How HelloFresh US ensures quality in our meal kits
As an industry-leading food solutions group and the world’s leading meal kit provider, we strive to maintain high quality standards for the ingredients we use. This starts with responsible sourcing. Where possible, we favor locally grown ingredients and in-season produce as this minimizes unnecessary food miles and supports local agriculture and food production.
After procurement, receiving, warehousing, and operations gets items into the bag, quality partners ensure the best ingredients are delivered safely to our customers’ doorsteps. Our Quality Systems developers have created a Quality Assurance Application which ensures our Distribution Centers are randomly checking boxes which equates to roughly 70,000 meals per week. While this auditing helps provide quality control, we know that there isn’t a guarantee that each and every box is free from issues.
To tackle that, we take a holistic approach to audit the various sections of all our distribution centers - including Kitting, Assembly, Grocery, and Automated lines - making sure we catch any errors before they reach the packaging area.
Vital information and check points ensure we’re constantly improving our quality assurance. Here’s what we track:
Step 1 - The Process:
This is the first audit we conduct. The aim here is to capture an error before it reaches ou
r kit bags or boxes. Through Process Audits, we ensure our associates are following the correct step-by-step process of gently placing the meal kit bags and proteins in a box so that there is no damage to the ingredients.
Step 2 - Kit Bag Audits:
After the kit bag is packed and sealed, they are randomly chosen for auditing. In this process, Quality Managers check to make sure all necessary produce, sauces, and spices pertaining to the specified recipe are included and are of good quality.
Step 3 - Assembly Checks:
This is the last check before the box leaves for the customer. Once the boxes are packed and sealed, they are randomly chosen for auditing. The goal is to ensure that each box has the necessary kits and proteins, market items and recipe cards and also make sure there are no quality issues with them.
The audited data is made available to our Quality Managers in real time via our in-house-built dashboard and curated according to their needs. This ensures they have up-to-the-minute information and are able to support issues immediately if needed. Through these dashboards, our team is able to track:
Total number of kit audits completed, total errors found, error percentage, and audit rate percentage.
List of the top audit errors, sorted with the highest occurring error on top.
List of auditor metrics, showing kits audited by individuals as well as time taken per audit.
With our Quality Assurance Application, we’re able to have a final look at the boxes before they leave the Distribution Center for our customers’ doorsteps, giving us even more opportunities for improvement. Because at the end of the day, providing the best ingredients to our customers is what our business is all about.