- Summary: Thinkfresh was a startup in Edinburgh, Scotland that delivered high quality packaged lunches.
- My role: Co-founder, research, marketing strategy.
- Target users: Professionals working in offices in Edinburgh's city center.
- Impact: Thinkfresh was named the Best New Sustainability Venture and was featured in The Scotsman, the national newspaper. We received investment funding from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and won several business competitions.
I founded Thinkfresh with three classmates from business school in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2012 to bring local food into the mainstream Scottish market.
Thinkfresh became a startup that delivered fresh, locally sourced food to offices throughout Edinburgh. Through our website, customers could order lunch online, and have their meal delivered right to their desk within an hour.
We were named the Best New Sustainability Venture in 2013 and received investment funding from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise.
As we embarked on building this business, our startup centered around one key consideration from the beginning: How might we bring locally sourced food to the Scottish market?
- Interviews + observation: While we were developing the idea, we went out guerrilla style and talked to potential customers on their way to purchase food during lunch break. Through this method, we had users walk us through their typical meal, from where they went to how they chose what to eat.
- Surveys: We gathered survey responses from 100 office workers throughout the city to learn more about their preferences for food, where they typically ate, and how they made their lunch decisions.
- Beta testing: After creating an initial round of prototypes, we delivered 20 lunches to customers to get their feedback.
Most professionals eat at their desk: We learned that more than 60% of the people we spoke with ate lunch at their desk while they continued to work. For this reason, they tended to prefer foods like sandwiches that are easy and quick to eat while multi-tasking.
Weather matters: Users were strongly motivated by convenience and proximity to their office when making lunch choices because Scottish weather lives up to its reputation - it's often rainy and cold, and people wanted to be outside for as short a time as possible. When push comes to shove, people would choose the convenient option over one that was healthier or even tastier.
Flexibility is key: From our beta testing, we learned that customers need the ability to make last minute orders when hunger strikes. Ultimately, that's what set Thinkfresh apart from the competition in the market, as no other company offered same-day ordering or individual lunch delivery options.
We pivoted from working on all parts of the food supply chain in-house to partnering with small cafes that were already serving local food but were not doing individual catering. We became the front end platform and delivery mechanism to connect office workers with these diverse lunch options in Scotland.
Thinkfresh was named the Best New Sustainability Venture and was featured in The Scotsman, the national newspaper. We received investment funding from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and won several business competitions.