business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The New York Times has a story about a meal kit business that has decided to make the box part of the value equation.

The company is called Fresh Realm, and the story says that it has developed reusable - not recyclable - packaging that solves the problem of debris left over after the kit has been opened and the meal made.

"Packaging is perhaps the most critical element of the meal kit business, which must ensure that raw meats and vegetables get to the consumer without being contaminated or looking as if someone played soccer with them," the Times writes. "So any tweak to reduce the insulation needed to maintain proper temperatures or the plastic that protects precut food from discoloration and contamination requires judiciousness and a good bit of innovation."

Fresh Realm's boxes "are 17-inch-square cubes made of polyurethane. Inside, five drawers house metal plates that help maintain the desired temperature. The drawers can hold up to four grab-and-go meals or the ingredients for two meal kits ... The boxes are delivered by FedEx. Once the food is removed from the box, the customer just puts the container back together and slaps on a return label. FedEx picks it up and returns it to FreshRealm. The company then sanitizes the box and puts it to use again."

And not only has Fresh Realm "made its box a central selling point of its delivery service," but it also "has also started providing its box system to competitors."

Smart idea ... and showing a remarkable social conscience by extending its advantage to other players in the business.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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