Our Wicked Healthy Interview Series features individuals who are making a big impact in the plant-based world and beyond. Today we’re featuring Andy Levitt, Founder and CEO of Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal delivery subscription service.
Every time you choose to eat plant-based, you’re nourishing your body, reducing your environmental footprint, and helping lower the demand for animal-based products all at once. We firmly believe that when prepared right, plants can do anything meat can do, better. We’re here to show you how to work towards that or inspire you further if you’re already there, because we also believe that getting into the kitchen and cooking is the first and most powerful step towards taking control of your own health. We get that doing this every dang day may not always be convenient or easy. The time and energy required to plan, shop and prep a wholesome meal each day of the week is sometimes difficult or simply not realistic but we still gots to eat!
That’s where a meal delivery subscription service can be a great option to help fill that gap. Purple Carrot, a 100% plant-based solution, offers meals that are pre-portioned, easy-to-make, include a wide variety of ingredients and flavors, and are designed by chefs. Because our own plant-pushing mission and vision is so well aligned with Purple Carrot, we’re excited to announce that we’re teaming up with them to provide a Wicked Healthy recipe that will be included monthly in their meal kit programs!
Check out the video below that gives a sneak peek example of one of the dishes we’ve created for Purple Carrot customers:
Today we’re wicked excited to sit down with Purple Carrot Founder and CEO Andy Levitt to talk a little bit more about how PC started, what the future of meal delivery subscription services looks like, and why New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady endorses the concept and brand. Andy’s also a New England boy, so we get along just great!
When and how did Purple Carrot start? Did anything from your personal or professional background influence your choice to create this service, and how has it evolved over the past few years?
I spent 20 years of my professional life promoting the value of western medicine for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. It was rewarding work, especially the last six years when I had my own agency. I realized that I love creating something out of nothing, and wanted to continue to do work that matters.
In January 2014, I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives with my wife at the recommendation of an ethical vegan friend of mine, and it resonated deeply with me. I was really in the dark about the value of plant-based eating, and was immediately energized to create an easy way for people to incorporate healthier plant-based eating into their weekly dietary regimen. I spent the next six months or so learning about veganism, working on the business plan, naming the company and getting the early stages of our website underway.
I launched our website on October 1, 2014 as a pay-as-you-go business, serving a limited part of the Northeast with meals that fed four people. Since then, we have evolved to a subscription model with nationwide shipping with 90% of our audience choosing our two-person plan. We’re still the only 100% plant-based meal kit company out there, with a distinct mission-driven approach to help people eat more plants for their own health and the health of our planet.
The concept of meal delivery subscription services only started around 2012, but has grown fast with new brands and meal options being created at a steady pace. Why do you think this concept is so appealing to American customers and is it here to stay?
Once you start to use meal kits, it’s easy to understand why they are so popular. It makes it so much more convenient to figure out what to eat for dinner, saving time and effort and eliminating wasted ingredients. The recipes are fun to cook, and tend to be meals most regular people would not have the knowledge or confidence to make on their own. As a result, I am quite bullish on the future of the meal kit space. The category is about $2B in size today, predicted to grow to $35B by 2025, so there is a lot of room left for sustainable growth, especially for brands who deliver a remarkable product that resonates with a core group of users.
What unique advantages and opportunities open up for Purple Carrot as an exclusively plant-based service among the sea of brands that include animal-based products in their menu plans? How do you differentiate your brand from other plant-based meal delivery subscription services currently out there?
Purple Carrot is mission-driven, meaning we care deeply about health and environmental impact and are looking to appeal to those users who value the same thing. Blue Apron is the market leader far and away, and they’ve done an incredible job at building the category. Just about every other meal kit out there is looking to win their customers, since they are offering something quite similar. We stand apart at Purple Carrot since we are 100% plant-based, and can differentiate ourselves on that premise alone.
Purple Carrot offers three types of plans, one of which is called a TB12 Performance Meal Plan, that is endorsed by Tom Brady and inspired by his own diet. DUDE! Us being from New England, please do tell … how did this partnership occur, and how has it changed the traditional perception that protein can only be found in the form of animal-based products?
I am a huge Patriots fan and have been my whole life, so I am totally stoked about this partnership! We were aware of Tom’s unique diet, and noticed last summer that he launched a line of vegan snacks. When we saw that, we reached out to the team at TB12 and we formed a fast friendship. We both saw the value in each other’s brands, aligned around a related mission, and understood the importance of food choices as a part of total health and wellness. We spent the next several months working through concepts and ideas, testing meals and getting aligned on our promotional and operational plan. Tom proved to the world that he is THE GOAT after that Super Bowl win, so now we make it possible for everyone to #EatLikeaGoat with those meals!
How do you see the relationship with Wicked Healthy developing over the coming months?
Ever since I tried your food for the first time, I’ve been a huge fan of Wicked Healthy so I’m thrilled to offer some of your recipes to our subscribers on a regular basis. We’ll be sharing recipes every month, so be sure to let your fans know to order at PurpleCarrot.com. First-time customers can get $30 off via this link or by entering the promo code “wickedhealthy” at sign-up. And remember, we ship all of the raw, pre-measured ingredients people need to cook wicked good meals!
Finally, tell us what your favorite Wicked Healthy dish is, so we can prepare it for you next time we’re in Boston or you’re out near one of us.
I can’t get enough of your seared scallops with stir-fried farro and spicy broccolini. We had that dish last summer when we first partnered together on our Summer Chef Series and it commands a regular spot in our home rotation. We do a pretty good job of it, but there’s nothing like a Wicked Healthy meal cooked by The Sarno Brothers! Sign me up, brother!
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