A UNIQUELY FOCUSED COMPANY IN A GROWING MARKET
The Nutri-Chef Company was created in St. Louis, Missouri, to produce healthy, nutrient-rich foods that taste as if they were created by a gourmet chef. Founded in 2015 by Ken Crecelius, Nutri-Chef combines several of Ken's passions and lifelong culinary dreams with his robust experience in new product development and food marketing.
Ken was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and began eating gluten-free foods but found they were tasteless and bland with textures that didn't meet expectations. The negative perception of taste in the gluten-free industry is widely recognized among consumers. Though Ken's diagnosis turned out to be incorrect, he still recognized the benefits of a gluten-free diet and decided to start a company producing flavorful gluten-free foods to ensure those who require or prefer such a diet have appetizing options to choose from and that they truly enjoy.
After several years of research and home product testing, the Nutri-Chef Company created its first product line -- the Chef's Choice brand of gluten-free soups.
The Nutri-Chef Company has three main goals:
1) Produce great tasting prepared foods that are healthy and nutrient-rich.
2) Distribute the Chef's Choice product line through food retailers, internet sales, and institutions throughout the Midwest region.
3) Raise funds for equipment and installation, marketing, retailer fees, and initial cash flow.
Under its Chef’s Choice product line, Nutri-Chef is introducing three flavor varieties to the retail trade and institution markets: Hearty Chicken Noodle, Chicken Brown Rice Provencal, and Beef Taco with Real Cheddar Cheese (all pictured below).
All of these ready to eat soups are meat-based, which creates thick flavorful stocks. Fresh ingredients are added to create great tasting soups that have no preservatives, no MSG, and are ready to eat. The pouched soups need no refrigeration or freezing and have a shelf life of 1.5 years. The soups were taste tested by staff and faculty at Le Cole Culinaire, a chef school, and found to rate excellent in flavor, taste, and texture.
Nutri-Chef's initial product offering, Chef's Choice Premium Quality Gluten-Free Soups, is uniquely positioned in a growing market. There are few direct competitors and our brand has several advantageous points of difference among our competition.
The first advantage is the superior taste and texture as upheld by the L'École Culinaire chef school. There is one direct competitor in the Midwest region, but the flavor and texture of their product is lacking, being described as thin, watery and bland. There are non-meat competitors in the market, however we are not in direct competition because our product is meat-based. Mainline soup manufacturers have not entered the gluten-free market probably because it is too small and it would require new manufacturing plants.
The second advantage is that because Chef's Choice soups are meat-based, the product is positioned in the largest segment of the soup category.
Another advantage Nutri-Chef has is with its fresh ingredients and no preservatives or MSG, the brand taps into a popular upward trend.
Finally, the easy open pouch on Chef's Choice soups is more convenient than competitors, which use cans. Another strength to the pouch, as compared to cans, is that pouches have greater on-shelf visibility in order to display product information. In other words, it has a bigger "billboard" than competition.
Chef's Choice soups contain at least 10% of chicken or beef which is above the 3% threshold for USDA monitoring, and is also above competitive levels. As a result, the company is allowed to print the USDA stamp on its packaging, which signifies to consumers the soups meet high quality standards. The USDA monitoring takes place right at the Nutri-Chef facility, which is a gluten-free environment in a company-owned building at 2240 Edward Street "On The Hill" in St. Louis, Missouri (picture below).
Sales momentum is building. During retailer presentations, the products have been met with praise and acceptance. Two of the largest grocery retailers in the area are interested in the brand, and are in ongoing conversations with the Nutri-Chef Company. Fresh Thyme and Whole Foods Market have said they will carry the product on their shelves. US Foods distributors will carry the products and distribute them to institutions like restaurants, hospitals, senior centers, schools, and others. Internet sales will also be conducted on several sites including Amazon, Ebay, and the Celiac Disease Foundation's Marketplace. Contact has already been made with these companies to begin the registration process.
To watch a video of Ken talking more about Nutri-Chef Gluten-Free Foods and its flagship product, Chef’s Choice Soups, click the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgdGK6-8GuI&feature=youtu.be
Additionally, the company has been contacted through RangeMe, an efficient way for buyers and suppliers to meet, share products and do business. RangeMe was the 2016 Award Winner of the Shop.org Digital Commerce Startup of the Year. Some of the contacts made through RangeMe include Hy-Vee, Publix, HEB, United Airlines, and Wal-Mart, which could be fulfilled on a regional basis.
Cure for Celiac disease
People with celiac disease eat gluten-free foods and they make up approximately one third of the gluten-free market. The other portion of the market is made up of people that eat gluten-free for good health. The Chef's Choice brand is positioned as a great tasting soup so it competes in the mainstream soup market as well.
Because of it's superior taste the brand can hold it's own against any new competition. It is posssible that one of the large soup makers may enter the market however they have not entered the market as yet. This suggests that they will not after not entering after the five years of growth in this market.
As with any food product a recall is possible even with the USDA oversight the company has. Nutri-Chef is protected financially with insurance for recall expenses.
Insuffiicient Cash Flow
As a start up the company has made it's best effort to project sales growth in a conservative manner as well as the resulting cash needs. Assumptions for the sales forcast were based solely on retail grocery store sales and did not include institutional sales or internet sales. Should there be insufficient cash projected, resources will be shifted to institutional sales. Part of the funds raised in this campaign will be used to put cash in reserve for shortages.
Review the Form C on file with the SEC for other important disclosures including GAAP financial statements, key members of the company with a significant stake or more than 20% voting rights and legal information about the company, entity type and date and place of incorporation.
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Nutri-Chef Gluten-Free Foods is conducting a Regulation Crowdfunding offering via Nvstedwithus.com a website owned and operated by STL Critical Technologies JV I LLC. CRD Number: #288930.
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