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              不用谷物生產麥片,這家公司是如何做到的?

              不用谷物生產麥片,這家公司是如何做到的?

              Shannon Fitzgerald 2021年06月06日
              Magic Spoon麥片不是真正的“谷物食品”,因為它不含谷物。

              在我小時候,家里人對甜麥片深惡痛絕,我也完全接受了他們的看法,要是母親給我做一碗Trix麥片,會比她給我倒一杯蘇格蘭威士忌更讓我感到吃驚。問題是,周六早上播動畫片時的廣告,讓兒童麥片顯得極有吸引力,這讓我念念不忘。我也因此會跑到一個喜歡炫耀的鄰居男孩家的廚房里,他想向你證明,他家有你能想到的各種甜麥片,甚至包括我最想品嘗的、包裝盒上有個令人著魔的小精靈的那一種。但是,當他爬上柜臺取下一盒Lucky Charms時,我突然感到一種強烈的負罪感,因而我從后門跑了出去,沿著街道跑回自己家。

              如果Magic Spoon在1980年代就存在,那會帶來極大的改變。

              你可能在你的Facebook信息流上看到過Magic Spoon的廣告,或者最近聽過它贊助的播客節目,或者看到你在Instagram上關注的人曬出Magic Spoon帶有流行藝術圖形的彩色盒子。Magic Spoon是一種“生酮友好型”的低碳水化合物麥片,針對成年人重新設計了一種兒童主食,包裝盒背面滿是搜索詞和填詞游戲。它的目標受眾是千禧一代,他們可用麥片食用量來衡量成長曲線,但作為成年人,他們會更加注意糖的攝入量。

              Magic Spoon的邏輯在于,你不必放棄食用麥片,也不必改吃健康的高纖維成人麥片(似乎需要大量的咀嚼),而是可以吃一種味道近似于雜貨店貨架上的Frosted Flakes、Cinnamon Toast Crunches和Froot Loops的高蛋白低糖麥片。也許更值得稱道的是,該款谷物食品甚至不是真正的“谷物食品”,因為它不含谷物。

              該公司的兩位聯合創始人加比·劉易斯和格雷格·蘇維茨十年前在布朗大學相識,他們最初面臨的最大挑戰是,開發的產品既要達到他們設定的營養目標,又要足夠脆、味道好——不僅僅是好,而是要真的很好。據蘇維茨估計,他們前前后后至少開發了20個版本,才形成基本配方。配方形狀類似于Cheerio早餐麥片,采用乳品蛋白、木薯淀粉和菊苣菊粉來增加松脆感,并使用天然甜味劑混合物(羅漢果和阿盧糖)和其他天然香料來增加味道。

              最終的成品是,一份Magic Spoon含有13至14克的蛋白質,不含糖(另含4種凈碳水化合物,專為關注這類指標的人設計),而超市里的麥片產品大多數含有3克或更少的蛋白質,約12克糖(以及約30種凈碳水化合物)。Magic Spoon提供糖霜、藍莓等六種常規口味選擇以及一到兩種季節性口味,如生日蛋糕味或桃子味以及奶油味。消費者可在網上購買最受歡迎的四種口味的組合包或自選捆綁包,通過后一種選擇我品嘗到肉桂、可可、水果和花生醬口味。

              Magic Spoon嘗起來和吃起來與大眾市場的甜麥片完全一樣嗎?不,不完全一樣,口感略有不同。感覺就像習慣于吃蛋白棒或有著熟悉味道的奶昔,你會注意到其中的細微差別,然后慢慢習慣,最終可能會變得更喜歡后者??诟猩弦彩侨绱?,我說它會略微粘在你的臼齒后面,并不是說這會讓人討厭(蘇維茨說,在開發過程中,他們試圖在盡可能地提高蛋白質含量的同時避免帶來太粘的口感,因為“這是蛋白質不可避免的一點”)。

