A quick review of Blue Apron (in Houston)

Earlier tonight, I tried Blue Apron, which just started operating in Houston. Delicious home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients. Here’s my experience.

I signed up on their website, I chose the option for 3 weekly meals for 2 people for $60. I chose their vegetarian menu. Great options, these are this week’s and next week’s menus:

   

 
So 10 days later, this past Tuesday, I got a Fedex package in the mail on with ingredients thoughtfully labeled for 3 different recipes. 

 
The recipes are printed on this nice heavy cardstock.
  
It took me about 45 minutes to prepare.
  

And then 15 minutes to bake.
  
And it was very tasty– it needed some more salt, but, hey, operator error.

There’s a lot I like about Blue Apron: These guys make it easy for non cooks to make fresh home cooked meals. No having to figure what to buy at the store or how much. No extra ingredients at the end of the process. They solve the problem of, “What should I make?” And the meal was delicious and fun for me to make. We cook a lot of fresh food at our house (and by “we” I mean people other than me!) so I’m spoiled where it comes to fresh home cooked food. But even still I could see us doing Blue Apron regularly.

But I’m not sure about the distribution model. I ended up with these two big ice packs with the packaging which seems wasteful. Maybe that’s temporary as they get started in Houston, a way to bootstrap this market? Also though, it seems like this is a product, a way of delivering a recipe, that would be very successful it if it was available in grocery stores. Right? And the grocery store, it seems, would have a significant cost advantage over someone shipping all that stuff to you. (I think Central Market here in Houston does a bit of this, though it’s not as well “kitted” there.)

Ok now I need to go clean the kitchen. Make a product for that, THAT would be magic 🙂