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A sustainable foodbox for Mealhero

We’ve all been there. After a long and busy day at work, we want to prepare a healthy and tasty meal when we get home. In reality, however, we often lack the time, inspiration or motivation to do so, reaching for the nearest quick and unhealthy solution instead. Enter Mealhero, a young Belgian start-up that delivers fully-prepared fresh frozen meals to your doorstep, selected by you and packaged in a VPK creation.

Mealhero steamer

Tasty healthy food made easy

The desire to put a healthy and tasty meal on the table at the end of the day inspired them. The three young entrepreneurs who founded Mealhero had a very clear idea when they started out: tasty healthy food made easy.

So how does it work? Simple.

To become a Mealhero, start by choosing your plan. Every week you make your selection from 30 varied meals, which are put together by Mealhero’s own chefs. The ingredients are seasoned, cut and immediately frozen fresh. You can store the meals in your freezer for up to 6 months, limiting food waste in addition to benefiting our planet.
 
Mealhero_steamer in use
The meals are prepared with their smart steamer that is connected to an app. The steamer consists of three baskets and a scanning system that recognises the barcodes on the labels of the packaging. That way, the steamer always knows the exact cooking time for each ingredient. All you have to do is place everything in the right basket, press the start button and 20 minutes later you can tuck in. You can rent the smart steamer from Mealhero for the duration of your plan. What’s more, you can start, stop or pause your plan whenever you want. Flexibility at its best!

After placing your order, your foodbox is delivered to your doorstep, both in Belgium or the Netherlands. Deliveries are scheduled every four weeks and you are free to choose your delivery time. Another conscious choice by Mealhero with a view to limiting the traffic impact of its deliveries as much as possible. 

Sustainability clearly is a priority at Mealhero in everything they do. Sustainable packaging thus was the logical next step, which is why they came knocking on VPK’s door.
 
Mealhero-paperbag

From a paper bag to a corrugated cardboard foodbox 

During Mealhero’s first year of operation, the ingredients were delivered to customers in paper bags. This made the order picking process very labour-intensive, however. The bags had to be held open to place the food in them and then folded shut and stapled to ensure that they remained closed during transport. Moreover, the paper bags were not sufficiently sturdy, nor did they provide adequate protection. Mealhero soon realised that they needed a more efficient process.

Mealhero had previously collaborated with VPK on the creation and production of the boxes for the smart steamer. Thanks to its one-stop-shopping approach, VPK is able to offer its customers a comprehensive range, from standard packaging solutions to trendy marketing packaging. Finding an optimised solution for the foodboxes was just a small step. Mealhero also benefited as it did not have to go in search of a new supplier, but was able to work with a reliable partner like VPK.
 
Mealhero box
And so our Design and Expertise team started thinking about developing a sturdy foodbox that would become an integral part of the ordering and delivery process.

We based ourselves on an extensive analysis to develop a solution that perfectly fulfilled Mealhero’s needs, while always taking into account what was feasible at production-technical level.

Quick and easy handling was an important factor in the production process. To this end, we developed a handy folding system, ensuring that the boxes could be easily folded without using additional materials such as staples or tape. The box was fitted with a foldable handle at the top.
The end result was a custom-designed box, that can be used for chilled transports, that uses the maximum capacity to ensure that as little space as possible is lost and that, moreover, is also sufficiently sturdy. Large orders can easily weigh up to 5 kg. 

The design was extensively tested, with fitting and measuring work carried out. After the model got the green light, Mealhero created the striking branding for the box. Here too the necessary tests were performed to ensure that the colours were on-point!

Results

Mealhero strives to offer its customers the most sustainable option with its foodboxes. By choosing for a corrugated cardboard packaging, made from 100% recycled material that is also 100% recyclable, they contribute to a greener planet.

Thanks to the handy folding system, we achieved internal time savings during the production process. As such, the additional cost of the boxes (compared with the paper bags) is offset. Moreover, twice as many paper bags were needed in the past to pack the same amount of food. Definitely a measurable benefit of the switch to corrugated cardboard packaging.

The foodbox looks sturdy and trendy. The catchy design adds to the brand’s visibility, in addition to looking a lot neater and more professional. The foldable handle has the additional advantage that the foodboxes are easy to stack during transport and hand over to the end customer upon delivery.

A win-win situation for all the links in the process, from production and transport to the end customer.
 

Mealhero's opinion

“We are tremendously pleased with our collaboration with VPK. Since our launch in 2018 with the box for the smart steamer and our current foodbox, we have returned to the drawing table to optimise it even further. Whereas other suppliers often suggested a standard solution in the past, the VPK design team is on the same wavelength. We also believe in a quick response and there too, VPK has delivered on its promises!”

Anton Claeys – Co-founder Mealhero

Searching for a sustainable packaging solution?

Are you also searching for a sustainable packaging solution and a partner who thinks along with you and goes that extra mile? Get in touch with us. Our passionate sales and design team will gladly help you develop a custom solution.

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