[by Kaijia Tian]
Graze is a subscription snack company that delivers 8 snacks right to your door. Customers list their preferences when they sign up, and Graze uses their algorithm, DARWIN, to give the customers what they want while introducing them to new snacks that fit their tastes. The company responds quickly to food trends such as kale and Sriracha, but always ensures that their products both taste good and make you feel good. Every snack is portion controlled and only ingredients from small suppliers who do not compromise on quality are used.
When we visited Graze, we talked to Jordan, the supply chain manager, and Jack, both Princeton graduates of the Class of 2010. Jordan’s job is to determine what goes into each box, because the customers all have different preferences and live in different parts of the country. What made Graze stand out from some of the other companies we visited was how transparent they were with how the company worked, even showing us the algorithm they use on a daily basis to fill a subscription box with customized snacks. During the presentation, when explaining the company’s relationship with individual suppliers, Jack said, “People sign up [for Graze] to discover new snacks, but Graze discovers it first.” Since the start of the company, Graze has developed over 100 snacks for customers to choose from. What I thought was really interesting was how they put out the shipments to different states on different days to ensure that the snacks will be delivered to all 50 states on the same day.
Visiting Graze made me realize how health conscious our generation has become. Boasting portion-controlled snacks and priding themselves on working with small suppliers, Graze has been on the rise ever since its establishment in the US in 2013. Every snack is stamped with a health badge and every box comes with a pamphlet that contains detailed nutritional information on all the snacks. The subscription food market is still young and Graze is one of the few players, which makes for quick and easy expansion, but what surprised me was the fact that they plan on retailing their products in stores as the company continues to grow. Not everyone likes the idea of a subscription box, but I think it’s what makes Graze unique. Once the snacks are on the shelves, the customers are going to lose the experience of having a unique, personally customized box of snacks. In addition, the fact that a snack subscription company utilizes an algorithm for composing individual boxes has inspired me to take more computer sciences in the future.