In world with fast food chains and convenience stores on every corner, there is a company that is changing the game for “easy” meals. HelloFresh is a company that provides the healthy, waste-less, and tasty meals everyone wants. Delivered straight to your door, HelloFresh boxes contain three meals, easy-to-make, with the exact measurement of every item. The best part? No long, expensive trips to the grocery store! What sets HelloFresh apart from the rest, however, is its true commitment and passion for health. Reading this interview with Rebecca Lewis, HelloFresh’s Head Dietitian, it is obvious that the health and well being of the customer are the utmost of importance for HelloFresh.
By Kat Jones
As a registered dietitian, and Head dietitian for HelloFresh, I imagine that your job includes being surrounded by a lot of delicious food, but what are your day-to-day roles for HelloFresh?
I love what I do and I couldn’t image a better job that would provide the exposure and influence that working as the Head Dietitian at HelloFresh allows me. I am passionate about health, relish great food, love having a platform to talk about nutrition, and feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do every day
I help drive and support the HelloFresh mission of getting people back in the kitchen and enjoying cooking again! As their nutrition expert and spokesperson for the health quality of the HelloFresh product, I use my professional background to differentiate HelloFresh as a nutrition thought leader in the food industry.
I have the opportunity to engage and enrich our customers on wellness & food-related topics via email, online resources, print, TV, and social media by contributing to industry articles, guest blogging, answering nutrition-related questions.
I work closely with an extremely talented and creative team of chefs. Beyond the perks of being able to taste the delicious recipes the chefs are testing in the kitchen, I get to collaborate on those innovative recipe ideas and contribute nutritionally needed feedback for any areas of redesign.
I enjoy conducting regular analysis of trends in the food industry and needs of our specific HelloFresh customers. In an extremely fast-moving environment, I am constantly researching, reading, and collecting data on how to provide the best service that adds the most value to those who struggle with eating healthier.
I flex my professional Dietitian skills every day in ensuring our recipes meet health goals. Transparency and accuracy in the health of the HelloFresh recipes is extremely important -every recipe is subject to a nutritional analysis to ensure that it fits into our target nutritional goal ranges
Overall, I have become an active role model for health and wellness both in my company and in my community - helping to shift the general perspective towards one that is more cognizant and positive in regards to the beneficial effects of consuming healthier foods and cooking at home. HelloFresh is a vehicle that encourages individuals to engage in the kitchen and increase their confidence of preparing meals all while having FUN!
I understand that celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, is your newest spokesperson and recipe-maker, but what is the process like for choosing recipes and how involved are you?
The process of developing recipes begins an entire season ahead! The chefs and I collaborate with our procurement team for what will be seasonally available and what cooking techniques reflect the season. We will also review what recipes scored well with our customers the same time last year for inspiration and direction. From there the chefs use their innovative minds to create beautiful and delicious meals that are primarily based around fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats and whole grains. Once a recipe is cooked in our test kitchen, we all sample and provide feedback to one another as to the overall flavor and texture perception. If a new recipe is deemed worthy, I will nutritionally assess it to ensure it meets our internal HelloFresh nutrition standards (which are based on the 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines) and provide suggestions for improvement if needed.
After a recipe is given a go-ahead, I work with our procurement team to ensure every selected ingredient is of the highest quality and as unprocessed as possible. I review each individual ingredient for allergens and post any allergens along with full nutrition information on our website and recipe cards so that our customers have full transparency as to what is in our meal kits. The bottom line, is that I ensure our customer’s are receiving meals which are nutritious, wholesome, and well-balanced.
Being an internationally distributed company, how often does HelloFresh like use local vendors or locally grown fruits and vegetables?
We have 3 distribution sites across the country so that we can source locally as often as possible! Ideally, we want to be working with sustainable business partners that are able to grow with HelloFresh’s increasing needs. Additionally, because our menus are seasonally based, we are also sourcing our produce during its peak of ripeness and flavor.
I know that HelloFresh tries to cater to many tastes and dietary restrictions, but, as veganism grows in popularity, will HelloFresh offer any vegan options or does it currently?
HelloFresh puts variety at the top of the list when it comes to our meal planning. Each month we put between 40-60 different types of produce, 20-30 different herbs & spices, and 10-12 different cultural cuisines on the menu. We have a vegetarian option, and there are occasionally recipes within that selection that are vegan. Often, the only thing that makes a recipe not vegan is the cheese in a recipe – which our customers can also elect to leave out when preparing the meal!
Photos courtesy of HelloFresh.