Companies Like Blue Apron Making The Lives Of Thousands Of Families A Lot Easier

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s the new trend in fast food for busy families — healthy dinner fixings in a box delivered to your home.

For a long time 24-year-old Katie Sanders struggled with preparing meals for her and her fiancé. How much to get? How much to buy? It got to the point where she just gave up.

“It was basically between microwaving a meal and ordering take out,” Sanders told CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport on Friday.

Now, every week she receives a box of pre-portioned, pre-measured, raw ingredients — the exact amounts — for meals she has chosen online.

They are called meal preparation kits, and they come complete with instructions from a company called Blue Apron, one of several now offering this service.

It’s the latest recipe for success in the meal delivery business.

“Come home from a long day of work and I know it’s there. I’m not dreading this putting together dinner thing. And it doesn’t feel like a chore,” Sanders said.

With everything she needs already there for her, Sanders said all she does is a little slicing, dicing, chopping, and then actually cooks the meal, which on Friday was fresh gnocchi and baby zucchini with crisp squash blossoms.

Matthew Wadiak is the founder of Blue Apron.

“Basically, it’s that great cooking experience you’re looking for without the stress of worrying about what it’s going to be like,” Wadiak said.

“Plated” is another big company in the meal prep delivery business. At its test kitchen, employees said they are always looking to make interesting and delicious food — like seared hangar steak with Japanese ponzu sauce — for $12 a meal.

“They’re all really healthy and they’re all under 700 calories,” Plated culinary director Elana Karp said.

Sanders said her food costs her about $9.99 per meal – for food like flank steak au jus and Harissa-spiced lamb burger — with no shopping and no excess food wasted.

Sanders said she’s eating it up.

Blue Apron said it’s selling 700,000 meals a month. Plated said it’s selling 200,000 per month. A third popular company is “Hello Fresh.”

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