Here, Lijo Jose, co-founder of children’s snack box startup ChewyMoon, tells Business Advice readers why his company’s forward-thinking use of technology is delivering a unique level of personalisation to subscribers.
Using individual health data from each subscriber, ChewyMoon is able to provide customised snack boxes as per the specific needs of the child.
“Technology is deeply embedded in what we do,” said ChewyMoon co-founder and nutritionist Verena Klanner upon launch, and the service wants to give parents unbiased nutritional information through its AI-powered advisor.
Who are you and what’s your business?
I’m Lijo Jose, one of the co-founders at ChewyMoon.
Founded by parents, created by nutritionists and approved by kids, ChewyMoon is the world’s first nutritionally-balanced subscription snack box for children.
Finding healthy, tasty snacks for children is a struggle for every parent – firstly you must negotiate the nutritional minefield, and when you do, chances are the kids won’t like what you buy.
Then you have to choose between health and taste. We are here to help parents stop making that sacrifice by making heathy fun!
How has it grown since foundation?
We’ve generated strong traction since launching six months ago. What that has helped us do is develop a clear understanding of the drivers of customer lifetime value, and how to scale that up efficiently as we scale up marketing.
What do you attribute that growth to?
Developing a deep understanding of our customer and having a passionate and ambitious founding team to deliver to their needs.
What will be fundamental in achieving profitability?
We are in our very early stages so we are not profitable yet. But we have done is generated a lot of customer data based on early sales that has helped us formulate a roadmap on how to get there quickly.
How will the use of AI support your children’s snack box?
We have been working with an AI firm to build the world’s first personalised children’s nutrition advice chat bot.
For parents, the tool provides a simple and reliable source of nutrition information tailored to their child’s nutritional needs. The chat service will be offered free of charge and will be available in late 2017.
What are the biggest challenges of the subscription model?
Subscriptions make great sense when the need for your product is regular or when the need is for a customised product.
Price is an important factor too. The more pressing the need or the more limited the alternatives for your product, the less price sensitive the customer will be.
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
Bringing together fantastic founding and advisory teams.
Plus, a couple of weeks ago we were nominated for the best kids’ subscription box award by Junior magazine, arguably the most esteemed accolade in the family lifestyle arena, and shortlisted as “one of the most exciting business innovations” by Venturefest.
In five years’ time, I will be…
A powerhouse for children’s nutrition in the UK and abroad. Health is the primary driver of spending at cash-rich food giants.
We expect to be backed by multinational by then, and we will leverage that relationship to establish a foothold globally.
What advice would you give to fellow healthy eating brands starting out?
Dream big and promote your mission aggressively. You also need to understand your customer well and have really strong financial management skills.
Who are your business heroes and why?
Peter Thiel for his highly distilled interpretations of entrepreneurship, Jeff Bezos for his high-conviction approach and Warren Buffet for his humility and generosity.
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