On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of HelloFresh Uwe Voss talks about how meal kits can transform the ways consumers approach food and the food system. “We make fresh, healthy food delicious, so people enjoy it and gravitate to that versus other options. And, we really think about our product as a tool for families to connect around the dinner table again. It is a super important moment,” says Voss.
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With meal kits, says Voss, consumers can grow closer to the farmers producing their food. “The quality of the ingredients is very important. Quality means different things for different types of ingredients—for produce, this most likely translates to freshness—so we try to work as much as we humanly can directly with the source, directly with the farmers,” says Voss. “For most of the produce in HelloFresh boxes, the only point in the supply chain that it has been touched since the farm is the HelloFresh distribution center!”
The meal kit service provides consumers with pre-portioned ingredients to minimize at-home waste; and with the help of Boston-based startup Spoiler Alert, HelloFresh started a donation program to rescue the company’s food waste. “Everything that we buy, that’s food, either goes to our consumers or goes to a food bank at the end of the week. All of it will have a purpose—all of it will be eaten,” says Voss.
Consumers can learn their role minimizing food loss on farms as well by participating in meal kits, says Voss. HelloFresh sends complete recipes to their consumers, including ingredients that often go un-desired—and eventually wasted—on farms. “With that comes for us an opportunity to expose our consumers to ingredients that they might not have eaten otherwise, only because they’re not aware of them. We make them aware, and everyone is better off for it: farmers are better off for it and consumers have a unique experience they otherwise would not have had,” says Voss.