Digital and mobile meal planning service eMeals has introduced what it says is the first choose-your-food-style meal kit solution as well as the first that works with local grocery pickup and delivery partners, providing variety, flexibility and affordability not available from other meal kit services. Subscribers can select from 15 different eating styles ranging from Quick & Healthy to Paleo, Clean Eating, Low Calorie, Classic Meals and even Diabetic, Gluten Free and Vegetarian, and can personalize each week’s menus by selecting meals from any of the food styles or substituting favorites from previous weeks. Curbside pickup at Walmart and Kroger or delivery by Instacart is available with a tap, with more stores and delivery services to be added.
Benefits of the new meal kit model, according to eMeals, include:
- Ten times the variety. eMeals accommodates different dietary needs and preferences. Subscribers can select from 15 meal styles—each offering seven entrée-and-side-dish menus a week—and switch to different plans at any time. In addition, instead of choosing from a handful of recipes, subscribers can choose any of the 100 new weekly recipes from the 15 meal styles or use favorites from their eMeals Recipe Box.
- Half the food cost. At an average per-serving food cost of $5 for families and $7 for couples, dinners through eMeals cost up to 50 percent less than other meal kit services by using local grocery providers and eliminating the expense of measuring and packaging ingredients for each recipe. Consumers buy only the groceries they need along with the eMeals subscription, which costs $5 per month for seven curated dinner menus every week.
- Everything-you-need grocery lists. Once the week’s meals are chosen, eMeals automatically populates the weekly shopping list with the necessary ingredients. Subscribers also can delete unneeded ingredients or add items such as cereal and toilet paper to the grocery list, a feature that eliminates extra shopping trips and is unavailable with traditional meal kits.
- Less packaging waste. Ingredients come in standard packaging rather than recipe portions, so if you have enough noodles or nuts from your last order, simply remove them from the list. Eliminating pre-portioned ingredients as well as shipping containers and cooling packets reduces the packaging waste typical with other meal kits.
- Multiple local pickup and delivery options. eMeals is integrated with Walmart Grocery, Kroger ClickList and Instacart, enabling one-click grocery ordering for curbside pickup or home delivery at the time and date of the subscriber’s choosing. Subscribers also have the option of doing the shopping themselves.
- Fast and easy cooking. All eMeals recipes are fast and easy to prepare with instructions available in the eMeals app or on the website, avoiding the cooking time and complexity of some other meal kits. The Quick & Healthy meal plan, for example, offers dinner entrees with no more than eight ingredients plus side dishes that go from stove to table in 30 minutes or less.
A survey of early eMeals meal kit customers using Walmart Grocery indicates that more than 90 percent plan to continue the service, with more than half stating that they “can’t imagine life without it.” The service also is driving online grocery adoption, with 55 percent of those surveyed saying they used Walmart Grocery for the first time by sending their shopping list from eMeals with a click and then driving up to a special kiosk at Walmart to have their pre-picked groceries loaded directly into their vehicles.
“Over the past decade, we’ve provided millions of weekly meal plans to consumers across the country, which naturally led to our expansion into the meal kit space,” said eMeals CEO Forrest Collier. “Because of our experience and our use of grocery delivery and pickup partners, no other meal kit provider has the same food style variety, depth of recipes and shopping affordability. We are the perfect solution for people who want the convenience of meal kits but with lower cost and more personalized choices.”