What's for dinner? The New York Times wants to help

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The New York Times Co., which has delivered newspapers for decades, now wants to help deliver food to people’s door steps.

The newspaper publisher has partnered with Chef’d, a meal kit delivery company, to ship boxes of uncooked food based on recipes from The New York Times Cooking site and app. Customers cook up the meals on their own, using step-by-step recipes that come in the boxes.

The New York Times, which is licensing its brand to Chef’d, said the meals will go on sale this summer. Customers will be able to order meal kits anytime they want, or subscribe to receive weekly boxes. A box that can make meals for two people typically costs around $30 on Chef’d.

The deal is another way for The New York Times to boost revenue outside of its print business. The New York company also sells tickets to its conferences and hawks posters, maps and jewelry online. Revenue from those types of endeavours rose 6.3 per cent to $95 million last year, while revenue from advertising fell 3.6 per cent to $638.7 million. Circulation revenue rose 1 per cent to $845.5 million.

Meal kits have exploded in recent years as competition heats up. People around the world spent $1.5 billion on meal kits last year, with less than half of that coming from the U.S., according to research group Technomic. The U.S. market is expected to grow to as much as $6 billion by 2020, Technomic said.

Blue Apron and HelloFresh are just some of the competitors in the space. Late last year, food writer Mark Bittman left The New York Times to join vegan meal kit company Purple Carrot.

Chef’d, based in El Segundo, California, was founded a year ago. It has similar deals with other publishers, including fitness magazine Men’s Health.

Bloomberg first reported the deal Thursday.