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The world has been slow to adapt to the modern parent, in particular, a household with two working parents. In 2017, the employment rate for women aged 25 to 54 had climbed from 57 percent to a record high of 78 percent. With the addition of social media mum-influencers and the 4.4 million plus “mommy bloggers” telling us what to do and what not to do, these are pretty overwhelming times for parents.
With a substantial increase in remote working due to the influence of COVID-19, you’d think that this new ‘flexible’ working paradigm would make it easier to parent. However, working and keeping their children entertained while schools and nurseries were closed added to their already heavy task. 70 percent of professionals who transitioned into remote working say they now work weekends, whilst 45 percent are working more hours than they usually would, during the week.
On the other side of this challenge is the nutritional decline in children’s health. Children are the future and their well-being is paramount. Poor diets are affecting many youngsters around the world. According to Unicef’s State of the World’s Children 2019 report, 1 in every 3 children under five are either undernourished or overweight. Almost two-thirds of children between six months to two years old are not eating food that promotes growth and development.
Adopting healthy food habits from a young age is crucial in helping children prevent chronic diseases, obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The immune system, brain function, and appropriate child development all benefit from a healthy diet. So where are parents going wrong?
Well, they’re not going wrong. Ultimately, many parents lack the most essential and irreplaceable resource: time. Fortunately for them, the food industry has caught onto it with the creation of meal kits, subscription services which deliver meals right to your door. COVID spurred the expansion of the meal kit sector by providing an alternative to grocery shopping, and many investors jumped on board, with Dispatch raising £10 million this year and Gousto raising $41 million the year before. As consumers were being pushed online, HelloFresh saw a growth of more than 3 million customers in 2020. With the meal-kit business being worth more than $5bn, it was only a matter of time before someone combined the lack of time parents are facing with the declining state of children’s nutritional health.
In comes Mamamade, a fast-growing organic plant based baby and toddler meal subscription, with community at its core. Founded in 2017 by Sophie and Ian Baron, they’ve created a company which helps working parents with young children free up time, whilst serving delicious nutritious meals. A challenge close to Sophie’s heart, whilst returning back to her Head of Operations role in a tech firm, she noticed the struggle to be a “good” mum and “good” leader. Amy Westervelt said it best in her book, Forget Having It All, that “We expect women to work like they don’t have children, and raise children as if they don’t work.” So, with Ian, created a solution which focuses on “putting parents first.”
But Mamamade is more than just a product, they are a brand. They are a community. 40,000 like-minded parents, aka “Mamamates”, turn to the company for comfort, friendships and advice at all stages of parenting. Whether it’s hosting new mums at coffee shops to discuss the challenges of weaning your baby, to partnering with brands like Cubo to spoil families with the gift of sleep, their mission always comes back to putting the parent first. So much so that they’ve garnered the attention of celebrity mums including Millie Mackintosh, Rochelle Humes and Lucy Mecklenburgh.
Mamamade aims to build a new system for the modern parent – creating meal boxes for babies and toddlers, to support the different stages of the weaning process. The meals are freshly prepped (not processed) in their new 2,000 square foot kitchen facility. The best nutritional benefits are that all meals are 100% organic, fully plant-based and free from the top 8 allergens including milk, soya and peanuts. Meal options range from Vitamin C enriched Broccoli Purée to cell-growth booster, Sweet Potato & Apple Porridge. To date, Mamamade has delivered over 175,000 meals, achieving 1000% growth since January 2020.
Unlike other brands in this category, Mamamade uses 100% recyclable packaging, carbon neutral shipping, and operates a zero-food waste policy – accommodating modern parents who are both eco-conscious & health oriented, but often light on time.
For the brand, community is at the core of their business, with Sophie citing “We’re more than just a food brand, we’re a support system.” In addition to their popular product range, Mamamade offers free 1-2-1 weaning coaching advice for all customers, providing a library of resources to help parents with meal times to share the load of parenting. Due to their outstanding work, Mamamade was shortlisted for Best Weaning Product of the Year by The Mum & Baby Awards.
Being so community and customer centric, they wanted to bring their Mamamates and new investors on the journey of their global expansion. Mamamade are currently fundraising to grow their team, develop their product offering, launch an app, explore more sales channels and move into the European market.
Mamamade is quickly becoming the go-to place for parents of young children but their ambitions span much further than just food. They’d love to bring you along with them on the next stage of their journey as they expand their product offerings and tap into more community-focused endeavours. To find out more about the business, and for the opportunity to invest, visit the pitch here.