No matter how old you are, it seems no one can truly outgrow the lunchbox, and Modern Picnic is the contemporary lunch bag for sophisticated women who care equally about the food inside as they do about the aesthetic and style of the accessory holding it. The company’s line of lunch bags is made with insulated interiors and vegan leather exteriors. Modern Picnic, which launched in 2018, has created various sizes and the company’s “The Snacker” resembles a trendy clutch but it’s the perfect size to fit all your snack essentials.
AlleyWatch spoke with founder and CEO Ali Kaminetsky about creating the modern-day alternative to lunchboxes for women and the company’s future plans.
Tell us about the product or service that Modern Picnic offers.
Modern Picnic provides women with a chic, functional, sustainable alternative to the traditional lunchbox with an insulated interior and vegan leather exterior. We felt the lunchbox needed a major makeover, so we gave it one.
How is Modern Picnic different?
There are many lunchboxes on the market for little kids and for men, but nothing for women who want to both look and feel their best. Our lunch bags are designed so you can bring them to work, to the gym, to the dinner, and anywhere in between, and no one would ever have to know what was inside.
Modern Picnic is not only for working women who bring their lunch to work but also, for moms who want a way to carry their breast milk, travelers who don’t want to eat airplane food, moviegoers who refuse to overpay for unhealthy snacks, and anyone in between. We are all bringing our food with us in some way shape or form, so while we target working women, it is really for everyone.
Is the total addressable market at your price points large enough to make this business viable in the long term?
That is something we are continuing to monitor as our business grows. We will also continue to develop and launch lower price point products like The Snacker.
What is your business model?
We are a direct-to-consumer retailer.
What inspired the start of Modern Picnic?
When I graduated from college in 2016, I moved into NYC to start my job in retail. I would bring my lunch to work every day because of how much faster, cheaper and healthier it was (especially as a recent grade on a budget). However, I quickly realized I did not have a chic or functional way to do so. I was resorting to carrying my lunch in paper, plastic, or old shopping bags which was neither cute nor sustainable. When I went online to buy a functional, chic lunchbox for myself, I saw tons of options for little kids, and tons of options for men but nothing for women. From there, Modern Picnic was born.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We have various sales targets, marketing thresholds, and engagements we are working on achieving. We are also working on some very exciting campaigns that we hope will expand our outreach, as well as new products that we will be rolling out within the next six months.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Take everything as a learning experience. Startup life is one big rollercoaster – there are constantly really, high high’s and really, low lows. And while you can’t control the lows, you can control how you choose to react to them, and the learning takeaways and experiences you take from each.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Jen Rubio, cofounder of Away. It’s so impressive to see how she built her business and in such a short amount of time, is it’s very inspiring.
Why did you launch in New York?
The idea of Modern Picnic was born in New York. Since my family and I live here, I couldn’t think of a better place to launch the brand.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
That is a hard one but right now definitely Misi in Brooklyn.