Two Northumberland entrepreneurs have joined forces to launch EezyFood, provider of tasty, nutritious food boxes – with subscription plan options – which feed families for up to three meals a day for a week from a cost as little as £0.89p per portion.

The duo – Graeme Stewart and Chris Dodds – have established their start-up business in the new Bvillage in Endeavour Park on the Nelson Park West Industrial Estate in Cramlington, Northumberland.

Their enterprise was inspired by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford’s high profile campaign and fundraising activities centred around feeding families on low incomes, which prompted major changes in government policy.

Having researched the market for home delivered food, they discovered that a nationally-known player in the sector was charging up to £5 a portion, while a major UK supermarket offers a similar service and is charging the equivalent of £2.50 a portion.

Stewart and Dodds spotted a gap in the market for an operator to offer healthy, high-quality, low-cost meal subscription plans for a range of dietary requirements across mainland UK.

EezyFood provides five main options, each feeding one to four people depending on requirements. They are the Eezy Breakfast Box (seven breakfasts for 1-4 people); the Eezy Lunch Box (seven lunches for 1-4 people); the Eezy Evening Box (seven evening meals for 1-4 people); the Eezy Complete Box (best value box including seven breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners, for 1-4 people); the Create Your Own EezyBox (customer can select seven breakfasts, lunches and dinners to their dietary preference, for any number of people).

Vegetarian options are available, and there are plans to add vegan options in the future.

Under EezyFood’s model, customers can choose their food items individually with the Create Your Own option, but the fixed meal option offers the best value. Emphasising that value, the family of four Eezy Complete Box costs as little as £75 for four people, including postage and packing, working out at as little as 89p per portion.

The majority of the food for the boxes has been sourced locally, including supplies from a local butcher, fishmonger and farm shop, all based in the North East region.

All deliveries are booked through the EezyFood website (www.eezyfood.co.uk– website launches Monday 8 March) with nominated delivery days, whilst the company is also utilising sustainable thermal packaging (made using recycled Jeans) to ensure the food boxes remain at a safe temperature for up to 48 hours.

Graeme Stewart said: “We have set up the business to provide our customers with a weekly delivery of affordable, healthy and sustainable food whilst we tackle food waste and bring families together through cooking. Like Marcus Rashford, we believe everyone has the right to eat tasty, nutritious, high-quality, fresh food without the premium prices.”

Chris Dodds said: “Home-delivered food is a huge growth market in this COVID-19 era, enabling people to order food from the safety of their own homes. We will strive to offer budget-conscious customers access to healthy, fresh ingredients, save them time shopping and the hassle of deciding of what to eat at meal times.”

Both partners in EezyFood have existing businesses, with Stewart running two Cramlington-headquartered companies – Luggage-Point and Enviro-Point – which offer retail services and eco-friendly products across 11 UK airports. Meanwhile, Dodds operates drone and digital 3D tour company ImageAir, also in Northumberland.

The roots of the partnership are in a longstanding friendship between the new business partners which began in the same schools and colleges in Tynemouth.

Although the company will be run by the founders initially, they do plan to create a number of jobs as the business scales up, and have already applied to take on two employees through the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding for new job placements for 16-24 year-olds.