A pair of new meal kits have launched to tap niche lifestyles with mail-order food.
Even in the wake of the horrific Daily Harvest foodborne illness outbreak, there continues to be a steady stream of brands looking to push into their customers’ homebound habits with some manner of meal kit.
Nurra, a new offering from Minnesota-based Life Time, looks to cozy up with healthy meal preppers. It offers a range of 25 meals all prepared and ready for the microwave. The plan runs from four substantial- and healthy-looking meals a week, for $68 plus shipping, to $240 per week for 20 meals (and free shipping).
All the meals were created by Life Time Executive Chef Ryan Dodge and extend the healthy lifestyle outside the fitness clubs. They all feature food you might find at the lifestyle clubs: healthy, hearty and tailored to different healthy diets.
“At Life Time, we know how important exercise and movement are to live a healthy, happy life, but I always say that the fork is the most important piece of equipment you use each day for your health,” said Dodge.
All the meals are created at a commissary kitchen and delivered once or twice per week depending on the plan. A representative at the company said they are “a great compliment to the Life Time healthy living ecosystem. For example, if you’re a busy professional working with a personal trainer and don’t have time to meal prep, this is a great resource to have healthy meals delivered straight to your door.”
The company didn’t say how long the pilot would continue or how it might scale up to its more than 150 fitness clubs across the country.
At the potentially less utilitarian end of the meal kit industry, Eleven Madison Home offers a spendy vegan splurge. The kits are currently being delivered throughout Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Chef Daniel Humm, who reopened Eleven Madison Park in 2021, said the box helps address the relationship between food and climate.
“What could be the impact if we all ate plant-based food more often? We don’t need to eat like this every day, but just one day per week can have an immediate positive effect. It’s not a new idea, but it has become more urgent. So, let’s start with one day,” wrote Humm.
The offering from legendary restaurant (Do you mean to say restaurateur?) turned vegan is not cheap. For $150 ($285 for two people), customers can get “one day of ready-to-eat meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, soup and snacks” according to the company website.
Customers can also “enhance” their box with add-ons like granola ($65), 12 ounces of house blend coffee ($25) or a whole roasted curry cauliflower ($75). As a reviewer from Eater wrote, “What you get is an uneven, mostly fine, single days’ worth of eating, at the cost of what most people spend on groceries over the course of a few weeks.”
It’s hard not to get stuck on the price. It’s a lot, but so is going to eat at Eleven Madison Park where the prix-fixe menu runs $335 before tip, drinks or “enhancements.”
Cost has long been a gripe for meal kits, and the next wave of meal kits looks to push that a notch upward while going a notch deeper into their lifestyle niches.
For context, Blue Apron runs about $11.99 a meal and, at the lowest tier, Nurra comes in at $16.99. Daily Harvest sits at $8.99 per item (generally equivalent to a meal) and Eleven Madison Home runs $50 per meal with some snacks.
Whether the tactic of “niching-down” resonates with customers remains to be seen for these brands, but it’s certainly worth watching.