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Chick-fil-A is launching a meal kit as more people eat at home

The meal should take less than 30 minutes to prepare.
The meal should take less than 30 minutes to prepare. (Chick-fil-A, Inc.)

Chick-fil-A is rolling out a meal kit as more people eat at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The chicken chain will start selling its new product nationally as soon as May 4. Each individual restaurant will decide whether to offer the meal kits, but Chick-fil-A expects at least half of its locations to opt in.

In recent years, hype over meal kits has largely faded. But some meal kit companies have seen a recent boost because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced restaurants to close their doors and prompted people to stay away from crowded grocery stores.

The mandatory shift to eating in has made this a good time for Chick-fil-A to launch the product, which it first tested out in 2018.

"Customers are asking us to serve them at home," Michael Patrick, from Chick-fil-A's Beyond the Restaurant team, told CNN Business."So we brought it back."

Most meal kit companies operate as subscription services. The Chick-fil-A meal kits can only be ordered individually for delivery or pickup — Chick-fil-A hopes that people will pick up a dinner kit when they drive by for breakfast or lunch.

And there's only one option: A chicken Parmesan kit that includes two breaded filets, as well as marinara sauce, cheese and a side of creamy garlic and lemon pasta. Customers can customize the order by swapping out the breaded filets for grilled or spicy chicken. Plus, Chick-fil-A has done most of the work for its customers. The chicken is pre-cooked, so customers just have to reheat the filets at home.

For Chick-fil-A, the item is another way to reach customers at home.

This month, Chick-fil-A started selling 16-ounce bottles of its signature and Polynesian sauces at Publix, Target, Walmart and Winn-Dixie stores in Florida. It’s also started posting videos to its Facebook page showing customers how to cook meals using Chick-fil-A products, and selling “family meals,” or bundles of menu items that serve four individuals. The new meal kits cost $14.99 each and serve two.