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Jonathan Ferrari, Goodfood

Jonathan Ferrari

Co-Founder & CEO, Goodfood

Goodfood is a disruptor in the once-staid field of grocery shopping and meal prep.

Most of us think of grocery shopping as a necessity — a chore that goes on our daily or weekly to-do list. And we probably don’t think that the grocery industry is defined by innovation. Other than in 1916 when a forward-thinking grocer thought to allow patrons to choose their own products rather than pass a list to clerks behind the counter, when was the last time you heard of a grocery revolution?

The fact is, there’s one taking place right now, and Goodfood, co-founded by Jonathan Ferrari and Neil Cuggy, has proved to be a disruptor in the field of groceries and meal prep.

It all began with a love of retail and a desire to change the world

Former investment bankers, Ferrari and Cuggy knew that they wanted to go into business together.“The space we identified as being most ripe for innovation was the food and grocery landscape,” says Ferrari. “In 2014, it felt like the industry hadn’t seen much technological advancement. And we said, okay, what can we do to move that forward?”

Ferrari and Cuggy, along with a former business partner, developed a coast-to-coast infrastructure to deliver perishable products to customers: pre-portioned meal kits that are ordered online and show up on your doorstep, ready to be prepared and served in 30 minutes or less. “We wanted to really figure out how to help customers with meal planning and prepping,” says Ferrari.

And this was only the beginning.

Leading the online grocery wave

Since its earliest disruptor days — with founders Ferrari and Cuggy visiting Montreal farmers’ markets to pick up meal kit ingredients and dropping them off at customers’ homes in a tiny FIAT 500 — to today, with well over 300,000 customers across Canada, the company remains at the forefront of the food and grocery category, believing that innovation is the only way forward.

Within a short six-year period, Goodfood has grown to include ready-to-eat prepared meals, breakfast items, snack foods, and grocery products that continue to keep it ahead of other retailers.

“The meal kits and prepared meals continue to be the core of what we do, at about 90 percent of our sales,” says Ferrari, “but our ambition is to continue to grow our selection of grocery products from about 50 a year ago, to 600 today, to 4,000 over the next two years. We want our customers to be able to do their full meal planning and grocery shopping online and then have items delivered directly to their homes.”

Ferrari’s team are launching same-day or next-day delivery in major markets across the country. “This is early days,” says Ferrari, “but as we bring costs down and accelerate the speed with which we can get orders to our customers, we expect that 10 years from now, one out of every two traditional grocery shopping trips will be done online.”

Next up for the company is to in-source food delivery on some routes with its own refrigerated trucks, decreasing its environmental footprint by eliminating some of the packaging and ice packs needed to keep food fresh.

“We’re a team of people who love food. We’re obsessed with quality and we’re a little bit nerdy about innovation and technology and its ability to improve the customer experience,” says Ferrari. “We’re continuously pushing forward.”

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