Wellness meal-delivery brand Sakara Life is launching its first out-of-home marketing campaign since the company was founded in 2012.
The marketing push, taking place in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood from Jan. 7 to Feb. 4, includes street-level billboards with imagery reminiscent of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” The images show a table of nine people, including co-founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise, sitting alongside colorful fruits and vegetables, sans any of Sakara Life’s actual products, which include “beauty chocolates” and “beauty water” concentrates. Dubbed “No Sacrifices,” the advertisement is meant to emphasize the company’s focus on healthy, plant-based nutrition, sans counting calories and solidify its presence in the $702 billion wellness sector. In previous years, the company has leaned heavily on word of mouth referrals, but with a 60 percent increase in its marketing budget for 2019 (roughly 20 percent of which is for digital marketing), the company plans to use offline marketing as a way to make its digital efforts resonate better with its targeted New York City audience.
“We don’t want people to think of us as a meal delivery company because we are a wellness company,” she said. “To help us scale our awareness efforts, we’ve decided to invest more into upper funnel marketing tactics [like billboards] to generate awareness in a shorter timeframe in key markets. For a product like ours, clients often need multiple touchpoints before converting.”
Sakara Life, which delivered over 1 million meals in 2018 and saw its customer base grow by triple digits in the last 18 months, is one of a handful of companies straddling the meal delivery and wellness space. It offers its products through CAP Beauty, Saks Fifth Avenue, Free People and Goop, tapping into the increasingly popular concept of beauty from the inside-out. Daily Harvest, a frozen meal-delivery service, also exists, as does Urban Remedy and Thistle. More traditional companies are also tapping into the meal-delivery wellness space: meal-kit company Blue Apron recently partnered with WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers, which rebranded in Sept. 2018 to align with the ongoing preoccupation with wellness). The meal delivery market is expected to grow to $10 billion in the U.S. by 2020, according to Statista.
“When we started, nobody knew what plant-based nutrition was, and now there is a better understanding of it,” said DuBoise. “Now, we are really careful that wellness and Sakara Life don’t become another diet, because wellness is on a slippery slope: Because [wellness] is starting to become measurable through apps, websites and trackers, it’s being treated like a new calorie or fat. But you don’t have to make sacrifices; there is no wagon to fall off.”
In addition to running its out-of-doors campaign, for the month of January, the company is also featuring digital content related to happiness. It includes stories and interviews on the science of happiness and mindfulness, for example, through its newsletter, online magazine and Instagram Stories. Additionally, the company will expand the frequency of Sakara Sessions (previously called Wellness Wednesdays), an event inviting customers to meet in-person and learn more about wellness. Currently, the brand has held about 25 events since it began in 2015, with most in Los Angeles and New York City, and occasional events taking places in San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas. The aim is to make the events more regular in those secondary markets.
“We want to implore people to gather, even though [Tingle and myself] can’t be there,” DuBoise said. “The goal for this year is to have that cadence that keeps people inspired and connected.”