A Publication of WTVP

Across the country, the meal kit industry is booming. Blue Apron, the largest and best-known of these companies, just went public. Meanwhile, a trademark application filed in July indicates that perennial disruptor Amazon may have plans to enter this crowded space, which also includes Plated, Home Chef and HelloFresh, among others. But in the Peoria area, there’s another option even closer to home—and it’s differentiated itself in a number of key ways.

Like its national competitors, EatandEvolve promises to take the stress out of planning, shopping and cooking, but its meals are “ready-to-eat, made and delivered fresh,” says Gabriela Morin, who founded the company in 2016. “Just order online, receive the meals at your doorstep, and heat and eat… no need for cooking.”

Because EatandEvolve is not an ingredients-only meal kit, but a prepared, ready-to-eat meal service, Morin is less concerned about the potential impact of Amazon. “It is still difficult to convince people to cook when there are so many options that are more convenient,” she explains. “In addition, the process of eating healthy continues to be perceived as complicated and expensive. It's not only the meal planning—which already requires time and research when you are trying to substitute healthy ingredients—but the shopping and cooking that might ultimately intimidate people.”

The convenience of “ready-to-eat” isn’t the only factor that makes her company stand out. “The average cost of our meals is $9.50, while the meal kit companies charge about the same just for the ingredients,” she notes. Besides placing the promotion of healthy lifestyles front and center, EatandEvolve is also a truly local company, “so there are no high, overnight delivery charges involved.”

While the shadow of Amazon looms over the meal delivery marketplace, Morin believes the qualities unique to EatandEvolve—local, healthy, inexpensive, fresh, ready-to-eat and “delivered to our customers’ door”—will ultimately set it apart. Check out menu and plan options at iBi