True Food Innovations, a food technology, CPG and manufacturing company, today announced that it has acquired the assets of meal kit maker, Chef’d, which abruptly shuttered operations earlier this month. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In a statement from the press announcement, Robert T. Jones, President of True Food Innovations — and former SVP of Business Development at Chef’d said:
“We have already developed and are in market with long shelf-life retail meal kits under the brand of True Chef, so we seized the opportunity to acquire the assets and brand of Chef’d as the transaction will be accretive to our business from day one. We believe the retail channel will continue to grow and we will concentrate our efforts on that portion of the Chef’d business.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, Chef’d’s last valuation was $160 million, and the assets being acquired include warehouses in California and New York, as well as deals with two dozen retailers and roughly 200 licensing partnerships.
We named Chef’d as one of our FoodTech 25 earlier this year because of its innovative approach to retail, striking deals to put meal kits in non-traditional food outlets such as drug stores and office fridges.
According to The Journal, True Foods will keep selling meal kits in grocery stores, but “will suspend its sprawling e-commerce offerings while it works to become profitable.”
Chef’d quasi-resurrection is shaping up to be a sort of homecoming. In addition to Robert T. Jones, Sean Butler and Steve Vigilante, two other former Chef’d execs will also play a role in resuscitating the meal kit maker. Butler posted to Linkedin that the duo’s Emerging Brands Studio has partnered with True Foods to “optimize and re-operationlize the assets of Chef’d.” Butler also said that Emerging Brands’ parent company, LIDD Supply Chain Intelligence, helped build many of Chef’d’s key facilities and systems and has Chef’d’s original CTO on its team.
Now we’ll see what these execs can do with with Chef’d when given the reigns. The meal kit space is competitive and with so many grocers already owning their own meal kit companies, Chef’d 2.0 will have to keep innovating to stay alive.