Meal kits gaining traction in convenience sales
Market research company Packaged Facts reports that meal kit delivery is disrupting vending services: Last year, sales of meal kits exceeded US$5 billion.
Some companies offer pick up from refrigerated storage units, while others deliver door to door. This means more consumers are looking for convenience in their food choices without compromising in what they consider a healthier option.
Companies such as Blue Apron, Chefs Plate and HelloFresh, to name a few, are capitalizing on time-pressed consumers and millennials who are focused on better food choices. Recently, even retail giant Walmart and online colossus Amazon have begun experimenting with food delivery.
Packaged Facts notes that there are no outlying leaders in fresh food meal kits. Grocery stores are still in the lead but Blue Apron is top seller with 17 per cent a share. The next four are in order of popularity, Freshology, Green Chef, HelloFresh and Home Bistro.
Part of the popularity behind meal kits is in heavily discounted, if not free product trials. The market research company cites 97 per cent of the service subscribers recommend their services to friends in exchange for another free meal. Consumers report that time-saving is the most desirable aspect of the service. Quality, variety and the healthiness of the meal were also rated as high selling points.
The opportunity for sales capitalizes on consumer desire to learn how to cook, and markets the kits as a way for its buyers to engage in an experience, or share cooking as an activity with their significant other.
Major North American retailers are now honing in on the trend and making the kits available online through their services, or are offering pick-up services in their bricks and mortar locations.
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