True innovation – The rise of Graze

It’s almost impossible to have not noticed the company Graze over the last few months. They are currently on an aggressive customer acquisition drive that has included leaflets in health magazines and with deliveries of online purchases, ongoing use of social media  and a referral program that I believe to be quite effective.

If you haven’t noticed them, they are basically a healthy food company that deliver four perfectly sized snacks straight to your door on days that you specify in advance. The snacks are quite varied and you have a choice of choosing between several dietary options.

After first hearing about Graze a few years ago I finally decided to give them a go and have not looked back. I believe not only do they provide a fantastic product, but they are also a brilliant example of innovation and referral marketing and here’s why;

They’ve innovated to create a product and pricing model that does not only meet the needs of a health conscious time poor consumer, but it also has a very strong commercial model behind it. Most notably though, Graze have innovated most by marrying tech and food together to deliver a superior customer experience and efficient operating process.

“We are the first company in the world to marry tech and food, in a fundamental way.” Ben Jones Co-founder
When it comes to marketing they’ve managed to make their health food cool through their fresh and fun brand. I’m always impressed with their creativity and only today I received my snack box with a cardboard pop out cactus, referral envelopes and ingredient information sheet with more referral tokens.

Graze statistics

  • Founded: 2009
  • Founders: Ben Jones (of LoveFilm), Graham Bosher, Tom Newton, Edd Read, Tom Percival, Neil Thompson, Brendan Kay
  • Employees: 100+
  • Price: £3.79 per box
  • Funding: £6m
  • VC’s: DFJ Esprit and Octopus Ventures

Their referral model
If you’ve ever thought about implementing a referral program for your products, perhaps you should pay note to what Graze have done. Graze have created a unique URL for each Graze customer that can be sent to friends whenever the consumer wishes, either through emails, social media and printed token slips. In return for your friend giving Graze a try the referee either receives a pound off their next delivery or they can opt to donate that pound straight to a charity. The friend who’s been referred gets to enjoy one free box and then fifty percent off their next one, so it’s win, win all round really, and perhaps has a lot to do with why they are doing so well.

Graze keys to success

  • Fantastic customer experience
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Relationship between tech and food
  • Effective referral program
  • Operational excellence
  • Like-ability factor

Graze anatomy: the tech behind’s ultra-customised snacks – Wired Magazine
Graze Healthy Snack Box – Blog What Rebecca said
Interview with Ben Jones of Graze – A New Take
Graze TV Advert – Video
Healthy Appetite? thrills consumers and investors alike – DFJ Esprit

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