After the previous company he partnered with stopped selling in his area, Dave Rubin, the owner of CrossFit Durham in Durham, North Carolina, had to research a new company to provide fresh, pre-made meals to his Box.
“I could just as easily say ‘Oh, these guys left and that’s that.’ But people are still going to ask me, ‘Who else is out there? Who would you recommend?’ So we might as well go with an official one,” Rubin said. “We will make a few dollars off it, maybe. But that’s not really my motivation in it. It’s really just having somebody that I can connect people to.”
He suggests going with a company that is the least amount of work for the Affiliate, but with the best customer service for the members.
Convenience is what attracted Jason Ackerman, the founder of Squat Therapy and a Level 4 CrossFit Coach, to pre-made meals. “Pre-made meals make my life so much easier. We all want to eat healthy, good quality, weighed and measured food, and having something in your refrigerator that’s delivered to you on a weekly basis makes life immeasurably easier and better,” said Ackerman.
Bob Veronneau, the vice president of sales at Modern Food Brands, the parent company of Paleo Naturals, found two problems with ordering meals: wasted food and members forgetting to order.
If a company has a deadline when it comes to ordering a certain number of meals, Veronneau found that many people will forget to order in time. But if a company offers ordering meals a la carte, consumers can order the meals anytime through the organization’s website.
There’s an added fear that consumers may change their minds about what he or she craves once the meals come. Veronneau recognized that while a meal may sound good when it’s ordered on Sunday, customers might not be craving the same meal when it arrives on Thursday.
This is why Modern Food Brands decided to provide fresh, frozen food to Boxes and consumers. That way, if the eater’s cravings change, the meal can stay frozen until they have a hankering for that chicken marbella.
“I think that it’s something that is going to continue to grow. It’s very convenient. It’s becoming more affordable as companies like ours find ways to buy more volume and make the finished product a little bit cheaper. We’re getting to the point where it is usually cheaper to eat this way than to go into the grocery store,” Veronneau said.
Not only is convenience a factor, but Ackerman also realizes how little time a Coach has to impact an athlete’s life. “When you’re a CrossFit Coach, you have one hour per day to influence your athletes. They have 23 other hours in the day to completely mess up everything you’ve done for them. They can ‘ouchie’ a good workout. So, setting them up for success outside of the Box will keep them happy and healthy inside of the Box,” said Ackerman.
And, both Ackerman and Rubin agree that the purpose of the meals should not be to curate an additional revenue stream, but to benefit the member.
Ultimately, Rubin found another supplier to provide pre-made paleo meals at his Box. And as long as he has some members interested, Rubin said he will continue to offer the pre-made meals at CrossFit Durham.