- Freshly is adding to its prepared meals selection with limited-edition offerings from four chefs, the company announced on Monday.
- Each of the four chefs’ meals will be available for 10 weeks, starting with Jet Tila’s Kung Pao steak with basmati rice and toasted cashews on April 5. Kwame Onwuachi’s escovitch steak with jerk broccoli, peppers and coconut rice will debut in June, followed by Sean Brock’s oven-roasted pork chop in August and Kristen Kish’s sliced beef brisket in October.
- Chef’s Special by Freshly comes at a time when the meal delivery company is looking to grow in the increasingly crowded prepared meals space.
Freshly wants to bring restaurant-style meals to people’s homes, and the collaboration with four chefs, who reflect a diversity of cuisine and cultures, gives its consumers new flavors to try.
“In the past year, there’s been a steady increase in interest for craft and artisanal food from consumers looking to liven up their pandemic pantries,” Mike Wystrach, Freshly’s founder and CEO, said in the announcement. “This appetite for authentic food experiences only continues to grow as consumer tastes and preferences evolve.”
By coupling the chef-made meals with a limited time window of 10 weeks each, Freshly is able to charge a premium on their offerings. Each Chef’s Special meal costs $9.98 — $1.49 more than its regular meals.
The new meals follow the launch of FreshlyFit, lower-carb, protein-packed lunch and dinner entrees, at the start of 2021. Like FreshlyFit’s health-focused offerings, Chef’s Special is also being promoted as having better-for-you, whole-food ingredients, building on the company’s emphasis on nutrition.
In the past few months, the New York-based company, which was bought by Nestlé late last year, has been expanding its operations. The opening of facilities in Commerce, California, and Austell, Georgia, have increase the company’s production and order fulfillment capacity. The meal delivery startup said earlier this year that it plans to open more facilities in other, as-yet-undisclosed locations in 2021.
In March, Freshly brought on Anna Fabrega, who previously was managing director of Amazon Go brick-and-mortar stores and oversaw the Amazon Kitchen private label fresh foods businesses, as its first chief commercialization officer to help the company scale. Currently, Freshly offers more than 35 meals and ships more than 1 million meals per week across 48 states.
The prepared meals space has become increasingly crowded as grocers, like The Giant Company and Giant Food, ramp up their offerings and ready-made meal delivery companies like Thistle rake in new funding. New York-based CookUnity, which delivers chef-made meals, announced in January that it raised $15.5 million to fuel expansion across North America and boost its marketing.