The future of Blue Apron

Curious about the future of cooking, cuisine planning, and home delivery options? I’ve figured out the obvious meal kit delivery killer feature, coming to an anonymous white delivery van in your neighborhood soon!

Blue Apron – Tasty Convenience

We recently signed up for one of the many meal kit delivery services – which ship you both a recipe and all the individually packaged ingredients for you to cook the meal yourself.

Due to a crazy family schedule, we signed up for Blue Apron, using a friend’s discount code. They’re surprisingly tasty and pretty easy to follow the directions, and many meals are only half an hour. They also offer – unlike some other meal delivery services – paired wine ideas, using their own categories like Crisp & Minerally or Lush & Fruity. The wine comes in cute 500ml bottles, and about half of the selections are custom to Blue Apron. The one thing I do like about the wine pairing is the categories: they are a great way to get a very good table wine that matches your meal.

You certainly pay for the convenience, although not as much as you might think if you’re someone who’s picky about shopping for really nice meat and produce. The one drawback is packaging: there’s a lot of it. They do offer prepaid labels for returning at least two boxes and all materials, which they’ll recycle; since we have all-types curbside recycling we just recycle everything locally (except the cold packs).

Most of the recipes are around 30 – 45 minutes, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the results. I also like cooking and following recipes (I’m a baker at heart), so it’s been a good experience for us on the weeks where our family schedule needs happy, healthy meals but doesn’t make shopping easy some weeks.

The Logical Future of Meal Kit Delivery

Thinking through the important aspects – there are a bunch, but the most important is convenience – I think there’s an obvious next step for Blue Apron or one of the other major meal kit delivery services. Beyond the obvious step of getting bought by Amazon, that is.

Any guesses?

Take Amazon and their new ownership of Whole Foods. Purchase one of the meal kit delivery companies – either directly, or through hiring expertise in the menu planning, fresh food sourcing, and marketing sides. Add in Amazon Key, which connects the Amazon delivery driver to an Alexa-connected camera and a smart lock, which will soon Amazon Logistics to deliver packages inside your home by unlocking the door.

That’s all great, but if we’re talking about convenience, what’s the next step? I’m not talking about pre-cooked items because there are plenty of people who like the process of cooking or want to customize things. Getting the home delivery of the nicely packaged kits is great, except… it’s still a big box full of little plastic bags and boxes.

What if Amazon could deliver each meal, separately bagged?

What if they could deliver it and unpack it into your fridge? That would save on your recycling too since you wouldn’t have to wonder what to do with the endless cold packs.

But who has a fridge with enough space for the delivery person to put the meal kits into it without fiddling with the mustard and moving the jam?

Think it through, and the answer is obvious.

The Amazon Bowl Smart Fridge. Sign up for recurring deliveries of in-home delivered kit meals, and they lease you a mini-fridge with three or five custom shelves. When delivered, each meal goes on a shelf. When you’re done cooking, you just leave any recycling on each shelf, and next week the recycling is automatically picked up for you!

What do you think? Is it time to invest in high-efficiency small refrigeration technologies?

#NaBlWriMo

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