Before going into the nuances of the different meal kit brands sold in the market, we must understand how this service actually works. Meal kits provide ingredients to cook a meal which may consist of meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, sauces, and spices with instructions on how to mix and cook them.
The efficiency of professional chefs, who use their personal touch, to carefully proportion food ingredients and recipes to create a partially prepared meal as per your exact preference and taste is what sets them apart from ordering from takeaway food services. As a bonus, you get all these luxuries without going through the hassles of shopping for groceries and the preparation that goes into the cooking.
Who is buying meal kits?
Consumers can either purchase a meal kit from a store or pay a subscription fee to get the product delivered to the home weekly. As a result, meal kit sales are becoming popular as consumers can not only select what they want, but the prices are reasonable as well.
Canada, a huge meal-kit market, is seeing a further rise in the adoption rate as more and more Canadians seek convenient meal solutions. As a result, the leading 7 meal kit companies in Toronto, namely, HelloFresh, chefs plate, good food, Meal Fix Canada, Athlete’s Kitchen, Essential Meal Delivery, and Power Kitchen, have all seen growth in this segment.
Whether you need lunch for a few or dinner for many, there is a plan for every household. The meal is delivered in a special box in which no oxidation of vegetables or spoilage can occur. All the subscriber has to do is to sign up for a specific number of meals per week. Plans are flexible, changes in items can be made, and subscriptions canceled anytime.
A combination of stay-at-home instructions and limited time to spare for cooking food has narrowed the gap between house-delivered meal kit services and take-out options. As a result, consumers who crave simple food preparations find this service both convenient and affordable.
As a result, the fresh food and meal kit segments have grown phenomenally over the past year. Moreover, they are projected to grow even faster as the trend of eating in is likely to remain popular, at least till such time that grocery shopping does not become a cause of virus transmission concern or even beyond that.
What is driving the adoption trend?
The joys of cooking and proclaiming your dish sous-chef genus, meaning “I made this,” is precious, but not everyone is a born chef. For others, it can become quite stressful, especially large families, with stay-at-home orders in place. Here are a few reasons why a meal kit subscription could be right up your alley.
Meal kit users are likely to cite convenience as the key to motivate purchases. Around 67% of those who use meal kits say that their lives are very hectic, while 20% of homes with children have tried a meal kit at least once. Moreover, 58% of consumers, who come to know about the services, spontaneously decide to try out a meal kit on the very day itself.
Furthermore, as many as 62% of users are men compared to 38% women, which proves that meal kits appeal strongly to males. Not only that, males tend to buy more meal kits over six months and consistently use them, whereas the percentage is much less with females.
A large percentage of consumers (91%) who have been regularly using meal kits have shown great satisfaction in the service. However, with regards to consumers who opted out of the subscription services, as many as 52% of them believed the meal kit services were too expensive.
Take-out food is not as nutritious as a meal kit as it may contain more saturated fat and sodium. However, the fresh ingredients which come with the well-balanced meal make it a far better health option than fast food. Additionally, you can set dietary preferences according to your requirement and know how many calories are being consumed each day.
Some consumers are wary of the costs of meal kits despite the fact they approve of the convenience of using them. What is frequently overlooked is the terrible waste that occurs when groceries go stale in the pantry. With meal kits, there is zero waste as all the food comes in prescribed proportion, which is good both for the pocket and the environment.
With parents working from home, juggling between the kitchen and the family could take up a lot of time. As a result, meal kit deliveries are witnessing a jump in subscriber enrollments from such families. This not only provides a healthy option for the kids, but you get to spend some precious moments with them throughout the day.
Many customers also appreciate the fact that meal kit services give them an opportunity to try out new dishes, which would otherwise be outside their comfort zone, in a cost-effective and healthier way than take-out.
Food for thought
As the industry continues to grow, companies are now looking at new ways to figure out how to get their products into consumers’ homes. But what matters most to the consumers is what is inside the box. In a lot of ways, they are taking a hint at how Integrated Food Services for schools and hospitals put together healthy, nutritious, and yet appetizing meals. They’ve figured out what people want and need. They want:
- More meal choices per week
- Meals for the whole family
- Lower pricing
- Meals that can be made quickly
- Meals as per dietary and lifestyle requirements.
- Thanksgiving and Easter meal kits
- Date night meal kits
Many users are ready and willing to spend more in exchange for convenience and a promise of healthy and fresh food. These consumers who are rather interested in the new approaches to procure fresh groceries will ultimately decide who will be the winner or loser in the current food industry rivalry.
Featured Photo by Sheila Pedraza Burk from Burst