              我拿了一些Magic Spoon麥片給了我的朋友邁克爾·馬庫納斯,他是一個以生酮飲食為主的舊金山人。他告訴我,他已經多年沒有吃麥片當早餐了,但一碗可可味Magic Spoon是完美的甜點。他說,"每隔一段時間,我就需要吃點甜的東西,過一下口癮。"他指出,對于Magic Spoon他很喜歡的一點是,它使用的是乳品蛋白而不是豌豆蛋白(蘇維茨說,豌豆蛋白“豆腥味太濃了”,沒什么人會在早餐或甜點中追求這種味道)。

              碗中的蛋白棒

              說到價格時,蛋白棒再次被拿出來類比。Magic Spoon在定價上也不同于雜貨店的麥片產品,4盒的價格為39.99美元(不過它也不吝于提供促銷碼,給予每訂單5美元的優惠,與其訂閱價格相同)。然而,兩位創始人說,他們的利潤率并不比大型麥片公司高,二者的區別在于他們采購的是小批量的優質原料,Magic Spoon的價格約為每碗1.95美元,與一根蛋白棒相當。

              事實上,劉易斯和蘇維茨擁有做蛋白棒的經驗——Magic Spoon并不是他們的第一款產品。還在讀大學時,兩人就對高蛋白飲食感興趣,于是開始開發自己的蛋白棒,靈感來自于昆蟲蛋白與動物蛋白相比具有極高的可持續性和效率的報道。具體來說,就是蟋蟀蛋白。他們在大學宿舍里的實驗最終催生Exo,一款在網上和高端健身房等地方銷售的蟋蟀蛋白棒。劉易斯和蘇維茨的第一家創業公司(2018年賣給了Aspire食品集團)在他們開始開發Magic Spoon時帶來了兩點啟發。

              一點是他們希望自己的產品能夠吸引普通大眾。問題在于,你必須說服人們去吃蟋蟀(我完全同意。你必須非常努力地說服我去吃蟋蟀——這件事也必須能夠為我帶來很大的好處,而不僅僅是在我鍛煉前給我帶來能量提升)?!拔覀儽仨氄f服人們,這不僅是正常的,而且是令人向往的,很酷的?!眲⒁姿拐f道,“說服別人需要努力和時間,這一過程也需要耗費金錢?!?/p>

              另一點啟發是,他們知道,他們希望其下一個創業項目完全是直接面向消費者的,他們認為當你瞄準一個細分群體時,你能夠將你的業務迅速發展起來。劉易斯和蘇維茨在2019年4月推出Magic Spoon,最初的銷售量超過了他們的預期,第一批產品在幾周內就銷售一空。沒多久便能發現,他們在開發生酮飲食者或千禧一代以外的市場?!拔覀儾幌M鸐agic Spoon僅僅被看作是'生酮麥片',”劉易斯表示,“我們希望它能觸及關心健康飲食的大眾?!?/p>

              到公司成立兩周年的時候,他們在曼哈頓的辦公室已經發展到21人,他們在美國各地的多個地方生產麥片。這兩位企業家不愿披露具體的銷售數字,但透露道,他們僅在去年就實現了三位數的增長率,“并且仍在繼續超越我們最積極的銷售預測”。

              在早期的550萬美元種子輪融資之后,這家線上蛋白質麥片公司在去年11月又完成了一輪規模900萬美元的風險融資,吸引了制片人里克·魯賓等多位個人投資者,其中Allbirds的喬伊·茲維林格、Harry’s的杰弗里·雷德和Warby Parker的創始人等DTC(直面消費者)先驅的參投更是充分彰顯了外界對該公司的看好。

              Magic Spoon目前采取純線上模式,這意味著他們能夠非常精確地進行定向品牌營銷,同時也能夠獲取大量關于其不斷擴大的顧客群的信息,并針對顧客的反饋做出快速反應。通過網紅、播客和社交媒體(如TikTok和Instagram)進行營銷,可以接觸到千禧一代的細分群體以及其他群體(生酮飲食信徒、健身媽媽、線上詳細分享自己的舉重和飲食計劃的健身迷等)。通過促銷碼和其他反饋,Magic Spoon能知道他們接觸到了誰,具體是通過哪個渠道接觸的。

