Austin, TX-based Snap Kitchen has doubled-down on its e-commerce goals and expanded to 15 U.S. cities, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Snap Kitchen, who sells fresh, healthy grab-and-go meals, started out as a retail company in 2010 and operates 34 brick-and-mortar locations across Austin, Philadelphia, Houston, and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
But the company’s model of late has been to focus on growing the e-commerce side of its business, hence the recent expansion of its direct-to-consumer meal delivery subscription service, which is now available in Baltimore, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C., to name a few. Snap Kitchen Chief Executive Jon Carter told the Houston Chronicle that the company wouldn’t be opening any new retail stores for now, adding that “our model moving forward is to be asset light in our retail presence.”
On its website, Snap Kitchen touts itself as a service for healthy eating, and all of its ready-to-eat meals are free of antibiotics, hormones, artificial preservatives, and gluten. Customers can choose from a number of “lifestyle plans” on the menu that include vegetarian, keto, and low carb. Customers use the Snap Kitchen website or iOS app to pick and manage their subscriptions. All foods are shipped chilled rather than frozen and are ready to eat upon arrival.
Price-wise, Snap Kitchen offers six- to 12-meal boxes that cost between $3.99 to $12.99 per meal. That’s about on par with Kettlebell Kitchen, who also delivers prepared meals, but higher than Icon Meals, whose service ranges from about $7 to $11 per prepared meal.
And those are just a couple of the competitors Snap Kitchen will face as it further expands into the meal delivery market. With the future of traditional meal kits — that is, ingredient kits where customers actually prep and cook the food themselves a la Blue Apron — still uncertain, many companies are starting to offer options for prepared meals. Sun Basket recently added new products that can be quickly assembled for meals like lunch, where there’s often less time to prep food. Kroger and Home Chef are piloting a program for new heat-and-serve meals as well as lunch options, and while the latter’s offerings are only available in retail stores at the moment, the speak to recent findings from NPD: that opportunities in meal delivery are no longer just about providing dinner options.
When it comes to Snap Kitchen’s expansion, Carter told the Houston Chronicle that his company is “prepared to increase its kitchen production by 50 percent to 100 percent” and to “make production more predictable and reduce waste.” Now we’ll see if those goals plus a wider footprint across the U.S. will be enough to keep the company competitive in the meal delivery market.