You’ve heard about them. Meal Kits. Their popularity has been growing since they began back in 2007. If you were asked how many meal kit service companies exist you could probably name a small handful. But would you be surprised to know that in 2017 there were an estimated 150 companies providing some sort of meal service?1
People like the ease of being able to click a button and have one of the most mundane chores taken care of for them without thought. Usually you tell the service your preferences, give them a credit card number, and then boom, fresh food shows up on your porch with recipes to go. All the thought process has been taken out and this is VERY appealing to people.
The Meal Kit industry is actually a $2.2 Billion company.1 The proof is in the numbers. People like things to be easier and simpler. Particularly in the food corner of the world.
Jared Richards has a new business idea that will tap into this industry. An idea that will help to ease the burden of the food cycle.
Richards has been acting on his new business ideas for a while now. He founded the company Bluehouse Skiis, co-founder of Jamberry Nails, and is an attorney. His current focus is on a company called Coinless.
Coinless is a car wash invention that takes an ancient system of bills and coins and modernizes them in the car wash world. Coinless is basically a car wash app that allows you to pay through your phone and then pull straight into the carwash and proceed as normal making your car nice and shiny without having to fumble around your crumby cupholders in your car to find the right amount of change.
Richards saw a need to update an old process and to modernize it for our day. In his opinion the kitchen is the center of the home. Sure we use living rooms and bedrooms heavily, but the kitchen is where the activity is. This is because food is so essential to our survival. We are an eating machine. If we don’t eat we don’t thrive and survive.
A change in the refrigeration world that could also update the process of purchasing the standard groceries is just what he thinks is a great idea to update this system. Just like meal kits and coinless, he is modernizing the way we’ve done things since the beginning and making them work more functionally in our day.
How does he propose we update this system? He suggests a system that tracks essentials in your fridge. This thought could be executed in several ways.
-Weight and volume
-Particular Shelf with smarter capabilities
-Meal Kit Service
-Additional caloric information
–Weight and volume are his first thoughts when it comes to rethinking our shopping and refrigeration needs. The smarter fridge system would know the essentials you have in your fridge based off weight and volume.
The beauty of this product comes in when you are at the store and can’t remember how much milk or other staple you have left, whether you need to buy a replacement or not. A feature could also be enabled to simply remind you on your phone or computer that it’s time to think about getting more of the essentials.
–A Particular Shelf with Smart Capabilities is a slightly more specific route to go with this idea. This could be as simple as having one smart shelf in your fridge that weighs your most common staple items in your fridge. One shelf could be more specific to your needs and could possibly give you more flexibility with the options it could provide.
–A reordering system could integrate into automatic reordering systems that are also quite prevalent and common today. Instead of asking your electronic personal device to add milk to your grocery list, your fridge would automatically add it to your list when the levels reached your desired reordering level. This would take out one more mundane step in the process of survival.
–Meal kit services would tap into this popular method for meal planning and shopping. It’s possible you could integrate this smarter fridge with a meal kit service to know what you already have in your fridge and to work with those items.
–Barcodes could help to maximize the items you want to track. A barcode could be used to scan each item as they go into the fridge enabling this device to work more fluently with all the items in your fridge and not with just the essential items. It could alert you if just about anything in your fridge is getting low, including items you stock regularly that aren’t in the average person’s fridge.
–Additional caloric information could also be tracked with this device. All the new fitness devices you wear on your arm or food tracking devices point to the fact that people want to know what they are eating. They want to know what goes in and how it affects them. This smart fridge could also take into account who was reaching in for the milk and how much of it they were consuming and alerted tracking devices of the consumption.
So why hasn’t Richards ran with this idea yet? He says its because the world hasn’t been ready for it yet. Just in the last few years the way we grocery shop has greatly evolved, as well as reordering services like amazon have changed. Automatic shipping for specific items has also evolved. The world is more ready now than it ever has been for this idea.
He says this idea is free for the taking. But what would it take to get this idea going?
Richards says this is not a boostrappable idea. Bootstrapping in the business world is basically an idea that takes little to no funding in order to begin making cash on the first sale.
He further suggests this idea will take three things in order to get it rolling:
Determination and energy
Software and Hardware intelligence
Determination and energy will be one of the main components to get this running. It will take a lot of effort in order to find a way to tap into the current systems and to achieve its best functionality. As noted in all the different approaches listed above, one will need to find what works best and will make the most profit moving forward.
Depending on who you talk with you could be told it will take millions to get this system up and running. Richards suggests this is untrue. He believes it won’t take a great amount of funding so much as it will take finding the right people and investors to back your idea.
Richards HIGHLY suggests having a software and hardware platform in order to make this system work in its best way. A lot of people can make a software program specifically in this day of technological advances, but making hardware will require a little more effort. It will be essential when attempting to tap into current fridge systems etc. It will also make this product more self sustainable.
The food industry is experiencing a major overhaul. Automatic reordering, grocery pickup, fitness tracking, etc are changing the way we have always done things and revolutionizing them into a way that works more fluently with the world that is advancing so quickly. This idea fits quite nicely into the changes being made for the one willing to take it head on. Is this something you envision yourself creating?
Meal Kits. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved June 10, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meal_kit