              蘇維茨和劉易斯說道,一開始他們很驚訝,他們的顧客群并沒有他們想象的那么狹窄?!拔覀兯采w的顧客范圍之廣令人難以置信,他們購買Magic Spoon的原因也非常廣泛,”比如年長的顧客,醫生建議他們攝入更多的蛋白質,也有的父母本來是買給自己的,結果他們的孩子也開始食用(邁克爾家就是這樣)。因此,該公司正在試水更多的傳統媒體推廣渠道,于5月6日推出了第一個電臺廣告,因為并不是每個人都聽Pod Save America,也不是每個人都看到格萊美得主Questlove在Magic Spoon推出后所發出的Instagram(非贊助)帖子:

              等等,等等,等等?。。。?!這款麥片幾乎不含碳水化合物,含量只有3%?。?!????? @magicspooncereal現在就帶我去見你們的領導!(另外,糖含量是多少?如果低于10%,我會在早上給你們送去一枚祖母綠切割的黃色金絲雀H級戒指)*

              (與其他人一樣,蘇維茨和劉易斯也對Questlove的這般熱情感到十分驚訝,事前并不知道他購買了Magic Spoon。但這創造了一個完美的契機,Questlove現在已成為該公司的投資者)。

              超級用戶

              Magic Spoon提供訂閱服務,但他們并沒有給用戶推送信息——出于對人們的“訂閱疲勞”的考慮——而是密切關注他們的回頭客,這一群體貢獻了“很大一部分的”訂單。他們密切關注超級用戶,即購買了50或100盒Magic Spoon以上的顧客,并跟蹤顧客的想法和反饋——自選捆綁包選項就是這么來的。Magic Spoon每月都會推出新的限量版季節性口味,且保留一份新口味創意的總清單,上面包含顧客提出的每一個創意(如楓葉培根味)。

              我問了兩位創始人,他們最喜歡Magic Spoon的哪種口味。蘇維茨喜歡水果味,劉易斯則說喜歡把可可味和花生醬味混在一起吃。我已經忘記了將一種以上的麥片混合到一個定制的碗里會帶來的那種樂趣。

              讀者們,我試著把可可味和花生醬味混合在一起,我覺得吃起來相當奇妙。(財富中文網)

              譯者:萬志文

              在我小時候,家里人對甜麥片深惡痛絕,我也完全接受了他們的看法,要是母親給我做一碗Trix麥片,會比她給我倒一杯蘇格蘭威士忌更讓我感到吃驚。問題是,周六早上播動畫片時的廣告,讓兒童麥片顯得極有吸引力,這讓我念念不忘。我也因此會跑到一個喜歡炫耀的鄰居男孩家的廚房里,他想向你證明,他家有你能想到的各種甜麥片,甚至包括我最想品嘗的、包裝盒上有個令人著魔的小精靈的那一種。但是,當他爬上柜臺取下一盒Lucky Charms時,我突然感到一種強烈的負罪感,因而我從后門跑了出去,沿著街道跑回自己家。

              如果Magic Spoon在1980年代就存在,那會帶來極大的改變。

              你可能在你的Facebook信息流上看到過Magic Spoon的廣告,或者最近聽過它贊助的播客節目,或者看到你在Instagram上關注的人曬出Magic Spoon帶有流行藝術圖形的彩色盒子。Magic Spoon是一種“生酮友好型”的低碳水化合物麥片,針對成年人重新設計了一種兒童主食,包裝盒背面滿是搜索詞和填詞游戲。它的目標受眾是千禧一代,他們可用麥片食用量來衡量成長曲線,但作為成年人,他們會更加注意糖的攝入量。

              Magic Spoon的邏輯在于,你不必放棄食用麥片,也不必改吃健康的高纖維成人麥片(似乎需要大量的咀嚼),而是可以吃一種味道近似于雜貨店貨架上的Frosted Flakes、Cinnamon Toast Crunches和Froot Loops的高蛋白低糖麥片。也許更值得稱道的是,該款谷物食品甚至不是真正的“谷物食品”,因為它不含谷物。

