At Sprout, we create and package all the Meal Kits ourselves in a certified kitchen. We create the recipes, which spells out how much of each ingredient the customer needs to add at home, but also means that we have to work out exactly how much of each spice or ingredient to put in our Meal Kits, which are full of dry ingredients.
This summer, we discovered how to achieve greater efficiencies with our packaging, as well as how to package the Meal Kits in a more effective manner. We had previously been using a fee-for-service kitchen that had an unpredictable schedule, but have since found a way to work with the community to find space that we can use at a much more discounted rate. This involves working with local organizations who have kindly donated their certified kitchen space to allow us to package our Kits. This also allows us to learn from other businesses that are aiming to address urban food insecurity in Ottawa.
We also improved our Meal Kits themselves by packaging the dry ingredients in separate pouches within the Meal Kit packaging so as to better allow the customer to add spices and ingredients at specific times during cooking.
We have gotten our packaging process down pat, so much so that we have been able to hire an employee from an organization that works to find jobs for individuals with disabilities. He will be joining us in the Fall to help us package our Meal Kits!
Improving the Meal Kit packaging process has been a great lesson in organization and quality control. We have instituted batch numbers so that we can track how much of each product we are making and when, which will allow us to make more informed decisions regarding our packaging process.