EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS PIECE IS AN Interview with Ben McKean, CEO and co-founder of Hungryroot
Vegetables. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. We all know that they are good for our body. But not everyone likes them. This is where the challenge lies.
In the photo (L-R): Ben McKean, CEO and Co-founder and Chef Franklin Becker, Co-founder. Photo Credit: hungryroot.com
You and your partners have culinary, operations, and e-commerce experience. How did the idea of Hungryroot come about?
Ben McKean: We felt that it was a problem that only 6 percent of Americans eat the recommended amount of vegetables yet 74 percent are overweight. We saw the root cause of that problem to be the lack of appeal that vegetables have for most people, and we decided to create a brand of products that were vegetables in substance but in formats that people associate with indulgences, such as pancakes, pastas, and desserts.
What’s the story behind the name Hungryroot?
B.M: Hungryroot merges “craveability” (hungry) with the core substance of our products (root vegetables).
We aim to inspire people to understand that you can eat healthy, nutritious foods without sacrificing taste.
Who are the ones ordering from you the most?
B.M: Our audience ranges from college students to families.
Related Article: “POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD“
What is your MOST popular dish?
B.M: It would have to be a tie between our Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough, an indulgent, gooey, guiltless treat and our Carrot Noodle Pad Thai Meal.
In the photo (L-R): Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough and Carrot Noodle Pad Thai Photo Credit: hungryroot.com
Tell us more about your 1+1 campaign.
B.M: We believe that the lack of nutritious eating is a real and growing risk in America. Our 1+1 campaign is our commitment to help reverse this trend by donating 1 percent of our profits and volunteering 1 percent of our time to support nutritional education and healthy eating. We donate the proceeds to City Harvest.
What impact do you want Hungryroot to have in the world?
B.M: We aim to inspire people to understand that you can eat healthy, nutritious foods without sacrificing taste. Our goal is to give people access to these healthy, indulgent foods.
For a full mindmap containing additional related articles and photos, visit #hungryroot
Parents train their kids to eat vegetables at an early age. Will you offer more choices for kids? Can you give us an example?
B.M: Absolutely. Hungryroot offers over 30 products many of which are already a hit with parents and their kids. Kids love the indulgent flavors that resemble dishes they already enjoy — from sweet potato mac made with a cashew cheese, maple chickpea pancakes, black bean brownie batter made with real sweet potato, and other nutrient-rich ingredients. Oftentimes, kids don’t even realize they are eating vegetables!
Do you intend to expand Hungryroot internationally?
B.M: As of this moment, we have no immediate plans to expand internationally.
For people looking for more varieties other than pasta, do you intend to expand your product line up? For example, start offering veggie meats and veggie breads?
B.M: We plan to expand our product line over the next year and are currently in the process of developing new recipes. We like this product expansion to be done across breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, snacks, and sweets segments to accommodate parents and kids alike.
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