A startup that's stocking meal kits in offices is hoping to capitalise on American attitudes towards work

Byte FoodsByte vending machine.
  • Meal kit startup Chef’d has partnered with Byte Foods, a company that makes smart refrigerators for offices, hospitals, and universities.
  • Chef’d is capitalising on the fact that many Americans work long hours and might not otherwise have time to purchase fresh food.
  • Tesla headquarters is one of the hundreds of offices to have a Byte fridge.

It’s no secret that Americans work long hours.

According to the International Labour Organisation, workaholics in the United States clock 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.

A rigorous working week leaves them with little free time, which makes cooking and shopping for food more difficult. As a result, meal kits have become a popular way to overcome the obstacle of cooking healthy and more adventurous food than a boiled egg midweek.

There is now a wide selection of meal kit companies including Blue Apron and HelloFresh. California-based Chef’d is another.

On Wednesday, Chef’d announced it would be partnering with Byte Foods, a company that makes smart fridges that work in the same way as a vending machine, only instead of being stocked with candy, they have a selection of fresh foods like salads and sandwiches.

These machines are currently present in more than 500 hospitals, universities, and offices, including at Stanford, Tesla, and Cisco.

Chef'dChef’dA Chef’d meal kit.

Chef’d’s meal kits are the latest addition to its fresh food mix, enabling customers to buy the meal kits directly from the fridge at any time of day.

“At 4pm, 80% of people don’t know what they’re having for dinner that night. By offering meal kits available for purchase in the office, Byte and Chef’d directly meet that last-minute delivery need while still allowing people to cook at home. It’s a win-win,” Megan Mokri, CEO of Byte Foods said in a note to the press.

The machines are internet-connected and use real-time data and algorithms to customise the selection at each location.

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