For six months, I was an enthusiastic Blue Apron subscriber.
Each week I’d go on the website, eagerly choose my meals, and then spend an hour or so a couple of nights a week preparing dinner for my family by following Blue Apron’s cook-by-number instruction cards.
I liked it. The food was good, I learned new recipes, and it was fun.
But I still canceled. The reason? Life got busy, and it all seemed like just too much work.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who doesn’t have 45 minutes a night to cook, which is why Blue Apron is debuting a new line of Heat & Eat meals that subscribers can microwave and have on the table in five minutes.
The company announced that the new ready-to-eat meals are available to most customers this week and will be available nationwide by November 1st.
From the release:
Heat & Eat meals were crafted to seamlessly complement customers’ Blue Apron Signature weekly recipes, providing them with more choice and flexibility in their weekly routine. Whether they are cooking for one, seeking a quick dinner option or an easy weekday lunch, Heat & Eat meals were designed to make meal decisions a bit easier. Heat & Eat meals are based on some of the company’s most ordered and top-rated dishes, and designed to be warmed in a microwave.
The new Heat & Eat meals will also come in single portions, a departure from the company’s traditional 2 or 4 person serving sizes for their cook-from-recipe meals.
It’s no secret that meal kit companies have long struggled with customer churn; just last year, Blue Apron explored strategic options as it ran short on cash due to high churn. However, the company saw an increase in customers in 2020 as people stayed home and cooked more, and early indications are some of the behavior changes may be permanent.
And now, by expanding their menu of options to include ready-to-eat meals (and adding single-serve portions), there’s a good chance the company will be able to reduce churn. I also suspect they’ll widen their addressable market to the time-crunched professional who cooks for themselves (Tovala’s sweet spot).
Had they had ready-to-eat meals when I was a subscriber, I might have stuck around. And who knows? With their expanded meal options, I might have to give them a second chance.