How I Went from Naysayer to Blue Apron Convert...almost

blue apron photo

It’s true. From working my way through most of the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook to lacto-fermenting at home, I pride myself in doing everything by hand and from scratch. But don’t call me a hipster, please. I’ve been this way since the early 90’s when I discovered Martha Stewart Living.

Naturally, I looked to the recent rise of meal kit delivery services with disdain. “I can’t believe how wasteful you’re being,” I would say judgingly to any friend who admitted they were using such a service. “How could you be so lazy and how can you live with yourself with all the packaging waste??”

Then, a couple weeks ago, my next door neighbor, who was out of town, texted me: “Hey, I forgot to cancel my Blue Apron delivery for the week – do you want it?” Grudgingly, I agreed to take it. If it was already coming, clearly, I didn’t want perfectly good food to go to waste.

Here we go.

I opened up the giant mylar insulated bag inside the box and instantly felt guilty imagining throwing it away later. A single pristinely trimmed celery stalk came in a Ziploc bag that seemed custom tailored to its exact dimensions. A tiny Alice in Wonderland-sized bottle of apple cider vinegar held exactly 2 tablespoons – so cute! The two giant ice packs it came with are still in my freezer because I felt too bad about tossing them.

Still, I soldiered on. The first night, I made delicious Za’atar crusted chicken breasts with Israeli couscous topped with pink lemon sauce. The next night, pan-seared wild caught Alaskan salmon with pickled mustard seeds and potato salad. A couple nights later, Korean-style bao bun sliders with tempura sweet potato.

I have to admit, all were really good. I especially liked the chicken and I even learned some new techniques and about ingredients I’d never tried before like gochujang and pink lemons. It was especially awesome to not have to think about what to make, figure out the shopping list, and go to the grocery store. Removing these factors made preparing a fresh meal at home during the work week much more feasible. After trying it out for the week, I’m 75% convinced, and I’d be at 100% if we could find a solution for the packaging waste – we’re a B-Corp, after all.

As we know from the consumer research we do at BrandIQ, people are all about speed and convenience, but they also want freshly prepared, high quality food for themselves and their families, They get a major sense of accomplishment from cooking a great meal for their loved ones. That would explain why there has been such a huge rise in the number of recipe delivery services out there.

These insights have informed our work with many of our food and beverage clients, including a major pork producer we worked with recently in generating new ideas for grocery aisle fresh pork products.

Interested in hearing more? Have some new products you’d like to test and refine with consumers? Give  us a call or contact us here.