As Fast Company‘s lunch box correspondent, I’ve been tracking some of the latest advancements in portable meals. The kid’s lunch box Omie, for instance, is adorable, and also has hot and cold compartments. But why should kids have all the nice stuff? If you work at an office, you’re familiar with the sad desk lunch–the depressing, ugly assortment of tasteless food that you scarf down between working on spreadsheets and preparing for meetings. (There’s even a blog where people submit pictures of their lame lunches that include microwave pot pies and ugly sandwiches.)
But an innovative brand called Prepd wants to make your desk lunch happier. The brand launched as a Kickstarter project two years ago and managed to raise a whopping $1.44 million in funding, revealing how desperate most of us are for a better lunch at the office.
Prepd is now a fully fledged company. For $69, you can purchase a kit that contains a bamboo case, plus some clear containers (one large and two small), together with magnetic cutlery. The containers have some innovative features: The large one contains a little sauce holder so that your salads don’t get soggy. But the main point of the box is that it is beautiful, unlike the stacks of Rubbermaid containers and Ziploc bags that most of us use to hold our lunch. It transforms eating at work from a boring non-event into a self-care ritual.
You can also download a Prepd app, where you can find recipes created by chefs and nutritionists. The app also generates shopping lists and counts calories for you, which makes the whole lunch process easier. While the whole kit is fairly expensive, it’s cheaper than ditching your lunch to eat at a restaurant several times a week, which I have certainly done.