Meal kits explode

Appears in the February 2021 issue.

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

HelloFresh, the world’s largest meal kit company, has agreed to pay $277 million to acquire Batavia-based Factor75 (, which specializes in health-focused ready-to-eat meals.

The acquisition will give Germany-based HelloFresh its first office in the Chicago metro area, along with Factor75’s four production and fulfillment facilities in Burr Ridge, Franklin Park, and Lyons. A soon-to-be-launched facility in Aurora will give it capacity to deliver more than $500 million worth of Factor75 meals annually.

Founded in 2013, Factor75 specializes in heat-and-eat prepared meals that comply with keto, paleo, low-carb, vegetarian, plant-based, and high-protein diets, at a price of $12.38 per meal for an eight-meal-per-week subscription.

Interest in meal kits has surged during the pandemic, when residents confined to their homes look for ways to make cooking easier. As the pandemic has worn on and many have tired of cooking, people are gravitating toward more convenient options, especially for weeknight dinners, said Cara Rasch, research analyst at Packaged Facts, a market research firm.

This story originally appeared in our sister publication, the Chicago Tribune, and is reprinted with permission.

Photos courtesy Hellofresh