There is no shortage of services out there that promise the hungry and time-pressed a delicious meal in a box, broken down by ingredients and ready to be prepared with a simple recipe. Blue Apron, Chef’d, Plated, HelloFresh are all offering variations on the theme.
PeachDish President Judith Winfrey notes that is not really a surprise — people love meal kits and for good reason.
“So many people love to cook and are interested in learning new recipes but don’t have time to shop for and measure ingredients," Winfrey said. “People are buying nearly everything online, and food and grocery shopping is moving in that same direction. It just makes life easier.”
A Southern Style Meal Box
Atlanta-based PeachDish is one of those meal-kit and grocery firms looking to make life easier for aspiring and committed home cooks, its unique twists being recipes with a decidedly southern flair and flavor. That is apparent in the food itself — also sourced locally from Georgia and South Carolina farms — and in the recipes on offer, all of which have been contributed by southern chefs, food writers, and other local food experts.
Beyond what the buyer can eat, the packaging is also meant to “look” a bit like the South — the boxes themselves are decorated with art by Atlanta street folk artist and includes not only food, but also hand-drawn postcards from area artists.
PeachDish also maintains its food tastes better than any other food box competitor on the market. But, of course, we have yet to meet the food box seller that doesn’t say that its food is the best ever. In fairness to PeachDish, however, it should be noted that its food is almost universally and independently reviewed as delicious, and its ingredients have been consistently reviewed as a cut above freshness-wise for the better part of the last four years.
“We love working with farms and purveyors who have great stories and are thrilled by the process of creating beautiful foods,” Winfrey noted. “It’s not easy to do, and PeachDish has surmounted many obstacles in its pursuit to provide recipes and ingredients that are above and beyond what else is out there in the meal-kit delivery space.”
Southern styling aside, the nuts and bolts of PeachDish are familiar to anyone who has used a similar service. A standard box runs for about $50 — $12.50 a serving — and can either contain two meals with two servings or one meal with four. Users can customize their box, adding and subtracting dishes or sides, though the net cost of the box has to be $45 or more. The $12.50 per serving price point is more or less consistent with the rest of the meal-kit delivery market.
What's In The Box?
The box will contain pretty much all the ingredients a user might need for whatever recipe has been sent along, with the caveat that things like kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil are things the home chef is expected to have on hand. Customers who do want to be wholly brand-consistent, though, can also buy the PeachDish version of various staples on their online store.
PeachDish also has a different payment philosophy — having signed on with Amazon for payments. For a new member, it takes about two seconds and two clicks from making a subscription to paying for it and getting their first delivery scheduled, so long as they are already an Amazon Pay customer.
“We wanted to partner with Amazon because we decided it’s better to embrace the ‘wheel’ rather than reinvent it,” PeachDish Founder Hadi Irvani told TechCrunch. “I know that I hate pulling out my credit card every time I need to make a purchase, and we wanted to simplify that for our customers.”
Simple and delicious, after all, are PeachDish’s two calling cards — as working really hard to make dinner happen is essentially what all meal box customers want to avoid.
As for what’s next, PeachDish is looking to a future where it can provide more than just evening dinner service. As of last month, the service paired up with The Giving Kitchen in Atlanta, a nonprofit that raises money for restaurant workers in need. The promotion involves a “party bundle,” hors d’oeurves bundle or a dinner-for-four bundle, and the money for that purchase goes to a good cause.
Plus, the bundle isn’t only food. It also comes with invitations, instructions, place cards, place mats, a menu and talking points about The Giving Kitchen. The bundle even comes with donation cards, in case one has guests moved to charity.
It’s a big market to crack and a competitive one on all sides. But PeachDish is betting that when people are looking for a meal kit, they want something a bit more than food. And perhaps Southern hospitality could be the secret seasoning that makes the difference.