GreatMeals.com Closes Kitchen for the Summer

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GreatMeals.com recently pulled the plug on its Web meal delivery service, but it plans to relaunch this fall.


Several phone attempts to reach an executive at the Bethesda, MD, firm were unsuccessful. The company was not answering calls at its corporate office but provided a general e-mail address for inquiries.


Its Web site reads: "GreatMeals has temporarily closed its kitchen for renovations and its fall re-launch."


The 1-year-old firm offered 97 prepared main courses and side dishes. The main courses were packaged to feed two and cost around $12, while side dishes fed four and were priced at about $8.


People were able to receive the meals in three days via ground delivery from a United Parcel Service hub near Richmond Cold Storage, Richmond, VA, the firm that prepared the meals and packed them in flash-frozen containers.


GreatMeals also offered delivery anywhere in the United States under longer timetables, but it focused its marketing efforts east of the Mississippi River.


The company mailed 100,000 catalogs during April and May to those regions in order to augment its online sales. Names of people with direct marketing purchasing histories were sourced from catalogers such as Martha By Mail, Time Life Cooking and Williams-Sonoma. Magazine subscription lists from Bon Appetit, Wine Enthusiast and Working Mothers completed the prospect database.


The campaign also was meant to brand the company against its chief competitors, HomeBistro.com and Alazing.com, a Web-based firm run by Omaha Steaks.


GreatMeals had planned to sign an agreement with a western U.S. food distribution company this year so it could start targeting the rest of the country with direct mail and other promotions.


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