Busy parents and uncreative chefs alike constantly grapple with the question of what to make for dinner.
Jane DeLaney and Jenny Cochran created eMeals partially to help answer that question in the form of a subscription-based meal planning, budgeting, and shopping service. You tell the app what you want for dinner, and it offers a variety of plans to choose from.
But even us busy folks want to try something new once in a while, and eMeals just made that possible on top of everything else it offers. Just today, the company announced a partnership with publishing powerhouse Meredith Corporation. Together, the two companies will integrate select Meredith brands with the eMeals app by providing users with recipes hand-picked by editors.
Through the partnership, eMeals users will get access to additional recipes curated by editors at Allrecipes, Better Homes & Gardens, and EatingWell. Those recipes will be available through the eMeals platform, just like any other. At the same time, readers of those publications will get a chance to experience the simplicity of the eMeals platform. eMeals CEO Forrest Collier broke it down simply when we spoke on the phone: “[The partnership] gives their users a different way to access the content in a more practical way. And for our users, it gives them even more options.”
That means an eMeals user on the Classic Meals plan could toggle back and forth between those options and the ones from the EatingWell feed. Or a diabetic user could get a much simpler, more streamlined look at Allrecipes (which is enormous) to find new and interesting dishes that also fit within their dietary needs.
Other elements of the eMeals service will remain the same. You’ll still be able to add extra household staples like milk and toothpaste to your orders, and those orders will still be available for delivery or pickup, if you so desire.
As I recently wrote, eMeals is something of a cross between a meal kit and a creating dinner from scratch. Collier calls the company “Meal Kit 2.0,” or “the meal kit alternative.” As he noted during our conversation, a lot of people simply don’t want to pay $10 per person for dinner multiple times a week. He also points to the oft-debated issue of how “convenient” a meal kit actually is: “For a lot of [people], the recipes lean more difficult. Even though someone cut up your garlic cloves, it’s still a lot of steps, a lot of ingredients.”
And sure, with a service like eMeals, no one’s going to measure out your teaspoon of curry powder for you. But with many plans, the recipes can be considerably simpler to put together. For example, this week’s Quick features six dinners that take no more than 30 minutes total, along with one slow-cooker stew. Several recipes repeat ingredients, as well. “We give all the convenience. We solve the affordability, we solve the variety,” says Collier, adding that “everything in the grocery store is a possibility.”
The partnership with Meredith also addresses an entirely different issue, which is curation. For some people, even sitting down to pick through the many plans eMeals offers is a time burden. So editors basically telling you what you can or should eat simplifies the process even more without sacrificing the variety eMeals is known for.
Whether this type of platform becomes the new standard in meal planning is yet to be determined. But seeing as I can use it to choose food, buy ingredients, get them delivered, and get the blessing of Better Homes & Gardens without ever leaving my armchair, I’d say eMeals has taken a big step in ushering in the future of recipes.