Snap Kitchen Says Healthy Eating Sucks, and Vows to Fix It

Prepared Food Shop Wants to Start a 'Revolution in Not Cooking'

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Healthy Eating Sucks billboard ad
Healthy Eating Sucks billboard ad Credit: Courtesy Snap Kitchen

Six years after it started, Snap Kitchen is out with its first advertising campaign and a major redesign.

The Austin, Texas-based chain sells prepared packaged meals in cities including Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia. Snap Kitchen is trying to carve out a bigger niche in the healthy eating arena, where it competes against everything from at-home cooking and dining out to ordering takeout or getting food delivered by a wide variety of meal prep and fully-cooked meal delivery services.

The company has been going through a bit of a transformation. Last year, it hired former Weight Watchers CEO Dave Kirchhoff as its CEO. In February, Taco Bell VP-Digital Innovation and On Demand Tressie Lieberman joined as chief marketing officer. In March, Snap Kitchen said that L Catterton made another investment in the company, along with Co-Founder Bradley Radoff and Mr. Kirchhoff. Plus, former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley joined its board of directors.

As it prepares for further expansion, Snap Kitchen wants to ignite a "Revolution In Not Cooking" with a campaign cooked up by a group of agencies. The work includes messages such as "Healthy Eating Sucks. So We Fixed It," placed on billboards.

Snap Kitchen logo - old (l.) vs. new comparison
Snap Kitchen logo - old (l.) vs. new comparison Credit: Courtesy

Even before Ms. Lieberman joined three months ago, Snap Kitchen had started updating its locations and packaging with designs developed with Pentagram. The design firm worked on various details. Among them: the logo went from lowercase orange lettering with a green dot to a sleek look that incorporates cutlery. Packaging now points out proteins by color to make shopping faster: yellow for poultry, red for meat, blue for seafood, and green for vegetarian and vegan dishes.

"We're not a diet. We're much more of a lifestyle," said Ms. Lieberman.

The brand's concept clearly clicked with Ms. Lieberman, who jokes that since she relocated to Austin from California (where there are currently no Snap Kitchen shops) she has not used her oven or stove. When she eats at home, all she has to do is heat Snap Kitchen meals in the microwave. Tying into the no-cooking idea, the chain is sending some people kitchen pots with succulents planted in them: a nod at what can be done with the kitchen equipment Snap Kitchen shoppers no longer use.

The campaign was created with Alex Bogusky's agency network COMMON. Shops involved were Fearless Unlimited on strategy; Humanaut on creative; and Intermark on media. Ms. Lieberman declined to say how much the company will spend on marketing, but noted that six years in it still thinks like a startup and keeping things "lean and tight."

Some patrons buy a few days' worth of meals at a time, while others stop in for a single dish. Prices vary, but small meals tend to be priced around $7 to $8.50 per serving. Delivery is done by services such as Amazon Prime, GrubHub, Postmates or UberEats, depending on the market. Leftovers are donated to food banks.

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