Why Blue Apron Is Embracing Fresh, Non-Frozen Prepared & Ready Meals

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We all go through cooking ruts, but that doesn't mean we must sacrifice healthy eating or good food. Blue Apron's meal delivery service has inspired chefs to get into the kitchen since 2012 when it shipped its first meal kit which included recipes for seared hanger steak, barbecue Cornish game hen, and lemongrass shrimp with soba noodles. Over the years, the company has expanded its dietitian-approved meals to include Carb Conscious, 30 grams of Protein, Keto-Friendly, 600 Calories or Less, and Vegetarian options.

In January 2024, Blue Apron expanded its offerings with the launch of a new meal category, Prepared & Ready, providing customers with a wide selection of delicious fresh, not frozen, high quality options. These meals arrive refrigerated and contain precooked meats and fresh vegetables. In February, the company added Keto-Friendly options to its Prepared & Ready lineup, which focus on ingredients that cater to the keto lifestyle. Food Republic reached out to Tim Kemp, Blue Apron's Director of Culinary Innovation, to discuss the new line and its transition from frozen meals to fresh ingredients.

Prepared & Ready meals combine quality and ease in a keto-friendly package

We wondered why Blue Apron focused on the keto-friendly diet for its new meal service. According to Tim Kemp, Blue Apron conducted extensive research on diet trends and competitor product lines, which supported what its consumer insights team consistently heard: customers wanted keto-friendly options. The ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s but has recently gained popularity through social media. Based on data compiled by the International Food Information Council, about 23 million Americans followed a keto diet in 2021, more than double the amount from three years earlier. Supporters of the keto lifestyle claim that those struggling with certain health issues like diabetes, obesity, and cancer can benefit from the low-carbohydrate diet. 

Blue Apron's Prepared & Ready keto-friendly meals make following the diet simple. The meals arrive chilled with a "use-by" date printed on each package. Meats are prepared using the French culinary technique of sous vide, which gently cooks food at a low temperature in a water bath. Proteins are placed in a vacuum-sealed bag, which locks in flavor. When reheated at home, this precision cooking style ensures that the food is consistently moist and tender, "exactly as you expect." Blue Apron's keto-friendly lemon piccata chicken with brown rice and vegetables and its Italian-style grilled chicken and sweet potato meals can be microwaved within three minutes or baked in the oven for less than 20 minutes.

Enjoy a variety of Prepared & Ready options

Blue Apron's Prepared & Ready plan gives customers more weekly meal choices with zero clean-up. The plan offers 26 single-serving meals for customers who are short on time but don't want to disrupt their diet or sacrifice good food. Each meal takes 10% of the time to prepare compared to a conventional Blue Apron meal, leaving you more time to enjoy your life. Fortunately, customers don't need to decide between Blue Apron's meal kits and Prepared & Ready meals — they can have it all. Subscribers can include the new line as an "Add-on" each week, choosing from over 80 weekly meal options. Meals can be scheduled four, six, eight, or 10 times a week and start at $9.99 per meal and $9.99 for shipping.

According to Tim Kemp, the Prepared & Ready product line will continue to expand "considerably" by the end of this year. He added, "New ingredients will be plentiful. New areas such as wheat-free and Mediterranean-style meals, breakfast, and potentially multi-serving meals are things we might see in the coming year."

If you are interested in Prepared & Ready meals, you can find more information on Blue Apron's website. New meal plan subscribers can take advantage of 65% off the first five weeks of their new subscription. Please read the offer details as terms and conditions apply.