El Segundo’s Chef’d shuts down operations. This in spite of the fact that it raised $25 million last August. On July 16, the company ceased operations and laid off 350 people. This included employees at the Pico Rivera warehouse.
The company competed in the meal-order business. It was started in 2015. It raised $10 million from Campbell Soup Co. and Fresh Direct. Then in August, Smithfield Foods Inc. came in with another $25 million. So 2017 saw a total of $35 million in monies raised.
With all of that, CEO Kyle Ransford said they were having funding problems. With the monies raised the value of the company went to $160 million.
There is still some life after closure for the company however. True Food Innovations stepped in to pick up the assets of the company. It plans to carry on the pre-packaged meal program that is offered through a number of grocery stores.
It is not just Chef’d that has gone that route. Blue Apron has also jumped in as did Hello Fresh. They will face competition from grocery chains themselves as they started packaging their own products to sell as a meal kit. This seems to be the latest trend in the food industry.
As the online subscription model continues to fight for customer retention and shipping complications, the pre-packaged kits look to have plenty of potential.
*photo from Chef’d