Capitalizing on the convenience and wellness consumer trends, Wellio proposes an intelligent platform that helps its customers plan, shop and prepare their personalized meals. Its mission is to “decode how meals are prepared and enjoyed at home.”.
Wellio is currently in beta phase after having raised $3 million and operates in selected parts of the United States only (the company is based in San Francisco) [2,3]. Kraft Heinz acquired Wellio in November 2018, as a platform to kickstart its new digital hub [2,3].
Wellio’s value proposition is to be a personal nutritionist, grocery shopper and chef all at once to provide an integrated healthy and convenient dinner solution. It proposes a two-hour intelligent ingredient delivery service without any subscription or commitment, which differentiates it from its competitors Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.
Wellio currently serves its customers through five steps and each of these steps rely on machine learning .
As Wellio places an order and delivers grocery, it applies a number of “food principles” :
- Fresh: as it translates recipes into grocery shopping, Wellio will chose fresh over frozen or canned goods, as practicable
- Less waste: Wellio will select goods with resealable packaging, as practicable
- Cost efficiency: Wellio automatically choses the best quality for price
- Quality: Wellio selected the highest quality ingredients from selected brands
- Packaged food: Wellio screens for foods that are simple (less ingredients) and contain less preservatives
In terms of cost efficiency, Wellio has accumulated data (see chart below ) to understand which meals offer the best cost for nutrition.
Wellio’s technological aspirations are two-fold: (i) understand home chefs and (ii) learn the world of food, through artificial intelligence .
Understanding home chefs
As customers’ input their meal preferences and health goals, Wellio’s technology proposes a curated list of recipes. Recommendations improve as users provide data to the platform in the form of orders, ratings and feedback.
Learning the world of food
Wellio strives to transform “raw data” such as web recipes, product quality, nutrition information and retail products into “smart data” to “understand the art of cooking and the science of nutrition.”
Wellio is effectively using machine intelligence to offer its customers a quality personalized experience and is building a platform that will improve over the years, as data from customers accumulates.
Over the short term, one could imagine a service in which users have even more control on what they ingest by being able to select specific amounts of macro-nutrients, vitamins and calories for Wellio to invent a corresponding recipe.
Another action Wellio could take on the medium term could be to allow its users to source recipes, ingredients or meal plan ideas from other online users in order to create a Wellio community.
Over the medium term, Wellio could take the nutritionist aspect of their platform a step further by recommending to their users’ recipes and meals based on their DNA and medical tests data. A user might also be able to input a specific medical condition for Wellio to recommend the most appropriate meals to help the customer’s recovery.
A potential challenge that Wellio might have to overcome has to do with the quantity of data it accumulates – is Wellio used enough to have a volume of data that will truly enable the platform to learn from its customers and become smarter? What does the partnership with Kraft Heinz add to Wellio and its data pool?
Additionally, as Wellio strives to minimize waste, could it do more in terms of ecological impact? Wellio currently tracks the packaging, the nutritional content and the price of the grocery products – could we imagine a world in which Wellio also tracks the inputs that went into these products to promote local growers and farmers?