Sweetgreen

Most of you probably are already familiar with Sweetgreen. For those who are not, you can think of it as Chipotle for salads, though that comparison loses its validity as you come to understand the nuances of the brand. I had a salad from Sweetgreen yesterday and the place was absolutely packed, even at an off hour. That has prompted me to share a few short paragraphs that I have previously written on this company which I believe will continue to grow very successfully.

I have enjoyed being a Sweetgreen customer for more than two years now. While the brand has already garnered a lot of attention and a $1.6B valuation, I believe it has a much larger and brighter future ahead if it continues to execute so well on its mission. When you compare Sweetgreen to Chipotle (~15x SG’s valuation) or McDonald’s (~100x SG’s valuation), it becomes clear that if Sweetgreen can truly become the direct-to-consumer food platform of the modern day generation, the upside is far greater than its current valuation. 

The brand’s focus on sustainability, local sourcing, and animal welfare aligns squarely with the food-related issues that people today care about most and that they will continue to care about in years ahead. The direct-to-consumer approach initiated by the popular Sweetgreen app (which I understand processes about half of total orders) and expanded by the recent launch of Sweetgreen outpost is a strategy that has proven across various categories to resonate well with today’s consumers. 

Sweetgreen is building that direct relationship with its customers based on trust (using blockchain, the latest innovation in the concept of trust itself, to facilitate the traceability of ingredients), meeting customers where they are, and personalizing their food experiences based on where they live, which season it is, and what they like to eat. Interestingly, I heard one of the founders make the analogy that as books are to Amazon, salads will be to Sweetgreen. He believes and I agree that it has the potential to provide people with several meals a week, and I have already seen this come to fruition. 

One of my best friends from my old office in San Francisco once went an entire month eating only Sweetgreen for lunches and dinners. I myself frequently went and got both dinner and lunch for the next day, multiple times per week. In summary, I am excited by Sweetgreen because I believe it is poised to become an extremely successful food brand and potentially a ubiquitous food platform built upon the values of modern consumers. For a growing number of them, I believe Sweetgreen will become more than just an occasional choice among many options, but rather, the default choice with many of their personal favorite options.