Hamilton-based company streamlines multi-billion dollar meal prep kit industry

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Published February 7, 2022 at 11:38 am

KitchenFuel started in Hamilton and provides innovative all-in-one meal prep software.

An idea that started in 2017 on the campuses of McMaster University in Hamilton is now making the lucrative meal prep industry more accessible.

Meal prep (or meal kit) businesses have become all the rage — particularly since the pandemic forced many of us to rejig our daily routines. Services like Hello Fresh have helped create a multi-billion-dollar industry that could be intimidating for the average entrepreneur looking to enter the market.

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Enter KitchenFuel, the innovative all-in-one meal prep software that gives “non-techy” chefs simple e-commerce solutions. It streamlines digital ordering websites for customers to purchase subscription meal delivery.

“The goal is to democratize access to the same software and logistics used to run massive meal prep delivery organizations,” said Christopher Luxton, founder and CEO of KitchenFuel. “The same software can and should be available to an owner just getting started. What KitchenFuel offers is an all-in-one-package tool where every owner can start, automate, and scale a meal prep delivery business from every kitchen.”

Company with Hamilton roots streamlines multi-billion dollar meal prep kit industry

Five years ago, Luxton created a meal prep service at McMaster “to help students spend more time studying and less time worrying about what the next meal was going to be – all while staying healthy.” Luxton says interest in his service began extending off-campus, as well.

As the business gradually expanded over the next few years, COVID-19 hit, and KitchenFuel’s software provided an outlet for local restaurants to continue operations by distributing meals.

“KitchenFuel’s software is bundled with everything an owner needs to operate their business effectively,” said Luxton. “Each step of the meal preparation process is digitized, drastically reducing time-consuming administrative duties or costly administrative hires, and eliminating human error.”

It also provides a dashboard for owners to manage non-cooking logistics — including cooking reports, email marketing, and the ability to analyze meal profitability and track customer behaviours.

“We know the struggle of starting meal prep business from scratch and we’re committed to being by your side all the way as you start this new journey in meal prep sharing best practices and helping avoid the mistakes we made early on,” said Luxton.

KitchenFuel is a client of The Forge – a business incubator funded by McMaster University. It serves novel and scalable start-ups in the Hamilton, Greater Toronto, and Niagara Regions.

“The Forge’s focus on innovation and connections with industry leaders and resources has been instrumental in growing the business and presence globally,” said Luxton.

Launched in 2015, The Forge works hands-on with entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas from ideation and validation to growth. So far 250 companies have been through The Forge Business Incubator program — raising over $36 million and selling their products in 50 countries.

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