Subscription Commerce

Meal Kits Go Back To School

Yumble subscription meal kits

In one respect, it’s the semi-forgotten part of the school days — the school lunch. Backpacks might be full of books, notes and homework in the morning, but the often frenzied life of a family can mean that lunches are left behind, or that parents forget to pass out lunch money to their children.

It’s just a fact of life that brings a certain amount of frustration come lunchtime, and could, indeed, drain the power that children have to learn in the afternoon.

Enter meal-kit and subscription commerce.

Now, in a new PYMNTS Interview, Yumble Co-Founder Joanna Parker discussed why her company is providing a meal-kit solution to school lunches, and where that operation fits within the broader landscape of subscription commerce. The discussion with Parker took place as the meal-kit industry tries to reinvent itself, and as subscription commerce continues to expand.

“It felt like this was the most obvious solution to school lunches,” Parker told PYMNTS. “Parents just like to set it and forget about it.” Moreover, as it turns out, those problems regarding school lunches — forgetting about them, or otherwise neglecting them — are typically not just a one-day affair, given the quick, often frenzied pace of modern life.

Here how it works: Yumble subscribers pick a meal plan — six to 24 meals per week, depending on the size of the family — and then choose from the company’s rotating weekly menu which is influenced by customer preferences, Parker said. Meals are customizable and even include options for so-called picky eaters. “The meals are fully prepared, with no set up or clean up for parents,” she told PYMNTS. The meals just need to be heated in the microwave.

The types of meals offered brings back memories of those school lunch days — though, depending on how old you are, perhaps with a bit more focus on nutrition. This week’s weekly menu, for instance, included a baked taco pocket and broccoli selection, and “classic” cheese ravioli, and that staple of all school experiences, mac-and-cheese (in this case, a multigrain variety).

The start of the 2019 school year is bringing with it various types of innovation when it comes to those products and services vital to the efficient operation of a school and learning.

For instance, as PYMNTS recently covered, Zum (pronounced like “zoom”) focuses on using private rideshares to get children to and from school and their extra circular activities. In a new interview, Ritu Narayan, CEO and founder of Zum, talked about where the company fits into the ridesharing space, and the unique challenges faced by Zum. The idea is to provide a driver who is not only trustworthy and vetted, but one who gains the confidence of parents and might even take on regular gigs for that family — say, a same-time daily school pickup, or even as a carpool driver for a group of families.

The new school year for Yumble, meanwhile, is a time of change in the overall meal kit industry, as PYMNTS has documented.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.