COVID-19

It’s suddenly a great time to be in the meal-kit business

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal May 19, 2020
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
A farmer works in a broccoli field in March. Julio Cesar Aguilar/Getty Images
COVID-19

It’s suddenly a great time to be in the meal-kit business

Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal May 19, 2020
Heard on:
A farmer works in a broccoli field in March. Julio Cesar Aguilar/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Meal kits — boxes filled with proportioned ingredients and recipes — peaked in popularity a few years ago. However, the coronavirus pandemic is causing something of a renaissance for the industry, as Americans are cooking more and going out to restaurants less. “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal spoke about it with Andy Levitt, founder and CEO of the plant-based meal kit company Purple Carrot.

“A year ago, it wasn’t that great to be in the meal-kit business,” Levitt said. “Fast forward to today with the pandemic, the demand from consumers for meal kits has just skyrocketed.”

With some restaurants closed and some people afraid to go to grocery stores, Levitt said his company’s “volume has increased by about 100% over the past eight weeks.”

“Invariably we’ve had to make some last-minute substitutions,” he said. “If we had planned broccolini, for example, instead we have to substitute broccoli because a particular product was in short supply.”

Despite the increase in business, Levitt believes that as life gets back to normal, Purple Carrot will see some sort of decline. “But I believe that our total number of customers will probably be about 50% higher than our total baseline of customers before the pandemic.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.