Online Services Offer Consumers Ready-To-Cook Ingredients

Blue Apron offers consumers fresh foods ordered online and delivered to their doors.
Blue Apron offers consumers fresh foods ordered online and delivered to their doors.

Busy consumers feel like they have less time than ever to do the basics, like meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. To solve this problem, some innovative new online services have taken the gruntwork out of meal-related tasks, to help consumers enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals without the hassle. They put together meals based on consumer lifestyles and diets, the number of people who need to be fed per family and location. Then, they ship the box of ingredients to your door with a meal recipe. All consumers have to do is put the meal together.

Each service offers optional automated, weekly delivery with no minimum obligation and allows customers to skip weeks they don’t need deliveries.

BlueApron.com

With meals starting at $9.99 per person, Blue Apron keeps the options healthy, at 500 to 700 calories per serving. Most meals take 35 minutes to prepare, on average. Pre-portioned ingredients save time and reduce waste, and each meal includes easy-to-follow, printed recipe cards

Blue Apron says it offers “Premium seasonal ingredients from artisanal purveyors, with an emphasis on sustainable practices.” It claims its meals include specialty ingredients consumers can’t find on their own, that are “fresher than the supermarket.”

It delivers to the eastern and western halfs of the U.S., including 25 states and parts of 15 states.

HelloFresh.com

Delivering to the entire Eastern half of the U.S., including 30 states, Hello Fresh offers Omnivore and Herbivore meals starting at $9.08 per person. It also provides opportunities for e-Giftcards, so customers can send meals to others. HelloFresh has been in business since 2012 and has delivered more than 10 million meals since then.

Its website touts food waste as a reason to subscribe to its services:

“Did you know that the average American throws away 40 percent of the food they buy? With HelloFresh we eliminate excess waste by providing you with the exact, premeasured ingredients you need to make a complete meal. We deliver everything from the first pinch of spice, to the last garnish of herbs! Not to mention we save you from aimlessly purchasing extra food at the grocery store!”

Plated.com

Delivering to 80 percent of the continental U.S., Plated meals are slightly pricier, at $12 per plate. As a perk, members get discounted plate pricing, saving $3 per plate.

Plated emphasizes social responsibility and sustainability by using local and seasonal produce, and sourcing meats from local, family-owned purveyors. It partners with sustainably responsible companies like Sea to Table to make sure its fish is always fresh, and wild-caught when possible.

Recipes come in a 100 percent recyclable, biodegradable box, with ingredients packed fresh and pre-portioned to cut back on waste.

Could These Be Your Customer Or Your Competitor?

Most of these services boast that they use fresh, sustainable and locally grown or produced ingredients. Could they be potential customers for greenhouse veggie growers?

Another option: Cut out the food miles for these delivery services and and join forces with local meat and fish producers to create your own recipes and offer wholesome, pre-packaged meals. You could sell at farmers’ markets or local retail grocers. Throw in a local brew or bottle of wine to increase your margin.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Grow Initiative...

May 23, 2017

6 Simple Ways to Acquire New Customers

Even the most successful brands need new customers if they want to grow their business, or stay profitable.

Read More
Tyler Beasley

May 21, 2017

Final California Spring Trials Thoughts From Allan Armitage Scholarship Winner Tyler Beasley

“I went home from California Spring Trials realizing that the students enrolled in our Greenhouse Management program at Spokane Community College need to experience the trials. Attending opened many doors of opportunity for me.”

Read More
Cannabis Adobe Stock feature

May 1, 2017

Why I Turned Down a High-Paying Offer to Grow Cannabis (More Than Once)

Young growers have passion for all aspects of organic and sustainable growing. The key to not losing them to the cannabis industry, according to Kelly Vance, a Technical Consultant for Beneficial Insectary, may be nurturing their interests in these fields by aligning greenhouse production with sustainable growing practices.

Read More
Latest Stories

May 23, 2017

6 Simple Ways to Acquire New Customers

Even the most successful brands need new customers if they want to grow their business, or stay profitable.

