What’s for dinner? Something scrumptious, if you are a subscriber to Blue Apron.
The subscription-based food startup has developed a recipe for success for Americans who love to cook by offering them a meal kit—a big box of ingredients in exactly the right amounts and a recipe card with easy instructions on how to make the meal, all at the price of roughly $10 per meal.
CEO and Cofounder Matt Salzberg tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib he came up with the idea four years ago because he wanted to cook at home, but found it to be too expensive and time-consuming to do all of the food shopping. He says the goal of Blue Apron, named for the color of aprons worn by French chefs in training, is to make cooking “more fun, more enjoyable, and more affordable for most people.”
The New York-based company is now serving 8 million meals a month and delivering them fresh to customers in every state except Hawaii and Alaska. Salzberg says the company is profitable and has 3,600 employees. Fortune estimates its market value at $2 billion.
What’s the secret behind Blue Apron’s financial success? Salzberg attributes it to the company’s “recipe model” that is designed around what he calls “supply chain efficiencies” and cutting out the middlemen. He works directly with farmers, planning menus with them and coordinating what ingredients to plant—only for Blue Apron customers. Salzberg says this allows them “to get people fresher food at better prices.” And it looks like it’s also getting more and more Americans back in the kitchen and cooking at home.