              該公司的兩位聯合創始人加比·劉易斯和格雷格·蘇維茨十年前在布朗大學相識,他們最初面臨的最大挑戰是,開發的產品既要達到他們設定的營養目標,又要足夠脆、味道好——不僅僅是好,而是要真的很好。據蘇維茨估計,他們前前后后至少開發了20個版本,才形成基本配方。配方形狀類似于Cheerio早餐麥片,采用乳品蛋白、木薯淀粉和菊苣菊粉來增加松脆感,并使用天然甜味劑混合物(羅漢果和阿盧糖)和其他天然香料來增加味道。

              最終的成品是,一份Magic Spoon含有13至14克的蛋白質,不含糖(另含4種凈碳水化合物,專為關注這類指標的人設計),而超市里的麥片產品大多數含有3克或更少的蛋白質,約12克糖(以及約30種凈碳水化合物)。Magic Spoon提供糖霜、藍莓等六種常規口味選擇以及一到兩種季節性口味,如生日蛋糕味或桃子味以及奶油味。消費者可在網上購買最受歡迎的四種口味的組合包或自選捆綁包,通過后一種選擇我品嘗到肉桂、可可、水果和花生醬口味。

              Magic Spoon嘗起來和吃起來與大眾市場的甜麥片完全一樣嗎?不,不完全一樣,口感略有不同。感覺就像習慣于吃蛋白棒或有著熟悉味道的奶昔,你會注意到其中的細微差別,然后慢慢習慣,最終可能會變得更喜歡后者??诟猩弦彩侨绱?,我說它會略微粘在你的臼齒后面,并不是說這會讓人討厭(蘇維茨說,在開發過程中,他們試圖在盡可能地提高蛋白質含量的同時避免帶來太粘的口感,因為“這是蛋白質不可避免的一點”)。

              我拿了一些Magic Spoon麥片給了我的朋友邁克爾·馬庫納斯,他是一個以生酮飲食為主的舊金山人。他告訴我,他已經多年沒有吃麥片當早餐了,但一碗可可味Magic Spoon是完美的甜點。他說,"每隔一段時間,我就需要吃點甜的東西,過一下口癮。"他指出,對于Magic Spoon他很喜歡的一點是,它使用的是乳品蛋白而不是豌豆蛋白(蘇維茨說,豌豆蛋白“豆腥味太濃了”,沒什么人會在早餐或甜點中追求這種味道)。

              碗中的蛋白棒

              說到價格時,蛋白棒再次被拿出來類比。Magic Spoon在定價上也不同于雜貨店的麥片產品,4盒的價格為39.99美元(不過它也不吝于提供促銷碼,給予每訂單5美元的優惠,與其訂閱價格相同)。然而,兩位創始人說,他們的利潤率并不比大型麥片公司高,二者的區別在于他們采購的是小批量的優質原料,Magic Spoon的價格約為每碗1.95美元,與一根蛋白棒相當。

              事實上,劉易斯和蘇維茨擁有做蛋白棒的經驗——Magic Spoon并不是他們的第一款產品。還在讀大學時,兩人就對高蛋白飲食感興趣,于是開始開發自己的蛋白棒,靈感來自于昆蟲蛋白與動物蛋白相比具有極高的可持續性和效率的報道。具體來說,就是蟋蟀蛋白。他們在大學宿舍里的實驗最終催生Exo,一款在網上和高端健身房等地方銷售的蟋蟀蛋白棒。劉易斯和蘇維茨的第一家創業公司(2018年賣給了Aspire食品集團)在他們開始開發Magic Spoon時帶來了兩點啟發。

              一點是他們希望自己的產品能夠吸引普通大眾。問題在于,你必須說服人們去吃蟋蟀(我完全同意。你必須非常努力地說服我去吃蟋蟀——這件事也必須能夠為我帶來很大的好處,而不僅僅是在我鍛煉前給我帶來能量提升)?!拔覀儽仨氄f服人們,這不僅是正常的,而且是令人向往的,很酷的?!眲⒁姿拐f道,“說服別人需要努力和時間,這一過程也需要耗費金錢?!?/p>

