Frozen food gets its turn in the meal delivery game
Megan Rose Dickey
Mosaic, founded by Blue Apron’s former senior director of operations Matt Davis and Sam McIntire, is entering the next phase of direct-to-consumer meal services with frozen foods.
Phase one of meal kits entailed prepared ingredients (Blue Apron) or pre-made meals that went into the refrigerator (Munchery). Blue Apron has since gone public, albeit experiencing a rocky road on the public market, while Munchery was forced to cease operations.
Launching today in select East Coast cities, Mosaic’s first line of products entails six vegetarian bowls made with fresh ingredients. Mosaic cooks those ingredients via roasting, grilling or sauteing, and then freezes them.
“We decided to do it because there’s so much potential in frozen food that’s untapped,” Davis told TechCrunch. “There’s an opportunity to make amazing frozen foods.”
Davis, who spent almost four years at Blue Apron, said he realized frozen food is a last frontier within the food category.
“Frozen food is an amazing way to work at scale, preserve food and reduce food waste,” Davis said. “What we offer is a cut above anything you see in the aisles today.”
Each bowl comes with packaged sauces and garnishes. They range in price from $8.99 per meal to $12.49 per meal, depending on the size box you get. A four-meal box costs $12.49 per meal while a 12-meal box costs $8.99 per meal. Customers can subscribe for deliveries every one, two, four or eight weeks.
Mosaic is trying to serve the needs of two types of customers: the ones who already shop in the frozen food aisle and those looking for a convenient solution but have yet to try frozen.
“Frozen is this crazy category that sits in the middle of the grocery store,” McIntire said. “And it’s sort of a broken category. We’ve talked about food being full of preservatives, but frozen is also not really cooked. Most frozen food is a bunch of veggies that are boiled but not roasted or seasoned. No one has thought about how to change these processes for a really long time. Our mantra is real ingredients, actual cooking using real techniques like ovens and seasoning, and rethinking the packaging food comes in. We’re reclaiming this category and we want to bring it back into good standing.”
Mosaic, which raised a seed round of funding last summer, plans to launch in additional cities throughout the country. Currently, Mosaic is available via one-day shipping in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, the Washington D.C. area and parts of Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey.