In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a bit of an arms race happening in the grocery delivery space right now. Over the past few years, a handful of different startups have emerged that aim to rid you of the hassle of physically traveling to a grocery store to do your shopping.
Broadly speaking, these startups can be split into two categories: On-demand grocery services like Instacart, FreshDirect, etc. that let you shop online and have items delivered to your door, and curated meal kit services like Blue Apron, Plated, and others that send you specific ingredients for meals you cook yourself at home.
HelloFresh is one of the latter, and thanks to a new $50 million Series D funding round led by NYC-based Insight Venture Partners, it might soon be the first startup in this category to offer its services to the entire US.
Here’s how it works: HelloFresh subscribers start by choosing a box that contains anywhere from three to five recipes. From that point on, fresh, seasonal ingredients are delivered once per week directly to the customer’s door. In addition to the ingredients, each box comes with a number of easy-to-follow recipe cards to guide you through the cooking process, and since the ingredients are portioned out into exact quantities, both cooking time and food waste are kept to a minimum. The idea is that unlike on-demand services like Instacart, HelloFresh saves you the trouble of actually shopping for items in any way, be it physically or virtually.
At this point, HelloFresh only delivers its meal kits to customers living in the eastern half of the US (as well as Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Australia), so if you’re like us and happen to live in the western half of the States, you currently can’t sign up. But that’s likely to change in the not-so-distant future.
When asked when we can expect HelloFresh to hit the west, company co-founder Hamish Shepard couldn’t give us a concrete date, but did say the company plans to cover the rest of the US in “the very near future.”
This is great news, since the vast majority of other grocery delivery startups haven’t yet expanded to areas outside the east coast and southern California. So if HelloFresh does fulfill its manifest destiny, it will be one of the first services of it’s type to reach people living in the western region of the country.