Purple Carrot, a Boston-based company that sells vegan meal kits has announced on Wednesday a new partnership with Whole Foods. The company will start selling three types of meal kits with premeasured ingredients in Whole Foods stores across the country.
Purple Carrot’s meal kits is a startup program founded two years ago and which has relied on an e-commerce subscription model to sell its products. The same model was adopted by a number of companies that offer meal kits to interested customers such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Chef’d. Those interested usually had to sign-up on the company’s website to receive a box of perishable food items. The box includes all the necessary ingredients and in enough amount to cook a restaurant-quality meal.
This subscription-based business model was until recently untapped in the food industry. Gradually it has become quite an attractive market. Startup companies have managed to raise over $650 million in venture funds and the whole industry is worth $1.5 billion, according to a report from Packaged Facts.
One major benefit of buying ingredients through a subscription service is that customers can save time by not needing to go to a supermarket and even avoid food waste by delivering the right amount of ingredients for a meal. In this regards, it seems a bit counterintuitive to sell the meal kits in Whole Foods. However, according to Purple Carrot’s CEO, Andy Levitt, Whole Foods’ ethos matches with their company, by recognizing that customers want convenience without sacrificing the quality and nutrition of a meal.
From this new partnership, Whole Foods manages to tap into a new profitable trend and an overall industry while Purple Carrot hopes that their in-store meal kits will reach a larger audience who will subscribe to their service. The program will start this week and the available meal kits include cashew korma with cauliflower rice, pan seared tofu and black rice noodles as well as Mongolian seitan stir fry. All the meal kits will cost $19.99, which is slightly lower than through the subscription service as there is no shipping cost.
A number of other grocery companies like Giant, Peapod and even Amazon’s food delivery service Fresh, have started to catch up with this trend and have started selling meal kits with premeasured ingredients.
Image source: Purple Carrot