BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Smart Lunches (smartlunches.com), one of the Internet's fastest-growing providers of healthy meals for children outside of the home, announced today that it has opened ordering and deliveries for the 2013-2014 school season, supported by a new ecommerce platform that will provide an award-winning, student-centric lunch ordering experience for parents.
The new online ordering system was tested in beta form during the company's recently concluded summer camp season, during which it set new records for monthly lunch volumes. The platform will make its debut for the start of the school year with additional new features that will make parents' ordering experiences even faster and easier.
The development of the proprietary system was shaped by the company's experiences in its first two seasons providing its lunch delivery service for children attending schools for the most part without an on-site cafeteria. "It's not easy for parents to pack a lunch every day," said Smart Lunches CEO and Chief Lunch Lady Emily Green. "To start with, no one has enough time. It’s even more difficult for children with allergies. More than 20% of our families have a child with a serious food allergy that requires extra attention. Also, within any family, some kids are just more adventurous than others, so rarely will they all eat the same thing. We are committed to taking the hassle out of lunch and making the experience of ordering from us as fast and as fun as possible," she added.
The key to the new ordering system is personalization. The system's menus are first adapted to the specific schedules and needs of each child's school, usually producing a range of 10 to 12 daily choices in three sizes. Parents can then further filter each child's options by noting specific allergies, the days they need meals, what add-on items they would like such as snacks and drinks, and their personal ratings of each meal. Thus two children in the same family might be presented with entirely different options to choose from -- each menu customized to their own school schedule, allergies, and personal preferences.
Already the winner of the MITX eCommerce Innovation Award for 2013, the ordering approach the company calls "kid-centric" also recently helped it win finalist status for the upcoming MassTLC Consumer Product to Watch award.
One parent who's already solved lunch for next month is Samantha Sherman, a parent with two children at St. Joseph Elementary School in Needham, MA. "It took me about 15 minutes to order for both of them for the entire month. I'm thrilled to have that off my plate. I'll have more time to help them get ready in the mornings," said Ms. Sherman.
Starting the 2013-2014 school year, the company's third, more than 60 schools in the Greater Boston area have signed up to host Smart Lunches, including new partners Cambridge Montessori School, The Chestnut Hill School and Boston Trinity Academy.
The company's recently announced launch in Greater Philadelphia is picking up speed, with the number of partner schools with lunch deliveries starting with the start of the school year now at 15.
The company is also launching daily school lunch service on Cape Cod, including The Laurel School, Cape Cod Academy, Trinity Christian Academy and Sturgis Charter Public School.
“We're excited to have found something so easy we can offer our families. Smart Lunches takes care of it all,” said Marie Leary, Assistant Head of School at the Sage School in Foxboro, MA. “After researching other programs, it was clearly the best choice. It’s less hassle for the school, with rich choices for our parents. Now lunch is off everyone’s plate."
About Smart Lunches: Smart Lunches’ online ordering brings fun, nutritious high-quality meals to kids while providing great selection and convenience to parents. Smart Lunches is one of the internet’s fastest growing companies, serving thousands of students each day at schools, daycare centers and camps in New England and the Greater Philadelphia area. Smart Lunches operates www.smartlunches.com and Smart Snax vending machines. The company gives back by sharing a portion of its earnings with its partners and by contributing to other programs to support underprivileged children -- proving great businesses can do great things while having a higher purpose. If your child is not receiving Smart Lunches, please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About St. Joseph Elementary School: Founded in 1958, St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Needham, MA is a parochial school for students in kindergarten through 5th grade. Affiliated with the St. Joseph Parish, the school has instructed thousands of children through the years in faith and academic excellence with passion that inspires to teach to the mind, heart and soul of each and every child. For more information, visit http://www.saintjoes.com/elementary.cfm.
About The Sage School: The Sage School located in Foxboro, MA is a community of elementary through middle school advanced learners marked by high morale and deep engagement in an inspiring curriculum. In a nurturing environment, students are challenged to strive, allowed to stumble, and guided to realize their full potential. A leader in the field of gifted education, The Sage School offers an academic program rooted in rich content, depth of study, intellectual rigor, and skills acquisition. For more information, visit http://www.sageschool.org/.