              另一點啟發是,他們知道,他們希望其下一個創業項目完全是直接面向消費者的,他們認為當你瞄準一個細分群體時,你能夠將你的業務迅速發展起來。劉易斯和蘇維茨在2019年4月推出Magic Spoon,最初的銷售量超過了他們的預期,第一批產品在幾周內就銷售一空。沒多久便能發現,他們在開發生酮飲食者或千禧一代以外的市場?!拔覀儾幌M鸐agic Spoon僅僅被看作是'生酮麥片',”劉易斯表示,“我們希望它能觸及關心健康飲食的大眾?!?/p>

              到公司成立兩周年的時候,他們在曼哈頓的辦公室已經發展到21人,他們在美國各地的多個地方生產麥片。這兩位企業家不愿披露具體的銷售數字,但透露道,他們僅在去年就實現了三位數的增長率,“并且仍在繼續超越我們最積極的銷售預測”。

              在早期的550萬美元種子輪融資之后,這家線上蛋白質麥片公司在去年11月又完成了一輪規模900萬美元的風險融資,吸引了制片人里克·魯賓等多位個人投資者,其中Allbirds的喬伊·茲維林格、Harry’s的杰弗里·雷德和Warby Parker的創始人等DTC(直面消費者)先驅的參投更是充分彰顯了外界對該公司的看好。

              Magic Spoon目前采取純線上模式,這意味著他們能夠非常精確地進行定向品牌營銷,同時也能夠獲取大量關于其不斷擴大的顧客群的信息,并針對顧客的反饋做出快速反應。通過網紅、播客和社交媒體(如TikTok和Instagram)進行營銷,可以接觸到千禧一代的細分群體以及其他群體(生酮飲食信徒、健身媽媽、線上詳細分享自己的舉重和飲食計劃的健身迷等)。通過促銷碼和其他反饋,Magic Spoon能知道他們接觸到了誰,具體是通過哪個渠道接觸的。

              蘇維茨和劉易斯說道,一開始他們很驚訝,他們的顧客群并沒有他們想象的那么狹窄?!拔覀兯采w的顧客范圍之廣令人難以置信,他們購買Magic Spoon的原因也非常廣泛,”比如年長的顧客,醫生建議他們攝入更多的蛋白質,也有的父母本來是買給自己的,結果他們的孩子也開始食用(邁克爾家就是這樣)。因此,該公司正在試水更多的傳統媒體推廣渠道,于5月6日推出了第一個電臺廣告,因為并不是每個人都聽Pod Save America,也不是每個人都看到格萊美得主Questlove在Magic Spoon推出后所發出的Instagram(非贊助)帖子:

              等等,等等,等等?。。。?!這款麥片幾乎不含碳水化合物,含量只有3%?。?!????? @magicspooncereal現在就帶我去見你們的領導!(另外,糖含量是多少?如果低于10%,我會在早上給你們送去一枚祖母綠切割的黃色金絲雀H級戒指)*

              (與其他人一樣,蘇維茨和劉易斯也對Questlove的這般熱情感到十分驚訝,事前并不知道他購買了Magic Spoon。但這創造了一個完美的契機,Questlove現在已成為該公司的投資者)。

              超級用戶

              Magic Spoon提供訂閱服務,但他們并沒有給用戶推送信息——出于對人們的“訂閱疲勞”的考慮——而是密切關注他們的回頭客,這一群體貢獻了“很大一部分的”訂單。他們密切關注超級用戶,即購買了50或100盒Magic Spoon以上的顧客,并跟蹤顧客的想法和反饋——自選捆綁包選項就是這么來的。Magic Spoon每月都會推出新的限量版季節性口味,且保留一份新口味創意的總清單,上面包含顧客提出的每一個創意(如楓葉培根味)。

              我問了兩位創始人,他們最喜歡Magic Spoon的哪種口味。蘇維茨喜歡水果味,劉易斯則說喜歡把可可味和花生醬味混在一起吃。我已經忘記了將一種以上的麥片混合到一個定制的碗里會帶來的那種樂趣。

              讀者們,我試著把可可味和花生醬味混合在一起,我覺得吃起來相當奇妙。(財富中文網)

              譯者:萬志文

              When I was a kid, I had so internalized our household’s dogma of the evils of sugar cereal that I would be less surprised if my mother poured me a scotch than a bowl of Trix. The problem was the ads in between Saturday morning cartoons made kids cereal so appealing that it haunted me, which is how I found myself in the kitchen of a boastful neighbor boy who wanted to prove his family had every kind of sugar cereal you could think of, even the one I wanted to try the most with its bedeviling little leprechaun. But as he climbed up on the counter to pull down the box of Lucky Charms, I was seized with a pre-emptive guilt so strong that I ran out the back door and down the street to my own house.

