Chef’d suddenly ceased operations July 16, citing funding and expense issues. As of July 17, customers could no longer place meal kit orders on the web site, and the 350 Chef’d employees — most of whom work in the company’s warehouses in Brooklyn, N.Y., and California — were told late July 16 that the company was shutting down. Chef’d has been in operation since 2015 and had partnered with such companies as Campbell Soup, PepsiCo, Atkins and Hershey. In May, Chef’d partnered with Smithfield Foods to bring its meal kits to grocery stores nationwide.
A wholly owned subsidiary of True Family Enterprises, True Food Innovations plans to consolidate all Chef’d assets into the existing True Food Innovations businesses. The acquired assets include the Chef’d brand, plants, property and equipment.
“We are looking forward to working with brands and former customers as we restructure and operate the Chef’d assets,” said Robert T. Jones, president of True Food Innovations and former senior vice-president of business development at Chef’d. “We have already developed and are in market with long shelf-life retail meal kits under the brand of True Chef, so we seized the opportunity to acquire the assets and brand of Chef’d as the transaction will be accretive to our business from day one. We believe the retail channel will continue to grow, and we will concentrate our efforts on that portion of the Chef’d business.”
True Food Innovations provides manufacturing services, turnkey product development, High Pressure Processing (H.P.P.) packaging solutions and customer partnerships that introduce private label meal kits and retail ready H.P.P. products domestically and internationally. Through True Food Innovations’ sister company True Fresh H.P.P., the company develops and manufactures food products that use H.P.P. technology to produce clean label refrigerated products with an extended shelf life.
“Our unique position as a leader in the H.P.P. processor field enables us to service a large capacity of retail customers,” said Alan True, founder and chief executive officer of True Family Enterprises. “Additionally, our team of food scientists and culinary experts are constantly innovating ways to utilize our H.P.P. technology, which has allowed us to create longer lasting meal kits and other food products that carry a fresh, clean label and longer shelf life, which will perform well within the retail marketplace.”