Many articles have indicated is that instead of being ordered and delivered, meal kits are coming soon to a market near you! Why? Because customers who try meal kit plans usually drop out quickly, so the various food-kit-providers need a new way to sell their product. As the Wall Street Journal says: "Blue Apron Holdings Inc. will try to give its struggling business a boost by selling meal kits in stores, acknowledging that its subscription-only model isn’t enough in an intensifying fight to fill people’s dinner plates." (link)
|1944 Kraft Dinner Ad.|
This got me to thinking. Twentieth-century food manufacturers really offered lots of "meal kit" products that enabled quick preparations from packaged food and didn't require a fully stocked pantry. Some were complete, some required the addition of meat. (The same is true for some of the meal kits now offered on Amazon.)
For example, from a newsletter for the food industry, I read:
"Meal kits for years have been a way to quickly prepare a family meal. The first packaged meal kit was most likely Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, created in 1937. Hamburger Helper was introduced in 1971 in response to a meat shortage and escalating meat prices." (source)Curiously, I looked for ads for familiar "meal kits" from the past.
|OK, you had to add meat -- but here's a coupon|
for seven cents off the price of Hamburger Helper.
|Chun King Chop Suey "meal kit" of cans dates from 1940s.|
|This painfully racist ad for a chop suey kit from La Choy|
dates from 1955. My mother was a customer: I remember the little bottles
of soy sauce that would stay in the refrigerator forever. (source)
|1960s ad for Rice-a-Roni, invented in the 1950s.|
|What more can I say?|