Housebites, which we’ve previously described as the UK’s Airbnb-for-takeout, is launching a new product in Beta today: Housebites Fresh — a subscription service that aims to let anybody cook at home in the style of a “TV chef”.
Slightly daft and PR-fueled description aside, what we have here is actually quite a nice idea, the origin of which we’ll dig into later. Each week, Housebites Fresh subscribers are sent a box of freshly chopped ingredients accompanied by a recipe card so that — in less than 40 mins — they can prepare a freshly cooked meal at home, inspired by the professional chef-standard take-outs already delivered as part of the main Housebites service.
In addition, Housebites Fresh will learn a subscriber’s tastes, says the company, so as to provide “varied and interesting meals”. Recipes on launch will include ‘Sea Bass with Puy Lentils’ and ‘Gremolata and Malysian Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice’. For now, interested users can sign up to get in on the Beta, while the service launches proper by the end of this month.
Overall, the Housebites Fresh approach reminds me of the many startups that are emerging trying to match recipes with actual shopping list fulfilment and delivery, and an overall trend of using the Internet to eat more healthily and gastronomically — see my recent coverage of LoveYourLarder, for example.
To that end, Housebites CEO and founder Simon Prockter says that the idea for Housebites Fresh was always part of the company’s business plan, though it’s very similar to the Samwer Brothers’ HelloFresh. Prockter even jokes that he copied the latter’s colour scheme, a sideways jab at Germany’s king of the clones. Interestingly, however, HelloFresh appears itself to have been inspired by a Swedish startup with a near-identical model. So not such a fresh idea after all.