Meal kits go super-express: Sun Basket, Purple Carrot, and Home Chef introduce time-saving meal options

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / Hinterhaus Productions
©GettyImages / Hinterhaus Productions

Related tags: Meal kits, Home Chef, Sun basket

When meal kits first burst onto the scene, they were pitched as a way to prep dinner in a hurry. However, the category’s major players are now finding that consumers are looking for even quicker options for every meal occasion - at more accessible prices.

A recent Packaged Facts​ report authored by Cara Brosius, an industry analyst with the Freedonia Group, described the enthusiasm American consumers first had for the meal kit segment, but found that the category has struggled and must address issues consumers have around price, subscription models, convenience, and variety.

Over the past few months, Home Chef, Purple Carrot, and Sun Basket have all introduced different solutions for time-crunched consumers who are looking for a meal in as little as five minutes.

Sun Basket’s organic 5-minute salads

This past week, meal kit provider Sun Basket​ launched its line of four salads that come together in five minutes. The salads are available as add-ons to customers’ weekly orders, as an option for lunch at home or on-the-go, expanding Sun Basket’s offerings into a new eating occasion.

As with Sun Basket’s dinners, the salads are personalized to meet customers’ healthy lifestyles, with paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. 


“Beyond dinner, the #1 request from our customers is for easy ways to make healthy lunches,” ​Sun Basket co-founder and executive chef, Justine Kelly, said.

Using organic greens from the organicgirl brand, Sun Basket’s quick-prep salads are available in four varieties: organic spicy southwestern salad, organic protein crunch salad, organic rainbow Asian salad, and organic kale Caesar salad.

Pricing starts at $10.99 per serving for the Family Menu and $11.99 for the Classic Menu.


Purple Carrot launches breakfast and lunch options

Last month, Purple Carrot, a 100% plant-based meal kit company, added breakfast and lunch offerings to make it easier for customers to incorporate plant-centric meals into their day to day.

“We’ve heard from our consumers that they are hungry to include more plant-based foods into their daily diets, and we are proud to introduce an ongoing series of flavorful, innovative and healthy meals for breakfast and lunch that is going to transform how easy it is for people to do just that, whether they’re at home, at work or on the go,”​ said Andy Levitt, founder and CEO of Purple Carrot.

The new line called ‘Purple Carrot Extras’ are designed for ‘prep and go’ taking five minutes to assemble, according to the company. 


  • Overnight Mango Chia Parfait with Cacao Nibs
  • Seeded Avocado Toast with Radishes & Cucumber
  • Green Goddess Smoothie


  • Thai Vegetable Peanut Noodles with Baked Tofu & Cucumber
  • Black Bean Burrito with Avocado & Spicy Mayo
  • Chickpea Mezze Bowl with Avocado & Tart Cherries

Purple Carrot customers can choose from two breakfast and/or two lunch options to add to their weekly dinner delivery. Breakfast options contain four servings each ($6 a serving; $24 total) and lunch options contain two servings each, ($12 a serving; $24 total).

Home Chef goes express

Home Chef, which is now available in many Kroger stores, introduced an ‘on-demand’ meal solution shoppers with its line ‘Express meals’ that take 15 minutes to prepare, which according to Home Chef founder and CEO, Pat Vihtelic, address the major customer need of faster meals. Each meal serves two and starts at $8.50 per serving.


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