Blue Apron is making its meal boxes available on-demand in NYC

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Guillermo Fernandes/Flickr

Residents of New York City have a new option to order in for dinner, but be warned: assembly is not included. Blue Apron, the popular meal subscription service, is offering up its boxes through on-demand food delivery platforms including GrubHub and Seamless.

Rather than the standard system provided to monthly subscribers that places a box of ready-to-make meals on their doorstep during the week, the Blue Apron boxes ordered through the delivery services by residents of the five boroughs arrive on-demand and in less than an hour.

“This new on-demand product is a complement to our core offering, giving consumer — for the first time — the option to have a Blue Apron meal delivered to their doorstep in less than an hour,” Blue Apron CEO Brad Dickerson said in a statement.

The service marks the latest in the company’s attempts to make its meal boxes more accessible. It has also been working with Costco and grocery stores to explore making its curated offerings available in stores. Blue Apron has stiff competition in the meal delivery market from the likes of Plated and Hello Fresh.

The meal boxes will serve between two to four people and will cost between $19 and $38 depending on the dish and serving size. When ordering, you’ll have to factor in a $4 delivery fee — a pretty steep premium for a meal that you’ll still have to make yourself once it arrives. Blue Apron plans on enticing new customers by offering a 40 percent off coupon for your first order.

Blue Apron has been trying to cut down on the meal preparation times for many of its meals — the company introduced options that could be made in 30 minutes or less and would require less cleanup, per CNBC. The boxes delivered via GrubHub and Seamless continue in that tradition, and should only take about 15 to 25 minutes to cook.

One downside to ordering Blue Apron on-demand, other than needing to cook it yourself, is the fact that deliveries are only available during a small window. The company is offering delivery between 4:00 pm and 8:45 pm in New York City. That may expand — as may the markets the service is available in — sometime in the future, but for now, Blue Apron is primarily for those who are looking to make a meal during traditional dinner hours.

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