              What a game changer it would have been if Magic Spoon had existed in the 1980s.

              You may have seen an ad for Magic Spoon in your Facebook feed or listened to a podcast recently for which it is a sponsor or seen someone you follow on Instagram displaying their colorful boxes with the pop art graphics. Magic Spoon is the “keto-friendly,” low-carb cereal, reimagining a childhood staple for adults, replete with word searches and mad libs on the back of the box. It targets millennials whose growth charts could be measured in bowls of cereal, but as adults pay more attention to their sugar intake.

              Magic Spoon’s premise is that instead of giving up cereal or switching to the healthy high-in-fiber grown-up varieties (that seem to require an intense amount of chewing), you can eat a cereal that is high in protein, low in sugar and actually tastes remarkably similar to the Frosted Flakes and Cinnamon Toast Crunches and Froot Loops of the grocery aisle. Perhaps even more remarkable, this cereal is not even a true “cereal,” in the sense that it contains no grains.

              Co-founders Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz, friends who met at Brown a decade ago, found their biggest initial challenge was developing a product that delivered the nutritional targets they’d set, was sufficiently crunchy and tasted good—not just good, but really good. Sewitz estimates they went through at least 20 versions before they hit upon their basic formula, shaped similar to a Cheerio, that uses dairy proteins, tapioca starch and chicory root inulin for crunch and a natural sweetener blend (monk fruit and allulose) and other natural flavors for, well, flavor.

              The result is a serving of Magic Spoon contains 13 to 14 grams of protein and no sugar (and 4 net carbs, for people who pay attention to that sort of thing), compared with 3 grams or less of protein, around 12 grams of sugar (and about 30 net carbs) of most supermarket cereals. Magic Spoon offers six regular flavors, like Frosted and Blueberry, as well as one to two seasonal flavors, like Birthday Cake or Peaches and Cream, which are available for purchase online in a variety pack of their four most popular flavors or in a custom bundle, which is how I came to sample their Cinnamon, Cocoa, Fruity and Peanut Butter flavors.

              Does Magic Spoon taste and eat exactly like mass market sugar cereals? No, not exactly and the texture is ever so slightly different. It’s like getting used to a protein bar or shake that mimics a familiar flavor, where you notice the slight difference, then grow accustomed to and maybe eventually prefer the variant. The same goes for texture and when I say that it sticks slightly in the back of your molars, I mean it in a way that is not unpleasant (Sewitz said in development, they were trying to get the highest amount of protein without being too sticky because “that’s just an unavoidable fact of protein.”)

              I gave some of the cereal to my friend Michael Makunas, a San Franciscan who eats a mostly keto diet and told me while it’s been years since he’s eaten cereal for breakfast, a bowl of the cocoa Magic Spoon was the perfect dessert. “Every once in a while I need something sweet and it will scratch an itch,” he said, noting that he appreciated Magic Spoon’s use of dairy proteins instead of pea protein (Sewitz said pea protein’s flavor is “too bean-y,” an attribute few are seeking for breakfast or dessert).

              Protein bar in a bowl

              The protein bar analogy pops up again when it comes to price. Magic Spoon distinguishes itself again from the grocery store aisle at $39.99 for 4 boxes of cereal (though there is no shortage of promo codes for $5 off the order, same as the subscription rate). However, the founders say their margins are no higher than the big cereal companies, the difference is they are sourcing smaller-batched premium ingredients and that Magic Spoon works out to about $1.95 per bowl, which is comparable to...a protein bar.

