Home Chef Introduces Easy-Prep Lunch Kits

Randy Hofbauer
Digital and Technology Editor

Meal-kit-delivery service Home Chef has entered the lunch category with its new 5 Minute Lunches, designed to provide a quick, healthful meal option that cuts down on preparation time.

The lunches, which began shipping last week, include a selection of quality sandwiches and salads that require no cooking and can be assembled at home or on the go in five minutes or less. They complement the Chicago-based service’s weekly offering of 11 dinner recipes, including carb- and calorie-conscious dishes, as well as options for those with dietary restrictions or preferences, including meals without soy, wheat, dairy and other ingredients that those with sensitivities or allergies should avoid.

A new 5 Minute Lunch menu will be available each week to order from, including a Cranberry & Blue Cheese Chicken Salad and a Chicken Pesto Ciabatta Sandwich.

“By introducing five-minute meal options, we’re hoping to make over America’s lunch hour,” said Pat Vihtelic, CEO and founder of Home Chef. “No longer are you restricted to lunch spots near your office, leftovers from the night before or high delivery fees. Home Chef now offers an innovative way to enjoy lunch -- a healthy meal that you can quickly assemble on the go that costs less than $8.”

Although price is the ultimate complaint that users and nonusers of meal kits typically share, preparation time also is a frequently mentioned nuisance. According to Fayetteville, Ark.-based research firm Field Agent, almost one in five people who have used meal kits find the amount of time needed to prepare them a key drawback.

While success for Home Chef’s new offerings arguably will rest mostly on their cost-friendliness, the lunch kits could very well resonate with those seeking simplicity, one of six necessities a meal-kit provider must offer. Kits shouldn't have too many ingredients or complicated recipes, and should be able to be prepared by anyone, regardless of skill level or kitchen-savviness.

This truth was shared by Home Chef Chief Revenue Officer Rich DeNardis in a recent interview with Progressive Grocer, when he noted that his company engineers its recipes for easy preparation and appeal to cooks of all capabilities.

“As convenience is critical to the meal-kit customer, a great deal of effort is required to test and hone recipes that are sure to be easy to execute,” DeNardis said.

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