Why Rachael Ray Teamed Up With A Meal Kit Delivery Service - Exclusive

Go to the grocery store, and you can find Rachael Ray's face on a lot more than just cookbooks. From cookware to pet care, Ray has placed her stamp of approval on a variety of items, and now, she's championing a meal kit service that's intended to make cooking easier and more accessible for the average person. The Home Chef and Rachael Ray collaboration launched earlier in September, offering meal kits that include Ray's own recipes and all the pre-portioned ingredients necessary for each one.

Meal kits have been around for years, though, so why is Ray partnering with one now? "For years, I've had interviews about home [cooking] kits and what I thought about them, for obvious reasons. I cooked 30-minute meals for 20 years and still do," she admitted in an exclusive interview with Mashed. So when Home Chef "asked [her] to the dance," she explained, it was time to say "yes."

Accessible, budget-friendly, and waste-free

The idea of a meal kit that delivers an entire dinner and all the ingredients necessary to make it is one that fits an array of purposes, Rachael Ray told Mashed.

"For people that are not into cooking at all ... it's daunting. For other people, they feel that they don't have the time, no matter how many times I try and convince them otherwise. Even for people like empty nesters that had big families, they don't know how to scale back to two people or a person. They don't know how to cook less or change their style because they've been cooking the same way for so long," she explained. "[For those people], there's a lot of purpose in these [boxes] ... This is a nice transition or leg up for people." She also pointed to the budget-friendly, waste-free aspect of the kits, which only include the food necessary for each meal, with no excess.

"[Meal kits] are a very useful tool for a whole bunch of folks, and it may get them excited enough to take more interest or more charge of their everyday lives," she added. "It's fun to cook. It's fun to be in the kitchen. Anything that gets you excited about that or makes it easier for you, I'm all for it. Go for it."

Home Chef's Rachael Ray meals are available to order online at homechef.com/rachael or to pick up at more than 1,300 Kroger Family stores, now through mid-March.