German food store offers recipe kits for individual meals

Rather than stocking everything a consumer might need at any given time, German Kochhaus — or “Cooking House” — focuses on a set number of meals each day. The store displays a series of packages that include a recipe and just the right quantities of all the necessary ingredients.

Launched in September 2010, Kochhaus — which bills itself as “the walk-in recipe book in Berlin” — typically displays some 20 recipes at any one time, each displayed on a table with the associated ingredients. Starters, salads, soups, main courses and desserts are all represented in the mix on any given day. “No dish costs more than €10, about $13, a serving; no dish takes more than one hour to prepare; there are no more than 12 steps to any recipe; there are never more than 20 recipes to choose from in the store, although two new ones are rotated in each week,” marketing director Dorothée Stöber told The New York Times recently. Kochhaus uses local and organic ingredients whenever possible, and it has hired the Berlin Workshop for the Disabled to package most of its dry goods. Most recipes, meanwhile, are in-house creations. Individual ingredients and wines are available in the shop too, as well as pans, bowls and other implements. Wine-tastings and cooking workshops are on the way. Meals are purchased by the portion, with delivery available in the local area.

Offering the opportunity for consumers to show off their culinary skills, while never stretching them too far, Kochhaus has found an innovative way to tap into dining trends. Grocery retailers around the world: how will you do likewise? (Related: Upscale meals-in-a-box feature healthy global cuisineRecipe kits bring the world to your dinner table.)

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