Michigan startup aims to feed time-starved folks
Clean Planet is one of several start-up companies nationwide that have begun offering food delivery in recent years. Each start-up offers different foods and packaging. Some ship only the ingredients for an entire meal as a kit, and you cook them. Clean Planet, though, just delivers cooked meat that is refrigerated and can be quickly heated up in the microwave. "There's a swirl of conversation and energy around startups and quite a bit of that around food startups," said Jeff Stoltman, a marketing professor at Wayne State University. "The idea of delivery has been around a while." He pointed to enterprises that deliver exotic fruit and premium, raw steaks. What is new, he said, is digital and mobile technology that has made it easier and cheaper to order and ship products for both customers and businesses — and they are not just selling food. Retailers offering everything from razors to lingerie are capitalizing on it. But, Stoltman also has doubts that all these companies will make it. "Looking in my crystal ball it's really hard for me to imagine that many new brands could enter into this space and compete and survive for a long period," he said. "Part of what's behind that statement is just how many options can stay in the queue and divide up the available market?"