On the move

With new funding and salads, Local Bounti expands its footprint.

Poppy Power ingredients: Romaine Crisp; fresh tomatoes; feta; hearty quinoa; red onion; crunchy chickpeas; chopped olives; Tzatziki dressing
Photos courtesy of Local Bounti
Modern Green ingredients: Northwest-grown Romaine Crisp; Bok Choy; cranberries; carrot; broccoli slaw; pepitas; sunflower; flax; poppy seed dressing

It’s been a busy 2022 for Local Bounti.

The company raised $23.3 million in a new equity raise as they plot future expansion and new farm builds. Local Bounti also announced a new product: grab-and-go salads in two flavors, Poppy Power (featuring romaine and bok choy) and Modern Greek (featuring romaine). The salads are both vegetarian and under 250 calories. The price point for the salad kits has not been disclosed.

“We’re really focused on flavors,” says Brian Cook, president of Local Bounti, “so we wanted to be a salad you’d get at a restaurant more so than a basic, off-the-shelf kit.” Cook calls the R&D process for the salads “multi-faceted.”

“We did research on flavor profiles — what’s trending, what’s not,” he says. “We take that back to the retailer and say ‘Hey, what’s out there that you’re seeing? What’s not on the shelf yet?’ Because just putting another Caesar on the shelf doesn’t really do it. That’s not to say that’s not something we wouldn’t do in the future, but there’s only so many of those that you can have on the shelf before they cannibalize each other.”

To start, the salads will only be at select retailers in the Pacific Northwest, but the company expects to expand to new markets and add new flavors in 2023.

“The consumer tells you if you have the right product once you get it in there and they taste it,” Cook says. “If you see repeat purchases, you know it’s built to last. As far as regionally, it’s all about making sure you have partners near where we produce our lettuce. It all starts with that high-quality lettuce base before finishing it with those premium ingredients.”

According to Cook, the reason they launched in the Pacific Northwest was solely based on where their lettuce is grown — they have a farm in Montana in addition to two in Southern California and another in Georgia — and where it’s processed to optimize its freshness for the end consumer.

Part of the idea of the grab-and-go salad kits, Cook says, is to try and introduce new consumers to the Local Bounti brand — maybe someone will pick up the salad at lunch or on the way home from dinner. From there, he says, perhaps they will become a Local Bounti consumer, regularly purchasing the salads for an easy meal or purchasing other products to make their own salads at home.

“Everything we do has a premium nature to it,” Cook says. “You might be able to get something a little bit cheaper. That’s not what we are looking for in this product line.”

December 2022
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