Read More
Tyler Beasley

May 21, 2017

Final California Spring Trials Thoughts From Allan Armi…

“I went home from California Spring Trials realizing that the students enrolled in our Greenhouse Management program at Spokane Community College need to experience the trials. Attending opened many doors of opportunity for me.”

Read More
Cannabis Adobe Stock feature

May 1, 2017

Why I Turned Down a High-Paying Offer to Grow Cannabis …

Young growers have passion for all aspects of organic and sustainable growing. The key to not losing them to the cannabis industry, according to Kelly Vance, a Technical Consultant for Beneficial Insectary, may be nurturing their interests in these fields by aligning greenhouse production with sustainable growing practices.

Read More
National Collegiate Landscape Competition Feature

April 27, 2017

Hoffman Nursery Cheers On the Next Generation of Hortic…

Hoffman Nursery was a sponsor of the recent 41st National Collegiate Landscape Competition, an event that offers several opportunities for companies in the green industry to meet and recruit the next-generation of horticulturists.

Read More
Kaylee South

April 22, 2017

American Floral Endowment Announces Winners of 2017 Pau…

Four students pursuing careers in horticulture now have scholarships to help them along the way, thanks to the American Floral Endowment.

Read More
Basil Planting feature

March 29, 2017

How You Can Embrace Greenhouse Food Production With Con…

Maintaining balance, learning continuously, and seeking support will help make your transition into producing greenhouse food crops a smooth one.

Read More
If your Wi-Fi is truly secure, your staff can help customers on the sales floor starting today

March 25, 2017

What Marketing Approach Can Attracts the Most Customers…

Inc.com surveyed more than a thousand customers to find out which marketing strategies worked best to entice them to try out a new business

Read More
Greenhouse Loyal Customer

March 16, 2017

How Brand Enthusiasts Can Be Your Most Loyal Customers

A marketing expert shares three core principles that direct-to-consumer companies can follow to create brand enthusiasts.

Read More

February 17, 2017

How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…

A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.

Read More

January 27, 2017

Why Greenhouse Growers Must Know Their Costs to Stay Co…

Tom Dudek, Senior Educator at Michigan State University Extension, says greenhouse growers should evaluate their production costs to determine if they need to make adjustments to stay competitive.

Read More
Workplace Trends

January 20, 2017

10 Trends Predicted to Impact the Workplace in 2017

Here are 10 workplace trends that Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel predicts for 2017 that may change the way you do business in the future

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting …

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
GROW Logo

December 28, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative: A Year In Review

Staying ahead of the competition in today’s world is about remaining in constant motion with innovation. To create a competitive advantage, you must consistently experiment with and learn from new ideas. Greenhouse Grower’s GROW initiative provided cutting-edge ideas and actionable advice.

Read More
Grow Summit 2016 group shot

December 20, 2016

Less Talk, More Action At Greenhouse Grower’s GRO…

Investing in technology, developing new marketing solutions, and recruiting young growers were just a few of the issues covered at GROW Summit 2016.

Read More
Dramm-Echter-Pink-Gerbera-Daisies

November 22, 2016

Dramm & Echter Donates Pink Gerbera Daisies During …

“As a local flower farm, we are honored to show our support by sharing symbolic pink flowers with each participant as they reach the midway point on their amazing journey,” says Bob Echter, Owner of Dramm & Echter.

Read More
deming-pdsa-cycle

November 21, 2016

How The PDSA Cycle Can Help You Improve Your Business

No successful business stays stagnant, which means you should constantly be looking for ways to make improvements to your business and your products. Are you looking for a good model to follow? Try the PDSA Cycle.

Read More
afe-fundraising-dinner

November 17, 2016

AFE Fundraising Dinner Celebrates Success, Raises Almos…

The American Floral Endowment’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner, did more than just honor industry champions. It also raised nearly $20,000 for the future of floriculture programs.

Read More
hoffman-nursery-owners

November 9, 2016

How Hoffman Nursery Invests In The Future Of The Greenh…

Hoffman Nursery believes in the future leaders of horticulture, and the operation invests in several programs to cultivate young people in their careers.

Read More