remains testy due to distribution costs, Sun Basket has managed to not only avoid these issues or any corresponding losses, but allocate even more resources that are saved in the process to high quality standards, new employment opportunities, and programs to support meals for those with different diets and even conditions. They have recently added the diabetes-friendly meal option to offer 30 million Americans who suffer or at risk of developing the condition, and have not only developed a delicious meal plan that’s safe for consumption, they have even met ADA nutritional planning standards for diabetes sufferers. This is quite a revolutionary step towards creating higher standards of food, as well as health.

Sun Basket Remains Competitive: Distribution and Operation
Image Credit: Sun Basket

Sun Basket: The Company

Sun Basket, a California-based company founded in 2014, is an innovator in the industry of meal delivery service options and making meal options healthy, flavorful, highly customizable and individualized. The company uses all-natural, organic, and well-measured ingredients that are simple to cook and provides weekly recipes delivered to your door.  Sun Basket’s (a CCOF-certified handler) offering also includes a seasonally inspired Chef’s Basket, and Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, and Mediterranean meal options. There is a heart healthy option as well, founded after a partnering with the American Heart Association, of low sodium and fat meals all at under 500 calories. Using Sun Basket, customers are able to save time, skip grocery store shopping, enjoy a customized meal experience and enjoy healthy food without hassle. There are nearly 20 weekly recipe options that customers can select from based on personal preferences. And while the food is measured and highly nutritious, it’s still quite savory and satisfies even the most delicate palates. Based on current trends and the overall market, Sun Basket remains poised to continue as the leader of the category, developing new and creative ideas and successful partnerships, even creating successful new healthcare initiatives. Customers enjoy investing in a high quality product with a sustainable model that offers such a uniquely transparent approach to ethical practice, social issues, and environmentally sustainable practices.

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