March 25, 2022

Nouri is Providing Healthy Meals for Expecting Moms

When an expecting mother Googles “What to eat when nauseous during pregnancy,” the top results are saltine crackers, milkshakes, and cheese toast. Irene Liu, Founder of Nouri, wondered if there were better, healthier options. How could she help expecting mothers access nutritional foods?

🚀 Fast Facts

Company: Nouri


Founded: 2020

Stage: Pre-Seed Fundraising

Industry: Women’s Health (Rooted in Food)

SDG: #3: Good Health & Well-Being

Team: Irene Liu (Co-founder), Jennifer Jolorte (Co-founder)

🔥 What’s the Deal?

Irene became interested in food access and healthy eating as an undergraduate at Berkeley. She started a farmer’s market in Oakland, CA to make healthy eating more accessible for people of different backgrounds. As a Wharton MBA & Harvard MPA, Irene studied the intersection of economic development and food policy, considering how to increase accessibility to healthy food.

In the summer of 2020, Irene’s aunt started her own motherhood journey. Seeing her mother sending her aunt traditional Chinese postpartum meals, Irene became interested in the nutritional aspect of postpartum meal rituals, which is rare in the U.S. “What would I want?” Irene asked herself about her own future. She considered the challenges she would face managing her nutrition while working full-time and starting a family.

The idea for Nouri was born: A meal plan incorporating the traditional, medicinal properties of ancient Eastern ingredients that would help expecting mothers adapt to their changing bodies and nutritional needs at each stage.

Since its official launch in January 2021, Nouri’s team has nearly tripled in size and hit around 170k in revenue within its first year. Nouri currently operates in NYC with a production/delivery day once a week. Customers can choose plans varying from 3 days, 5 days, and 7 days worth of meals. Nouri also releases a new ‘Menu of the Week’ every Monday that can be further customized based on pregnancy stage and any gestational symptoms.

Their core market concentrates on the ~6 million expecting families per year (amount of births and people wanting to conceive), and the 48 billion dollars this demographic spends on health and wellness. As Nouri looks to expand as a women’s health company, they are also looking at segments of women dealing with menopause or period irregularities.

Nouri’s meals are grounded in Eastern foods. For example, take Nouri’s version of Miyeok-guk (a Korean seaweed soup).

💚 Why We Love It

  1. 🍽️ It’s the First of Its Kind  
  2. This is the first, stage-specific meal program for expecting mothers fusing ancient Eastern food therapy and Western nutrition. The meal plan is built so that at each stage, the meals accommodate the stage’s specific dietary needs and are built to address the major symptoms. What parents are saying about Nouri: “A meal program for moms. There just isn't anything like this out there.”
  3. 🤝 A Commitment to Giving Back
  4. Despite Nouri still being in its early stages, they’re pursuing great initiatives to give back to the community.  For example, they’ve donated Nouri accounts to various women’s health organizations, and are working with a nurse-family partnership non-profit to provide the first meal home for these families. Irene also wants customers to be involved in this very important part of their mission; For example, if customers purchase up to X dollars, a Nouri meal will be donated to another woman.
  5. 📈 A Defining Vision
  6. Irene described her vision for Nouri in three phases. Phase 1 focuses on the Meal Plan, the core of Nouri—building the company’s core product. Nouri is now in Phase 2, launching a content and curriculum community platform enhancing the offline experience and also making nutrition/wellness information and resources more accessible. In Phase 3, Nouri is scaling their meals to become shelf-stable and readily available in stores or nationwide delivery.

👋 Get Involved

  • Follow them on Instagram to get company updates, internship opportunities, and more!

—Irene Park

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