Plant-based meal delivery service Veestro is going green(er). This week the California-based company announced that it has expanded shipping operations and, consequently, will now be offering 100 percent curbside recyclable packaging.
Founded in 2013, Veestro makes vegan frozen meals — think Red Curry Tofu and Chik’n Quesadillas — and ships them directly to consumers’ doorsteps. As of this week it can get to said doorsteps a lot more quickly. The company has begun shipping from its new East Coast distribution center in Delaware (their other center is in L.A.), which means it can now ship its meals to anywhere in the U.S. and have them arrive in under three days.
In addition to expanding Veestro’s production capacity, this new manufacturing facility allowed the company to make the shift to 100 percent recyclable packaging. The company already used compostable carton trays and recyclable plastic pouches for its meals, but now with faster shipping times it’s able to switch over to insulation that can be recycled curbside.
That’s kind of a big deal. Most if not all meal/meal kit delivery services come with a hefty serving of insulation and ice packs to keep your fresh food cold on its journey. While that insulation might technically be recyclable, it often includes a lot of extra steps. Sometimes it even has to be driven to a separate pickup facility. All of which means those cold gel packs and styrofoam insulations typically just end up getting tossed in the trash, and end up in a landfill.
Veestro specifically is capitalizing off of two major food trends we’ve seen a lot of as of late: frozen food and plant-based eating. It’s no secret that demand for plant-based food options — especially convenient ones — is on the rise. By offering frozen meals, Veestro can provide that convenience. It also allows the company to circumnavigate a few of the hurdles meal kit companies are struggling with: it puts food on the table faster (with no prep time), and gives them the flexibility to eat whichever meal they want, when they want. No being locked into having to prepare a specific dish on a specific day.
Veestro isn’t the only company capitalizing on the added flexibility that comes with frozen food. Belgian-based Mealhero sells frozen meal components, though you need its countertop steamer in order to cook them. And high-end frozen pre-prepped meals from the likes of Daily Harvest, Zoni Foods and more are bringing about a frozen food Renaissance. In fact, my colleague Chris predicted that the future of quick meals (and meal kits) just might be frozen.
A pack of 10 Veestro meals will set you back $11.70 per single-serving meal, which isn’t exactly cheap — especially when compared to supermarket frozen meals or vegan meal kit company Purple Carrot. However, since they’re opening up a second fulfillment center, it seems like demand is growing for Veestro’s plant-based meals. Now we’ll see if its new packaging initiative will bring in more green for the company.