BOSTON, Feb. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Merryfield, a new clean label rewards app, announced closing a $3.5M seed round today.
The company was co-founded by David Mayer, a former healthcare private equity investor, and Joe Dickson, former director of quality standards at Whole Foods Market. Merryfield is a curated, membership-based loyalty solution for purpose-driven consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. Founding member brands are Applegate Natural & Organic Meats, Beyond Meat, Califia Farms, Good Culture, GoMacro, Health-Ade Kombucha, Justin's, Once Upon a Farm, Thinksport, RightRice, Stonyfield Organic, and Vital Proteins. The iOS app is free for consumers and launches in April 2020.
"The world has changed, but we're all still trying to do business like it hasn't. We are living now in an era of attention scarcity, information overload, and over choice, yet almost all businesses are still operating as if nothing has changed." said David Mayer, co-founder and CEO of Merryfield. "Our clean label rewards app makes it easy for people to discover new products and brands they can trust. We're rewarding people for consistently supporting food, personal care, and household product brands that today subscribe to a higher standard. And, at the same time, we're helping purpose-driven CPG brands to develop meaningful, lasting connections with like-minded consumers."
Merryfield was founded for one simple reason. "We believe there should be a higher standard for everyday products; there isn't," added Mayer. "It shouldn't be so much work just to avoid hundreds of chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients in the food, personal care and household products we use every day. And when we say 'better-for-you,' we mean 'clean.' More and more people now have access to clean label products virtually everywhere they shop, including at retailers like Kroger, Target, H-E-B, and Costco. And while this change is great, many of us now have more options and choices to make when shopping than we have time to sort them out."
People feel overwhelmed with options and choices in stores today. "One of the things we've heard from people, and one of the reasons retailer private label brands are growing so quickly, is that buying them sometimes just makes decision-making feel easier," said Joe Dickson, Merryfield co-founder and head of quality standards and policy. "But without consistent standards across private label products, consumers can't always be sure that they're getting what they think they are."
Behind every clean label decision at Merryfield is the company's Clean Council which has developed a strict set of clean label standards that all of its member brands' products must meet. Joining Dickson on the Clean Council are three other industry experts who have decades of experience setting higher food, personal care and household product standards while advocating for greater labeling transparency. They include: Errol Schweizer, food policy advocate and former vice president of grocery for Whole Foods Market; Kim McDevitt, MPH, R.D., quality standards and nutrition category manager at Merryfield and former senior national educator for Vega; and Mia Davis, a pioneer and leading expert and influencer in the clean beauty movement who helped establish standards for leading lifestyle and clean label brands such as Beautycounter, Credo Beauty, Goop, and Honest Company.
While the tides are rising for clean label products, these better-for-you brands are facing their own challenges amidst tremendous opportunities for growth. Digital saturation has made it hard for any one CPG brand to stand out. Merryfield built its business solution for member brands around three new and permanent changes impacting all brands with purpose:
1. Loyalty programs for CPG brands are no longer optional- They are necessary and expected but very hard to do on your own.
2. New customer acquisition costs are excessive and getting worse- In the pre-digital age, brands could afford to direct resources toward customer acquisition at the expense of customer retention but not today.
3. Influencer validation is now a prerequisite for serious consideration of a brand- This is especially true for shoppers who are new to better-for-you brands and shopping for clean label product options.
For these brands, Merryfield sits at the intersection of loyalty, consumer promotions, and influencer marketing. The app helps member brands cost effectively find and engage new audiences and build loyalty all in one place.
Merryfield is looking to add six to eight additional brands covering different product categories ahead of its April launch.
"Five years from now, the grocery retail landscape will be mainly better-for-you versions of private label store brands in every category and fewer, but much bigger national brands," said Mayer. "Stores are just too hectic for people today with so many options so consolidation will happen; it's happening now. We built Merryfield to help a collective of purpose-driven brands already successful in the natural channel that want to be leaders in a much bigger market space as better-for-you, clean label products move mainstream."
The new funding announced today comes from members of the management team and high-net-worth individual investors, and it will be used to make new hires to further build out the platform and support Merryfield's go-to-market plans with its collective of member brands.
Merryfield, a privately-held Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) based in Boston, Massachusetts, is the creator of a new clean label rewards app that makes it easy for people to #ShopCleanGetRewarded by discovering new products and brands they can trust. The app, launching April 2020, rewards people for consistently supporting food, personal care, and household product brands that subscribe to a higher standard. At the same time, the company helps brands with purpose develop meaningful, lasting connections with like-minded consumers. Consumers earn points every time their grocery receipt has any products from any of Merryfield's participating better-for-you member brands. Consumers simply shop the brands they love and then take a picture of the receipt to earn points which can be easily redeemed right on the app for gift cards from top brands of their choice like Adidas, Amazon, Sephora, Starbucks, Target and Whole Foods Market. Visit http://www.merryfield.com to learn about Merryfield's clean label standards, how the app works, and get notified about the app launch. Merryfield believes that giving back is pretty rewarding, too. It donates one percent of its sales directly to No Kid Hungry, supporting the nonprofit's mission to end childhood hunger. Learn more about No Kid Hungry and how to get involved: https://www.nokidhungry.org/ways-you-can-help.