Like many foodies, Chef’d founder and CEO Kyle Ransford was flipping through a magazine, came across a dish he wanted to try, and wished he could push a button to have it delivered directly to his home. One year later, he’s made that possible by launching Chef’d, a meal kit service with dishes from celebrity chefs and culinary experts, available in 48 states, including New York and Connecticut. “Chef’d plans to become the online button for an impulse buy, enabling consumers to source the ingredients needed for any meals they find online, and have them delivered right to their doorstep,” says Ransford. Here’s what else he has to say about his innovative new company, who his target market is and what he’s cooking up next.
How is this different from other meal kit delivery services like Plated and Blue Apron?
One of the biggest differences is that Chef’d partners with a number of celebrated chefs, including Fabio Viviani, Michael Psilakis, Chris Santos, Robert Irvine, Ben Ford, Kerri Glassman and Melissa d’Arabian. We also partner with health experts and major restaurant brands, including Atkins, Weight Watchers, P.F. Chang’s, American Diabetes Association, James Beard Foundation, Men’s Health, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, The New York Times and Prevention magazine.
Who is the target market for this service?
Chef’d is an ideal solution for those who are time-crunched; they want to cook like a pro and eat a healthy meal, but may not have the culinary skill level. It’s also a good bet for anyone with dietary restrictions: there are a lot of options for vegetarians, vegans and those who are gluten free.
What other types of cooks will be drawn to this service?
You can filter all meals by lifestyles including ‘family friendly,’ ‘gourmet,’ ‘quick and easy,’ and ‘lighter options.’ There are also options for those who follow Weight Watchers, Atkins and other food lifestyles. Also, you can pick two levels of service: non-subscription, à la carte meals or subscription-based meal plans. Everything is pre-portioned, high-quality
ingredients that will make meal time quick, easy and convenient.
What are some of the most popular dishes?
Overall, the beef bourguignon from the Chef’d chefs, the weeknight chicken pad Thai from chef Melissa D’Arabian and the Asian lettuce wraps from allrecipes.com. Michael Psilakis’ seared branzino with garlic roasted cauliflower, Robert Irvine’s New York steak with Sriracha chimichurri and sweet potato hash, Fabio Viviani’s shrimp and asparagus and Kerri Glassman’s stuffed chicken breast with lemon-artichoke pesto are other favorites.
What are the future expansion plans?
The goal is to be able to fulfill hundreds of thousands of recipes and provide an inventory of 25,000 ingredients—all of which will be pre-portioned in various different sizes. Within the next two years, Chef’d is looking to not only expand its meal kit offerings and recipes, but also to become, in essence, a grocery store in the sky.
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Written by Judy Koutsky