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Welcome to Racked's Fitness Week: five days of workout coverage, so that you can start your New Year's resolutions off right.
You can get pretty much anything delivered on a monthly basis these days: from makeup to jewelry to clothing. Lazy shoppers need never be bored or unadorned. And healthy home-food delivery dates way back to the beginning of Weight Watchers and NutriSystem—but the new kid on the block—Silicon Valley-based NatureBox—is addressing a different problem for anyone struggling with maintaining a healthy diet: snacking. The latest thinking says we should eat smaller portions more often to keep up that metabolism up, but too often that leads to unhealthy, sugary snacks. NatureBox aims to prevent that pitfall by supplying you with all-natural, unprocessed snacks all month long for $20 per delivery.
We asked Gautam Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of NatureBox, how the idea got started, and whether we can really lose weight by snacking more.
NatureBox founders Gautum Gupta (right) and Ken Chen
1. How did NatureBox get started?
"NatureBox was founded by me and my college friend Ken Chen in January 2012. I grew up more than 70 pounds overweight and was able to lose those unhealthy pounds through adopting healthier eating habits."
2. Who do you find is the typical NatureBox customer?
"Busy professionals, families with special dietary considerations, college students looking for healthful snacking options….really anyone who is seeking tasty and satisfying yet better-for-you snacks!"
3. Do your snacks really help combat obesity and/or overweight? Wouldn't it be better just to not snack at all?
"NatureBox gives people an option for more healthful choices. After all, we get about 25% of our daily calories from snacking. So why not make sure at least one-quarter of what you eat every day is good for you? Rather than opting for the unhealthy vending machine pick, our nutritionist-approved snacks are made of wholesome ingredients, which are minimally processed—if at all. None of our snacks contain high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or artificial colors. Of course, as with anything, one should be mindful of his or her serving sizes. If people are deprived of snacks throughout the day, it can lead to overeating at meals, so we always recommend eating when one is hungry (whether that's a snack or a meal)."
4. How do you choose your products?
"We create snacks that use the same forms, tastes and textures of foods that people know and love, yet are made with healthier ingredients. For example, our Big Island Pineapple rings don't have any added sugar, which is surprisingly difficult to find with any other dried fruit offerings that you may typically purchase. NatureBox uses premium-quality, carefully sourced ingredients with unique flavor combinations to deliver distinctive snacks in eco-friendly packaging that you can't find anywhere else. We like to think of ourselves as trend-setters, too—we're ahead of the curve when it comes to sending out what people are interested in trying."
5. Can customers customize their snacks?
"Yes! We build a relationship with current and prospective customers to understand their needs and taste preferences in order to deliver delicious and distinctive snacks in a personalized way and make them easy to buy—and buy again. Customers can already get in touch with NatureBox to customize their box, and they can be on the lookout soon for an even easier way to personalize the types of snacks they receive."
6. Can you explain how your service compares to or is better than other health food delivery services, say, for example diet programs like Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem?
"Comparing NatureBox to a "diet system" like Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem is like comparing apples to oranges. While those programs are very beneficial for some, they don't necessarily answer the question of wholesome snacking. Those are meal plans whereas NatureBox offers an easy, convenient, and affordable way of ensuring you have something healthful to nosh on throughout the day. Diet programs provide the 'how' and we provide the 'what.'"
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