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Boston Burger Co. Taking on Blue Apron

Filed under Delivery, Trends, Trends/Forecasts

Boston Burger Company has seen the future. And it’s going there. The three-unit (Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, Mass.) full-service burger concept has launched BurgaBox, a burger version of food-kit delivery services.

As with Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Amazon Fresh, Plated, Chef’d, Munchery and other services, BurgaBox delivers raw ingredients and instructions for creating a multi-item burger meal. The $45 Meal For Two Kit has ingredients for two burgers plus containers of prepared sides (coleslaw and Boston baked beans). Diners choose from among six burgers:burgabox-2pack_1024x1024

All American: Bacon, BBQ sauce, creamy blue cheese, American cheese, lettuce, tomato

Green Monstah: Guacamole, pic de gallo, Cheddar jack

The Hot Mess: Bacon, sweet potato fries, housemade Thousand Island dressing, diced pickles, jalapeño, red onion, lettuce, American cheese

Mac Attack: house-made 4-cheese mac & cheese, bacon

The Texan: house-made chili, coleslaw, onion, Cheddar

The Vermonster: Sautéed apples & red onion, bacon, maple mayo, sharp Cheddar.

Also available is a meal kit for four ($60); The Hot Mess Box (two ready-to-cook Hot Mess burgers, 2 containers each of coleslaw and baked beans, one tray of pulled pork mac n cheese and one tray of garlic Parmesan fries ($85); and a Mac Attack Box (two ready-to-cook Mac Attack burgers, 2 containers each of coleslaw and baked beans, one tray of pork mac n cheese, one tray of garlic Parmesan fries ($85).

BurgaBox of the Month Club delivers a different burger meal monthly $59 a month. For November (orders through the 10th) the box holds two ready-to-cook Maui Waui Burgers with pineapple-jalapeňo aïoli, bacon pineapple jam and American cheese; Aloha Fries (wedge-cut-potatoes, Aloha BBQ sauce of pineapple green bell pepper, BBQ sauce, teriyaki and green onions; and Don Ho Mac & Cheese (chicken teriyaki mac & cheese).

The NPD Group reports that only 3% of U.S. adults say they had tried a meal-kit delivery service in the past year. But with restaurant customer flat (and declining for full-service casual concepts), some of those 3% might otherwise dined out, or used a third-party delivery service, which Mintels says 12% of Americans have done.

Earlier this year, Fortune reported that Blue Apron, the largest meal-kit service, ships 8 million meal a month. At $10 a meal, that’s nearly $1 billion in revenue. Boston Burger Company is smart enough to go after its share.

Burger King New Zealand this year gave away 50 kits to make 16 Whoppers at home.

Burger King New Zealand this year gave away 50 kits to make 16 Whoppers at home.

On the Boston Burger Company blog, Chuck Sillari, one of three co-owners (Paul Malvone and Sebastian Fricia) recounts the genesis of BurgaBox: “We’re sitting in our warehouse one day (we have a warehouse & commercial kitchen where we run everything out of) arguing like normal when a box showed up. Our marketing director, Christina [Orso], was apparently scamming HelloFresh out of a free box and had to use the warehouse address to go undetected. When the box arrived we all kinda gathered around, watched her open it, and sat there dumbfounded. How could someone get excited for food like this? It was a skimpy little healthy meal packed with kale and other things that people can’t really enjoy eating.

“I went home and did some research and found out that not only were people getting excited for these boxes but these companies are huge and tons of people are doing it. I went back in the next day to tell my partners about this new discovery and we all sat there bufuddled again. Seb finally blurts out “if we put our burgas in a box, people would lose their minds!” BurgaBox was born.”

Burger King in New Zealand was almost onto the same idea. Earlier this year it gave away 50 backyard-grilling boxes that included not just ready-to-cook ground beef, tomatoes, onions and buns to make 16 Whoppers but also cooking utensils, a hat, apron and even matches.

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The Chicago Cubs’ World Series win resulted in yet another one-day-only chef-collaboration burger from Shake Shack. The $6.89 Little Goat Burger was sold only last Friday for the massive Cubs parade.

Shake Shack Culinary Director Mark Rosati and Chicago Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago’s Little Goat Diner created the cheeseburger, which was topped with Izard’s spiced goat chili, pickled peppers and sour cream; served on a toasted potato bun.

shakeshack_cubsgoatburger

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Yep, it’s back today in many markets.

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