Two popular meal kits have joined forces, and now, we’re reaping the benefits. On March 20, HelloFresh announced its acquisition of Green Chef, which means the convenient meal preparation service is now also offering vegan, gluten-free, Keto, and Paleo meals. And now, a few months later, HelloFresh is making bigger moves still by launching a new retail product line available at 581 brick-and-mortar locations throughout the United States. These stores all fall under the Ahold Delhaize U.S. brand’s Giant Food and Stop & Shop, though we may see more partners throughout 2018.
With this new launch, we will now be able to enjoy a range of meal kits that range from $15 to $20 each and include recipes like peppercorn steak, Mediterranean-style chicken, homestyle meatloaf, chickpea couscous, and paprika chicken. All meals contain two servings and promise to take less than 30 minutes to cook, keeping in line with HelloFresh’s existing value proposition.
“How we’ve been embraced by retail brands shows the quality product line HelloFresh has brought to market,” Tobias Hartmann, president for North America at HelloFresh, said in a statement. “HelloFresh strikes a chord with households that want fresh dinners on the table, without artificial ingredients or overly complicated recipes. The addition of retail, a channel well-placed to benefit from the unique data, brand and infrastructure assets we have built out over the years, allows us to better address the everyday needs for even more customers, adding what we view as a highly complementary customer segment.”
The company’s decision to expand into grocery stores is just the latest in its efforts to reach new but complementary audiences, much as it did when acquiring Green Chef. With the addition of Green Chef’s organic menus, customers now have more options with their meals. “Our customers are at the center of our thinking when it comes to offering great dinner experiences. Green Chef has a groundbreaking approach to its organic menus and will be the perfect addition to HelloFresh’s meal plans,” Hartmann said. “HelloFresh will now offer the most customized meal choices to customers and we are excited to welcome Green Chef’s talented team and production resources to HelloFresh.”
While you might think that all meal kits are created equal, Green Chef has proven that this is not quite the case. The company has prided itself on offering 100 percent organic dishes, even down to the sauces and dressings included in the kits. Moreover, Green Chef is friendly to a wide range of dietary restrictions, making it quite easy to feed even the pickiest of dinner guests. When we tried out Green Chef in 2017, we noted that although the “recipes can get complex … many ingredients come ready-made, and most of the work involves chopping, sautéing, and finishing up the recipe.”
“We were the first certified organic and gluten-free meal kit company in the U.S., an important distinction to consumers who are committed to eating organically or are sensitive to gluten,” Michael Joseph, CEO of Green Chef, said in a statement. “With HelloFresh, we will only further amplify our mission to give consumers across the country a simple way to eat and live healthier.”
So what does this mean for other meal kit companies? Should everyone else be quaking in their boots now that two big players have come together as one? Per Andy Levitt, Purple Carrot’s founder and CEO, none of these new changes are all that shocking. “It’s not that surprising to see HelloFresh acquire Green Chef as we’ve been saying for months that brands are looking to find their dance partners as the industry consolidates and remains competitive,” he told Digital Trends. “Identifying cost-efficiencies, optimizing the supply chain, and gaining better customer access are all key elements that should be addressed as more deals continue to take place. The brands that survive and thrive in this category will have a differentiated offering that resonates with consumers.”