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In a bid to assist fitness enthusiasts in their journey, fitness and food start-up Maed Nutrition has launched its services, providing pre-made meals tailored for muscle gain and weight loss.

Maed, which offers a healthy alternative to food delivery and home cooking, has been open for two months and delivers three pre-made meals six days a week to its customers.

“Many people only associate muscle gain and weight loss with going to the gym. However, what you eat is equally as important,” said Sofoniyas Nebiyu, an athlete and brand ambassador at Maed Nutrition.

“Such a service that provides pre-made meals is available in other places but not here, so we decided to bring it to the market,” added Sofoniyas.

Meal delivery services, which are centered on providing recipe cards, ingredients, and meal plans as opposed to food delivery services, which bring prepared meals from restaurants, have gained popularity in recent years.

These companies either partner with restaurants or prepare their own meals in-house and deliver them directly to consumers. Meal delivery services typically offer a range of pre-made meals with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and balanced nutrition. Some also provide meal kits, which include all the ingredients needed to make a meal at home.

Maed’s meal service, offered through subscription, begins with a consultation. The team takes into account factors such as the user’s weight, height, sex, and activity level to calculate their daily calorie requirement. Furthermore, Maed takes into consideration dietary restrictions and fasting conditions before providing a personalized nutrition plan based on the user’s fitness goals.

Maed’s meals have a higher proportion of protein and carbohydrates, which are crucial for building muscle and providing energy while keeping the fat content low.

Mead’s meal plan offers a variety of dishes, including Chicken and Rice, Tilapia and Potatoes, Beef and Rice, Macaroni and Chicken, and Sweet Potatoes, and Nile perch. They also cater to vegetarian users with specialized food plans.

The self-funded start-up is founded by Henok Kassa, a young businessman. The brand ambassador Sofoniyas, who is a personal trainer with a large following on social media is tasked with marketing the service.

The meals are prepared by a chef who then packages them in a manner that preserves freshness and safety during transport. All three meals are delivered in-house before 9.30 a.m. to a fixed location set by the user.

“The fixed delivery location may be inconvenient for some users, but it’s necessary to ensure timely delivery. As we grow, we hope to make this more flexible,” Sofoniyas said.

Users can store the meals in their refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat. Some meals may need to be reheated, while others can be consumed cold.

On average, a Maed meal costs 228 birr, and the company delivers three meals per day. This means the total daily cost for a customer is 684 birr. Maed requires a minimum subscription of one week and currently has an average of 15 users per week.

Globally, Freshly and HelloFresh are two well-known players in the meal delivery service sector. Freshly is a weekly meal delivery service that offers a rotating menu of pre-cooked, ready-to-eat meals with a focus on healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients. On the other hand, HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that provides all the ingredients and recipes for healthy meals that can be prepared in around 30 minutes.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.

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