Meal Kits: Grocers Need to Win This One

Blue Apron, Munchery, Sunbasket, Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot, Plated, Home Chef, Green Chef, and Fresh Chef: this list might go on for miles. Dear Grocers: our customers aren’t fed up with cooking; instead they want cooking to be easier and faster with good results. Our customers are mentally tired of planning, tired of waste, and not interested in disappointing results.

Image via Hello Fresh recipe cards

Meal kits burst onto the scene with the solution to just about everything: ingredients are assembled and there is just enough for the pre-determined number of meals – no more throwing away produce that was purchased with good intentions. Recipes are tested and simple; the recipe cards are clear and include attractive imagery: the meals look good and tend to be healthier than what one might be able to forage from a Happy Hour or drive through menu. For the childless Millennial, meal kits are perfect solutions to the “work late and come home tired” nights: dinner on the table in about forty minutes, the kitchen smells good, there is no waste, and the meal is of high-quality. For a harried parent juggling work, soccer practice, kids’ homework, and dry cleaning pick up, among many other demands: a larger subscription can provide a great meal and a satisfied family in much less time than starting with fresh ingredients.

Grocers: will you let this opportunity slip away to subscription delivery services? In this day and age when Target, Home Depot, every neighborhood drugstore and the almighty Amazon are steadily chipping away at your business, will you provide this solution for your shoppers?

  • Here are some points to consider:
    A recent Harris Poll showed that nearly one-quarter of adults purchased a meal kit in 2016, and 70% of those continued with repeat purchases.
  • Own Brands Now tells us that people wanted to save the time of meal planning and shorten the preparation and cooking times, save the shopping time, try new recipes, and eat healthier.
  • AC Neilsen data has shown that 86% of meal kit shoppers today would add a dessert if one was offered, giving grocers an opportunity to upsell this shopper.
  • PwC’s survey, summarized here, shows us that consumers enjoy the convenience of online shopping but still want the experience that only a retail environment can provide.
  • Technomic Inc., a global food analyst company, predicts that fresh food delivery (meal kits) will grow to ten billion dollars by the year 2020.

Independent Grocers: you have an open opportunity. Will you take advantage?

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