              And, in fact, Lewis and Sewitz have some experience when it comes to protein bars—Magic Spoon isn’t their first rodeo. While still in college and becoming interested in higher protein diets, they began developing their own protein bar, inspired by reports that insect proteins were extremely sustainable and efficient when compared to animal proteins. Specifically, crickets. Their dorm room experiments eventually became Exo, the cricket protein bar that was sold online and in places like higher-end gyms. Their first start-up (which they sold to Aspire Food Group in 2018) helped inform two things when Lewis and Sewitz started developing Magic Spoon.

              One was they wanted their product to be appealing to the general population. The thing is, you have to persuade people to eat crickets (I am in full agreement. You would have to work very hard to persuade me to eat crickets—and it would have to be for much higher stakes than as a boost of energy before my workout). “We had to convince them it was not only normal, but aspirational or cool,” Lewis said, and “convincing someone takes work and time, which costs money.”

              And secondly, they knew they wanted their next start-up to be entirely direct-to-consumer with the view that you can grow a business quickly when targeting a niche group. Launching Magic Spoon in April 2019, initial sales surpassed Lewis and Sewitz’s expectations and they sold out their first production within weeks. It soon became clear they were tapping into other markets beyond keto followers or millennials. “We don’t want Magic Spoon to be viewed as ‘the keto cereal,’” Lewis said. “We want it to speak to people who care about health in general.”

              By the company’s second birthday, their Manhattan office has grown to a headcount of 21 and they are producing the cereal from multiple sites around the U.S. The two entrepreneurs are keeping a tight lid on sales figures, but will share they’ve had a triple digit growth rate in just the last year alone “and are continuing to beat even our most aggressive sales projections.”

              After an early $5.5 million seed round, the online protein cereal company closed another $9 million of venture funding in November and counts as individual investors producer Rick Rubin and, in the ultimate sign of confidence from a few DTC pioneers, Joey Zwillinger of Allbirds, Jeffrey Raider of Harry’s, and the founders of Warby Parker.

              And Magic Spoon’s “very much online” current model means they can be very precise about who they are pushing the brand out to, while taking in an incredible amount of information about their broadening customer base and responding quickly to their feedback. Marketing via online influencers, podcasts, and social media like TikTok and Instagram reaches into the subgroups of millennials and beyond (keto adherents, workout mommies, gym rats who detail their lifting and eating regimens to followers, etc). Through the promo codes and other feedback, Magic Spoon knows who they reached and through which channel.

              Sewitz and Lewis said they were initially surprised that their customer base was less narrow than they had imagined, “we have an incredibly broad range of customers who are purchasing it for an incredibly broad range of reasons,” like older customers whose doctor recommends getting more protein or parents who bought it for themselves and the kids started eating it (as was the case at Michael’s house). As such, the company is dipping its toe into more traditional media channels, launching its first radio ad on May 6, because not everyone listens to Pod Save America or saw Questlove’s (not sponsored) post on Instagram just after Magic Spoon launched:

              HOL UP HOL UP HOL UP!!!!! You trine tell me this cereal is damn near CARBLESS at 3 percent!!!????? @magicspooncereal take me to your leader NOOOOOOOOW! (Also what’s the sugar content? If under 10% I’ll be sending y’all an emerald cut yellow canary H class ring in the morning)*

              (Sewitz and Lewis were as surprised as anyone at Questlove’s enthusiasm, having no idea he’d purchased any Magic Spoon. But it was the perfect ice breaker and Questlove is now an investor.)

              Super users

              While Magic Spoon offers a subscription, they don’t push it—mindful of “subscription fatigue”—but pay close attention to their returning customers, “a pretty meaningful portion” of their orders. They keep an eye on their Super Users, customers who have bought 50+ or 100+ boxes, and keep track of customer ideas and feedback—which is how the custom bundle option came about. Magic Spoon releases new limited edition and seasonal flavors every month and keeps a master list of new flavor ideas, including every single write-in idea (like Maple Bacon) from customers.

              I asked the founders what flavor of Magic Spoon they like the most. Sewitz enjoys the fruity flavor, while Lewis said he likes to combine cocoa and peanut butter. I had forgotten about the particular pleasure of combining more than one cereal into a custom bowl.

              Reader, I tried cocoa and peanut butter together and it was, I daresay, pretty magical.

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