Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Food-delivery company Wonder Group has secured a significant cash investment from Nestle to expand its operations and offer high-tech kitchen equipment and prepared ingredients to businesses in the hospitality industry. The funding, which includes a $100 million investment from Nestle, will enable Wonder to scale more rapidly and bring high-quality meals to busy families at a faster pace and at a lower cost.
Wonder, founded by serial entrepreneur Marc Lore in 2018, recently acquired meal-kit company Blue Apron for $103 million. It has also developed innovative kitchen equipment that simplifies and speeds up the process of cooking restaurant-quality food. Nestle’s partnership with Wonder will involve creating pizza and pasta specifically designed for Wonder’s kitchen equipment and selling the equipment to clients. Additionally, Nestle’s food-service business, serving clients such as college campuses and cruise lines, stands to benefit from Wonder’s kitchen technology.
Melissa Henshaw, president of out-of-home for Nestle, highlighted that the collaboration with Wonder will help operators in various out-of-home segments improve their food quality and consistency and unlock additional revenue streams in the post-pandemic era.
Initially operating a fleet of trucks with mobile kitchens, Wonder has transitioned to open brick-and-mortar kitchens. Their goal is to make menu items from popular restaurants and celebrity chefs more accessible to customers. By the end of this year, Wonder plans to have 10 locations in the tri-state area, with a target of opening 20 more locations next year.
In addition to direct-to-consumer services, Wonder is also offering its technology and prepared meal ingredients to other businesses through its B2B platform called WonderWorks, which has already been implemented in 50 locations. The company aims to become a comprehensive “super app for mealtime,” offering various options that cater to different budgets, dietary preferences, and schedules, including meal kits from Blue Apron and hot meals from their own kitchens.
While Wonder faces competition from established players in the food industry such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, SweetGreen, Chipotle, Kroger, and Whole Foods, it seeks to differentiate itself through its unique cooking method. This method allows Wonder to prepare a wide range of meals and enhance their flavor even in small and minimally equipped kitchen spaces. The absence of conventional cooking equipment like gas stoves, fire, hoods, and grease traps makes Wonder’s kitchen adaptable to various locations.
With Nestle’s substantial investment and partnership, Wonder Group is poised to revolutionize the food delivery industry by streamlining meal preparation and providing high-quality options to businesses and consumers alike.