Fresh off her adventure with “healing stickers,” Gwyneth Paltrow has recently announced her investment in the frozen meal delivery service, Daily Harvest. No, this is not some pallid frozen green bean venture - we can safely assume she had a “conscious uncoupling” from such an ingredient years ago.
Founded by a “busy” New Yorker (why is that term New Yorkers’ favorite word to describe themselves?), the company has “tapped into a new kind of frozen technology” that enables it to deliver breakfast bowls and smoothies saving foodies “time, stress and money.” Tennis star Serena Williams is also apparently investing in Daily Harvest, adding to the meal service’s “A-List” street cred.
“Gwyneth Paltrow is an authority on health and wellness,” the company’s founder and CEO, Rachel Drori, told Fortune magazine. Drori apparently overlooked Paltrow’s past health advice, which includes the assertion that underwire bras could cause cancer, the [unproven] benefits of detoxing, and her preference for smoking crack over “eat[ing] cheese from a tin.”
In an “exclusive” statement to People magazine, Paltrow revealed that “most people don’t have access to farm fresh produce year-round.”
On that point, Paltrow is correct, which is why many Americans have a supply of frozen produce on hand, as in her words, “farm-frozen produce is picked at its nutritional peak, retains more nutrients and it's more readily available to everyone.”
When it comes to saving money, Daily Harvest’s pledge of frugality must be left in the eye of the beholder. The frozen meals, intended for breakfast, start at $6.49; in fairness, the more you buy, the more you save. For example, if a family of four wanted to subsist on a weekly diet of these various smoothies (which generally cost $6.99 each), a weekly supply of 24 of these frozen cups would cost $167.76, or $6.99 a breakfast. That weekly subscription fee is several dollars higher than what the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes as the weekly cost of a “low-cost” weekly grocery bill for a family of four.
TriplePundit’s staff went through their freezers and receipts and compared the cost of making a quick, healthful breakfast at home. A family who had the means to afford Whole Foods on a regular basis could prepare a breakfast that included one slice of whole wheat bread with vegan spread; one hard-boiled free-range egg; a cup of fair trade coffee with coconut milk-based creamer; one ounce of almonds; and two ounces of fresh or frozen blueberries. That meal cost on average $2.30, or one-third the cost of Daily Harvest’s smoothies.
The company’s announcement of this new partnership on Facebook elicited many comments, from the verbal eye-roll to absolutely incredulous.
“Awesome - does that mean they will help make this organic, fresh food available at lower prices so it's not a luxury item?”
“Definitely interested in your product. I've filled out an order but decided to wait a bit. Not impressed that Gwyneth Paltrow is getting involved at all! Hope it doesn't change the quality of your product and vision.”
“Wouldn't it be awesome if that meant fresh, organic food was more available to all budgets”
“Are we talking "Whole Foods" freezers or the freezers of communities with food deserts (where often the only point for shopping is bodegas)? If the former, it seems like a mere gesture to me.”
“Nothing like Gwyneth Paltrow to turn everyone off your product! I'm sure she'll make a really pretentious video about herself to sell it too! Joy.”
“The convenience of take away single use materials is trashing our planet.”
On that final comment, the company replied that while the cups are “mostly recyclable,” the lids definitely can be placed in the blue bin. Daily Harvest also assured customers that the cups are also “vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.”
Criticism aside, the company is charging ahead with its product line of overnight oats, chia puddings and smoothies, promising to transform eating habits nationwide. “Daily Harvest is a business born from personal need. Drori felt the way she aspired to eat and the way she had time to eat were always in conflict. This problem, and Drori's solution to it, rang true with Paltrow and Williams, as it has with tens of thousands of Americans,” said a press statement announcing the latest Series A financing round.
Image credit: Daily Harvest
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.