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Newport Beach investment firm buys defunct meal kit company Chef’d

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Chef’d meal kits on display at a grocery store. The El Segundo company closed its doors last week. Its assets were acquired Wednesday by a Newport Beach investment firm that also sells meal kits through grocery stores.
(Chef’d)

Meal-kit delivery company Chef’d closed its doors last week and laid off hundreds of workers. Now the El Segundo company’s assets have been acquired by a Newport Beach investment firm with a meal kit offering of its own.

True Food Innovations, run by food and real estate investor Alan True, announced Wednesday that it has acquired the assets of Chef’d — including its brand name, plant and equipment — with plans to use those to expand True’s own meal kit business: True Chef.

True Food Innovations bought Chef’d’s assets from the defunct company’s lender, which was not identified. In an email obtained by Business Insider, Chef’d founder Kyle Ransford said the company was closing down July 16 because of “setbacks with financing.”

Chef’d, which was backed by big food companies including Campbell Soup Co., sold meal kits through grocery stores and also offered online ordering and home delivery, similar to better-known meal kit companies Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.

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Robert Jones, a former Chef’d executive who joined True Food Innovations last year, said the grocery side of the business, not delivery, is his focus.

“We believe the retail channel will continue to grow and we will concentrate our efforts on that portion of the Chef’d business,” he said in a statement announcing the deal. True Chef meal kits went on sale at some Costco locations and at Arizona grocery chain Bashas’ this year.

The delivery side of the meal-kit business has proved tricky. Chef’d and other companies have struggled to be profitable amid the costs and complications of shipping fresh meat and produce directly to customers.

That has led some meal kit companies to try to sell their goods through retail locations. Blue Apron meal kits went on sale at some Costco locations in May.

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james.koren@latimes.com

Follow me: @jrkoren


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