There’s no denying the phenomenon that “meals by mail” has become. Blue Apron has sprinted to the lead and the three year old company is on track to see revenue top $500M this year. Also in the space, Plated has built a substantial business. Purple Carrot, a Needham-based business is shipping vegetarian meal kits.
The convenience of these offerings has proven attractive to huge numbers of customers. These companies pack and ship quality ingredients and introduce customers to a broad range of culinary delights. That’s great, but let’s take a step back and look at what these businesses really do.
Fundamentally, these are “grocery by mail” businesses. This is a new intermediary layer of food infrastructure that curates, portions, packs, and ships groceries to your door. More than 90% of Americans live with range of existing grocery delivery services. Why are we ordering produce via FedEx?
The customer experience, and how we’re different:
You get home, open your box, and you’re ready to cook… right after you dutifully open the 10 items for the meal you’re about to prepare. That’s right, for ~$10/meal, you do the cooking. I like cooking, but I thought the theme here was convenience. In the “meals by mail” model, you cook and you do dishes, including whatever cookware was required. With a typical prep and cook time of 30 minutes and likely the same for cleanup, this convenient box of ingredients has helped you prepare and clean up dinner in an hour.
If you’re going to spend an hour preparing your boxed meal every day, why not spend one hour a week in the grocery store buying the ingredients that you want. I like the idea of these ingredient shippers, but I find the real world value to be low, since you’re still cooking and cleaning. Hence, these are “grocery by mail” businesses. That said, I hope that No Pots & Pans can grow to be a fraction of the size of Blue Apron. Congratulations to the team there!
Why we’re here:
It’s in this competitive environment that I’m launching No Pots & Pans. The real convenience is in having dinner solved. It’s answering the question we’ve all faced, “It’s 3:00. What’s for dinner?”. We’re working hard to bring you on demand service:
- You order.
- We deliver.
- You heat and eat.
No prep. No cleanup. No FedEx groceries.
We prepare meals locally and deliver them to your door (in compostable packaging!). Stick it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and dinner is served.