Meal Kits' Biggest Plus

The U.S. meal kit delivery market is on track to generate approximately $1.5 billion in sales this year and grow to a multibillion-dollar market over the next five years, according to a recent report by market research publisher Packaged Facts entitled "Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S." 

Blue Apron is giving us yet another reason to try its offerings: cooking with a meal kit may waste 62 percent less food than grocery store ingredients. Each Blue Apron meal comes with the exact amount needed for each ingredient.  

Fast Company reports that the company asked BSR, a nonprofit focusing on sustainability to look at the data and calculate how much food actually stayed out of landfills. BSR studied a week of Blue Apron meals, measuring how much food came into the company's facility and how much was left as waste after the meal kits were prepped and some extra food was donated to a local nonprofit. Then it compared that to the average waste for those ingredients — based on USDA numbers — in grocery stores. The Blue Apron facility threw out 5.5 percent of food; grocery stores threw out 10.5 percent.  

BNR then surveyed 2,000 Blue Apron customers to find out how much they threw out in meals that week — maybe they didn't like a particular ingredient, or they didn't eat a full meal. Compared with USDA food waste stats for the same ingredients, home cooks threw out 7.6 percent of the food in Blue Apron meals, and would throw out an estimated 23.9 percent to make the same meal from store-bought ingredients. 

The findings of BSR say it all when it calculated the entire path from Blue Apron to the home kitchen: 62 percent less food is wasted at Blue Apron's food prep facility and by consumers than the same meals cooked with grocery store ingredients.

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