Are meal kit delivery services posing a threat to the foodservice and grocery industries?
Across the country, consumers are embracing the convenience of meal kit delivery services, and incorporating this service into their busy lives. Offering consumers a more convenient way to cook at home, these services are rapidly gaining popularity, and this growth and expansion is expected to continue.
Answering the age old question “What’s for dinner?” has perhaps never been easier.
According to Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S., a brand-new report from leading market research publisher Packaged Facts, meal kit delivery services have exploded over the past few years by bridging the space between home-cooked meals and takeout. The services offer people a convenient way to cook at home without having to do the meal planning and grocery shopping. Online portals let consumers order meals ahead from picture menus showing beautiful photos of the finished dish, and the services deliver the pre-measured fresh ingredients along with recipes to their doorstep to help them cook chef-like meals at home.
Based on the number of meal kit delivery services around the country, the current numbers of meal shipments and growth rates claimed by marketers, and the almost certain entry of such services from retailers and food marketers, Packaged Facts conjectures that the U.S. meal kit delivery services market will generate approximately $1.5 billion in sales in 2016 and will grow to a multi-billion market over the next five years.
Despite the positives, the growing presence of meal kit delivery services comes with a caveat for various other segments of the food and beverage industry. Meal kit delivery services have the potential to disrupt both the restaurant industry and the grocery industry because they allow people to cook restaurant-quality meals at home without going out to grocery shop.
“These days, consumers have access to almost everything without leaving their home and—through the power of smartphones—without even speaking to another human being. Rather than worrying whether meal kit delivery services will cut into their business, some grocers and food marketers are taking the bull by the horns and starting their own such services,” said David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.
This first edition report covers online meal kit delivery services, defined as companies that offer and deliver to consumers’ doors (or arrange for delivery of) a box or bag of fresh ingredients for one or more meals, along with a step-by-step recipe with photos showing how to cook each meal at home. The everything-in-a-box kits promise convenience by eliminating the need to plan meals, find recipes and shop for groceries. Ingredients are portioned in just the right quantities for the recipe, and sometimes even prepped (pre-cut, marinated, packaged with pre-cooked sauce components, etc.) to speed and ease consumers’ time spent in the kitchen. Excluded from this report are services that deliver completely cooked heat-and-eat meals, and services that deliver frozen foods.