Founded in 1995 by CEO Jill Blashack Strahan, Tastefully Simple is a gourmet food and gifts company. The company’s products are marketed by independent distributors primarily through in-home party demonstrations./p>

Tastefully Simple’s mission is to “provide exceptional tasting experiences and lifestyle solutions through simple, delicious food and enriching business opportunities.” The company’s headquarters are located in Alexandria, Minnesota. Tastefully Simple generates between $50 to $100 million in global sales revenue each year.

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The Good

  • Variety of products
  • Multiple starter kit options
  • Ability to earn free products
  • Upstanding DSA member

Variety of Products

Tastefully Simple offers delicious food items that require less than 2 items in order to prepare. Its gourmet product line features a variety of mixes for breads, soups, beverages, side dishes, dips, condiments, and desserts. The company also offers mixes for sauces, spreads, condiments, salad dressings, and oils. In addition to foods, Tastefully Simple sells gift items for holidays and special occasions. The products are sampled at in-home party demonstrations conducted by independent distributors.

Multiple Starter Kit Options

Tastefully Simple offers multiple starter kit options. These kits range in price from $170 to $239.95 and allow independent distributors to save 20 percent or more on future product orders, business materials, and product samples. Tastefully Simple also offers its new enrollees two months of free access to its online marketing suite and ProPay system. Distributors have the ability to earn up to 30 percent commission on retail product sales, as well as numerous other financial incentives and bonuses.

Ability to Earn Free Products

Party hosts can earn up to $165 in free products, depending on total sales volume. Tastefully Simple also offers a 15-order bonus, which gives party hosts an additional $15 worth of free products for every 15 orders. Party hosts and guests are eligible to receive a 50 percent discount on up to five items when party sales volume reaches over $1,000. Shipping is free for parties that achieve $500 or more in total sales volume. Party host rewards begin when the in-home gourmet food demonstrations reach a minimum of $200 in total sales volume.

Upstanding DSA Member

Tastefully Simple is also an upstanding member of the Direct Selling Association and abides fully with its strict Code of Ethics. Overall, it appears that the multi-level marketing company is a legitimate and trustworthy gourmet food and gifts company with 20 years of experience in the direct selling industry.

The Bad

  • Purchase minimums
  • Heavily reliant on recruitment
  • Limited sales and marketing training
  • Time-consuming

Purchase Minimums

In order for independent distributors to maintain an active status and be qualified to receive commissions and other financial incentives, they must purchase at least $400 worth of Tastefully Simple products each business quarter. The company does not provide an income earnings disclosure statement on its corporate website, so there is no way to determine the actual annual earnings of a Tastefully Simple distributor. The expected revenue for an independent distributor after selling $1,000 worth of products is lower than the average payout of similar multi-level marketing companies. However, the expected revenue after selling $10,000 worth of products is higher than that of similar companies.

Heavily Reliant on Recruitment

Tastefully Simple relies heavily on recruitment efforts. This usually means that independent distributors are expected to market the product line and business opportunity to family and friends. However, this is typically not an effective long-term business strategy.

Limited Sales and Marketing Training

While Tastefully Simple does offer its distributors some basic business training, it does not offer business education on advanced sales and marketing techniques. This can be discouraging because individuals who do not have a strong background in these are generally fail-or-quit in their new business ventures within the first 3 to 6 months.

Time Consuming

This business is built for people with strong social skills who enjoy mingling in large group settings. In order to build a sustainable income, distributors need to host about four parties per week, which means that this business opportunity also takes up a large chunk of time at night and on weekends, which may not be suitable for some individuals. Those individuals who do not fit this description may want to seek out an alternative multi-level marketing company better suited for their unique needs.

The Bottom Line

Tastefully Simple is a gourmet food and gift company with over 20 years of experience in the multi-level marketing industry. The company is also an upstanding member of the Direct Selling Association. Tastefully Simple's independent distributors have the ability to earn up to 30 percent commission for retail product sales, as well as numerous other financial incentives and bonuses. However, Tastefully Simple does not disclose the actual earnings of its independent distributors. Additionally, the company does not provide advanced sales and marketing training.

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