2023 Price Update
These are my least favorite kinds of things to write, but we believe fully in transparency and honesty at Vite Kitchens, which means instead of secretly raising prices without anyone’s knowledge, or doing some kind of shrinkflation thing... I’m going to let y’all know exactly why, where, and how we’re raising prices.
And no, before the usual accusations come in... It’s not because I want fourteen cars or something. I’m still driving my trusty ‘ol 2006 Mazda 6, which, being actually from 2005(weird how they name car dates), means it’s old enough to legally be an adult.
Currently, our material costs have spiked another 22% on top of the increases that we’d talked about in May of 22, which means... if you’re looking at compounding, and we use the old pricing as a base, it’s gone up 93.13% over the past year.
We want people who rely on our products to be able to access it at the current pricing, meaning that subscriptions made before the price change will retain the current pricing and be grandfather’d in(is that a word?) so long as the subscription is active. Yes, this means we make less money, and yes, we’re still honoring subscriptions from years ago with grandfather’d pricing that lose us money, but personally? I think that’s the right thing to do.
To make this all sting a bit less, you can use the code 23SUB for 23% off subscriptions only, for one order. This code will expire when the price changes take effect on Monday, Feb 13th, 11:59PM PST.
Price Changes take effect Tuesday, Feb 14th, 12:00AM PST. No, this was not purposefully done for Valentine’s Day, it just happened to land there.
As for the pricing itself, here’s what’s happening:
Naked Noods 12 pack: $36.67 --> $49.93, or $3.056 per noodle -->$4.16 per noodle
Vite Ramen 9 pack: $58.91 --> $69.03, or $6.55 per packet --> $7.67 per packet
Vite Ramen GO: No Change(for now)
Whew. Let’s talk a bit more about the whys.
Pricing is hard. It’s reaaaaally hard. I’ve talked about this before, but what I wanted to do was to make noodles, not really “be an entrepreneur” or “start a business”. Rather, starting a business and having to wade through spreadsheets and regulatory agencies and operational efficiencies and all the fun mumbo jumbo business things is the only way to really make what you want.
Those of you who have been around since the start know that our v1.0 noodles weren’t exactly what we wanted, but we also just couldn’t afford the machinery, or have the order volume to hit the Minimum Order Quantity(or MOQ) to get the ingredients we wanted. That’s where growing as a business really helps-- It gives you access to resources, ingredients, and machines that you’d otherwise not be able to get.
That, really, is all a long way to say that unfortunately, doing the song and dance of business is what’s necessary to make the ramen I want, and continue making the other things like Nanoboost to help people eat healthier in a way that works for them.
This also puts us in a conundrum of sorts. How do we price the things we make in a way that’s fair? If we price too high, then we’re being profit driven and decreasing access to people who want and need what we make, but if we price too low, then it becomes unfair to ourselves and our hardworking staff. We remain firm in our beliefs of ethical business, which means living wages, 100% paid health insurance, vision, and dental, 401k, paid time off, no-questions-asked mental health time off, 1 hour paid lunch, Work Hours Reservation System, and everything else that we do to make sure that everyone has a good work-life balance.
These things have costs. If we price too low, then we can’t pay for good wages and everything else we do. If we price low, then we offload the external costs of work onto our employees instead, like the abusive companies of the world do.
The thing is, everything has a cost. Everything. The cost of fast fashion bears the cost of sweatshops and slave labor; the cost of making food as cheap as possible bears the cost of overworked people and dangerous environments. They’re not reflected in the price sitting on the shelves, and are instead reflected as external, invisible costs that are paid for by the workers in broken bones, aching bodies, and much worse.
We are a small, miniscule company in the grand scheme of things. We cannot change the entire supply chain alone. But that doesn’t mean we’re powerless. That doesn’t mean that we can’t lead by example anyway. We are a drop of water in an endless ocean, but still be one drop to add to the increasing and torrential number of voices who stand firm to the belief that workers deserve to be treated fairly, be treated with respect, and be able to live life with a healthy work life balance.
In the end, we set our pricing with what we know our people need. We set it so that we can keep going, and keep making the things that we believe in in the ways that we believe they should be made. We keep our prices as low as we can to keep things as accessible as possible to everyone, while keeping prices at a level that allows us to keep working with the ethical business practices that we refuse to compromise.
I hope this explains some of the thought processes behind how we decide on why and when we change pricing around. As usual, I’ll be able to answer questions on social media, and you can pop in when I’m streaming at (twitch.tv/timjzheng) to ask questions as well.
And before I sign off, just one last reminder that you can use code 23SUB for 23% off one subscription order and to lock in the current price.
Keep being kind, and keep being awesome.
-Tim, CEO/Founder Vite Kitchens