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February 19, 2013

With $3 Million in Venture Capital, Blue Apron Makes Meal Planning Easy

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

Meal planning and shopping for ingredients can be a time-consuming undertaking for anyone, especially for professionals who are trying to juggle their work life with their home life. Most people don’t want to fall into the trap of highly processed frozen meals and fast food, but it is an easy habit to slide into for those who don’t have the time. Recognizing this, Blue Apron has developed a solution: delivery of packages containing all of the ingredients necessary to complete an enclosed recipe. At $9.99 per person per meal, it can be a cost-effective solution for those who have had to rely on carryout.

Now, the company will be growing: it just received an infusion of cash to the tune of $3 million in venture capital from investors that include First Round Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners. Other investors include: the co-founders of Invite Media (News - Alert), the founder of Seamless, Graph Investments, David Tisch, and the founder of Yipit.

It is currently offered on the East Coast, and it scored high marks with The New York Times for its inclusion of fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. Blue Apron’s cofounder and CEO, Matt Salzberg, says that it is also a great solution not only for people who don’t have the time to sit down and plan their meals for the week (or risk countless returns to the grocery store for failing to plan effectively), but also for people who are learning how to cook; “Aside from the convenience and cost-effectiveness to cook this way, it is an incredible learning experience that can teach you new foods that you haven’t cooked before.”

 Erin Griffith of PandoDaily describes the meal kits as “perfectly portioned,” seasonal, “healthy,” “exotic” ingredients delivered in a cold pack, accompanied by “ambitious recipes, simplified for amateurs into 35-minute cook times and printed on beautiful, clear recipe cards.”

According to All Things D, Blue Apron is currently shipping about 6,000 meals each week. It is part of a growing trend to provide busy people with the ability to prepare fresh meals with wholesome ingredients for themselves and their families. Helping people to get out of the cycle of processed foods will, with any luck, help combat America’s obesity problem by eliminating processed foods from the diets of busy people, and help families come together to actually enjoy their meals.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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