With Canadian meal kit companies such a Hello Fresh expanding rapidly in the Great White North many of our readers have asked us, “When is Home Chef coming to Canada?”
The truth is that as far as we aware, the big American meal kit companies such as Home Chef, Blue Apron, and Plated, don’t have any current plans to expand northward. We will continue to follow our Google Alerts on the big names and update this article immediately. Obviously as consumers of meal kits, we’d be extremely happy to see more competition in the market, as that just gives us more options and keeps companies working hard to offer the possible product, and the lowest possible price.
For those who aren’t familiar (and aren’t US-based podcast listeners) Home Chef is one of the three largest USA-based meal kit providers. The company is the brainchild of Pat Vihtelic, who was building his lifetime passion for cooking. It’s kind of a cool entrepreneurial story, as Pat not only created the recipes and picked the food, but also created the website, and even delivered the meal kits from a rented U-Haul in the beginning days of Home Chef.
Pat was so successful that the massive Kroger grocery chain recently purchased the company for upwards of $250 Million! With plans to put Home Chef meal kits in their 2,700+ supermarket locations, Kroger Co. is not messing around! Robert Clarck, the Senior Vice President of Merchandising at Krogers stated, “Kroger continues to redefine the customer experience and provide new ways to shop for, prep and cook meals through exciting brick-and-mortar and digital experiences.” Clearly the company has the capital behind it to stretch its wings a bit and aggressively pursue market share. Perhaps that means one day making a move into the Canadian market?
Home Chef in Canada vs Chefs Plate, Goodfood and Hello Fresh
Until Home Chef Canada becomes a reality, feel free to check out our in-depth looks at Canada’s largest meal kit companies. Our Hello Fresh Review, Chefs Plate Review, and Goodfood Review cover the “Big 3” of national chains. We also compare regional entities such as Saskatchewan’s Zesty Kits and Toronto’s Fresh City Farms.
It’s tough to directly meal kit delivery companies like Chefs Plate or Goodfood to Home Chef because they don’t compete head-to-head in any markets. The one Canadian option that does directly compete with Home Chef is Hello Fresh. After reading several firsthand reviews about comparing their offerings in the USA. The following points might be worth mentioning (keeping in mind that Home Chef might offer a very different product to Canadians if they ever came north of the border).
- Home Chef offers more choices each week. Their fifteen recipes are seven more than Hello Fresh consistently offers.
- All the websites gave these two companies the highest marks out of all the meal kits that they tested when it came to overall food quality of their ingredients. Taste and freshness were excellent for both. Hello Fresh had a slight edge when it came to making “no added hormones” and “antibiotic-free” claims.
- Both Home Chef and Hello Fresh have easy to use apps and websites that make the customer experience super easy.
- One area that Home Chef appears to excel in is their “add-on” ability. This is likely due to their partnership with Krogers. Items like a smoothie or a 5-minute lunch are options that Hello Fresh just doesn’t have on their menu.
- Hello Fresh is slightly cheaper.
There’s only so much that one can glean from this comparison of how meal kits stack up in another country, as the logistics of delivering fresh food in a densely-populated country like the USA are radically different from our wide-open Canadian landscape. All the same, it’s good to know that Hello Fresh (by far the largest Canadian meal kit provider) can go toe-to-toe with any of the bigshots from down south.
Anecdotally, I always find it interesting that the American meal kit options aren’t even cheaper than the plans we see in Canada. If you think about the purchasing power difference between the Canadian Dollar and the American Dollar, as well as the sheer economy of scale, one would think the USA companies would be able to cut prices even more.
Stay tuned to Meal Kits Canada, as we’ll be the first ones with the news if Home Chef comes to Canada (or any other American-based competitors decide to enter the Canadian meal kit delivery market)!