Amazon entered the meal kit delivery game and Blue Apron’s stock doesn’t look great, but that hasn’t stopped other competitors from continuing to diversify their offerings and partner with big names. The newest brand to jump into the fray is Coca-Cola, partnering with self-described “online gourmet meal kit provider” Chef’d to send consumers meal kits that include pairings of Coke or another Coca-Cola owned product with the meal.
According to an interview with Beverage Daily, Coca-Cola has dipped its toes into the dinner space before but the partnership with Chef’d is the first official commercial activity. The meal kits, called “Daily Meal Inspirations” include meals like Beef Short Ribs paired with a bottle of Coke to roasted chicken with Dasani sparkling water. The meals range from $27-$42 for two people (not the cheapest meal kit offering out there) and can be ordered on the Chef’d site.
Given a number of meal kit companies trying to capture consumer mindshare, it’s not surprising to see brands like Coca-Cola try to capitalize. But this partnership isn’t the most robust in terms of delivering something truly unique – and do consumers want a can of soda sent with their meal for a premium price? Maybe. It seems like Coke and Chef’d are trying to recreate the convenience of a restaurant experience – a meal and a drink – but instead of being delivered, fully prepared and cooked, by a waiter, it’s being shipped in a box in ingredient form to your front door.
Chef’d’s big claim to meal kit fame is their lack of a subscription model, allowing consumers to choose from over 300 online recipes and have them shipped to their doorstep as soon as the next day. The meals come portioned for two or four people and the company has offerings from gluten-free to vegan.
They do offer a meal plan – aka a subscription service – for customers who want a regular box delivered, but the on-demand style gives people who don’t want the commitment but do like the convenience or variety a meal kit service offers. So the new Coke meals will be available to consumers without a subscription attached, which may be one of the reasons the brand chose Chef’d as its first meal kit partner.
Chef’d has attracted other name brands in Big Food, including receiving a recent Series B investment round from Campbell’s for $10 million. Their total funding raised to date is just over $27 million.