Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S.

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Published Apr 28, 2016 | 128 Pages | Pub ID: LA5815663

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Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S.

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Are meal kit delivery services the future of the U.S. food industry, destined to replace both at-home food preparation from store-bought ingredients and the seemingly indelible experience of food store shopping itself, while also cutting into the restaurant business? Some meal kit industry participants say so, and while perhaps not quite so starry as this, the future does appear bright. Culinary convenience is a quality many Americans search for when it comes to meal preparation. Bridging the space between home-cooked meals and takeout, meal kit delivery services have exploded into a $1.5 billion market in just the past few years and appear on track to at least double that number in the next few years. Based on the volume of meal kit delivery service orders nationwide, the food delivery industry will grow to a multi-billion dollar market over the next five years. Packaged Facts'report, Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S., explores the maturing meal kit delivery industry, analyzing in expert detail the emerging trends arising in this young and exciting market.

Meal Kit Delivery a $1.5 Billion Market and Growing

Meant to solve the perennial problem of “what’s for dinner?”, meal kit delivery services offer consumers a convenient way to cook at home without having to do the meal planning and grocery shopping. One out of every four Americans reported ordering meal kit delivery in 2016, and many of them are likely to make future purchases because of the convenience meal kit delivery services provide to consumers strapped for time. Meal kits offer convenience that is crucial to managing meal preparation. Meal kit delivery services also offer consumers options on the web, with features like online portals that allow consumers to order meals ahead of time from picture menus displaying gorgeous photos of the finished dish. These meal kit delivery services deliver the pre-measured fresh ingredients along with recipes to consumers' doorsteps to help them cook chef-quality meals at home. Marketers in the meal kit delivery industry are aiming for—and finding—a “sweet spot” with consumers who do not have the time, inclination, or know-how to shop for individual ingredients, navigate through a lengthy recipe, and cook an entire meal from scratch, yet who also don't want to eat another heat-and-eat prepared meal, order takeout food, or dine out. It's no wonder then that participants across the entire food spectrum—from grocery home delivery services like Peapod and FreshDirect, to packaged foods marketers like Barilla, to meal-kits-only grocery store Pantry—are climbing aboard the burgeoning meal kit delivery service bandwagon.

Why Meal Kit Delivery?

Meal kit delivery has exploded over the past few years for many reasons from the consumer viewpoint. For one, most meal kit delivery services operate in a similar manner by offering enticing, easy-to-use websites. Consumers can browse menus full of current (and sometimes future & previous) recipes complete with high-quality photographs of food. The same scroll-down or additional webpages describe how the meal delivery service works and who its suppliers are. But meal kit delivery services' popularity isn't due simply to attractive and intuitive online portals. Many Americans see the convenience meal kit delivery offers as highly important when deciding what to eat for dinner. Consumers who feel like they're strapped for time when it comes to meal preparation choose meal kit delivery services precisely because of the simplicity and convenience they offer. Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S. explores the many reasons consumers are increasingly choosing meal kit delivery over other food options such as grocery retailers, restaurants, or takeout.

Attractions of Meal Kit Delivery Services:

  • Saves time and stress of shopping and meal planning
  • Freshness
  • No food wasted
  • Teaches cooking skills
  • Promotes discovery & introduces variety
  • Makes exotic food ingredients available everywhere
  • Allows consumers to make homemade gourmet meals
Meal kit delivery services have the potential to disrupt both the restaurant and grocery industry bases.

Meal Kit Delivery's Future Projection:

Meal kit delivery services have the potential to experience healthy growth, as seen by industry leaders HelloFresh and Blue Apon considering and following initial public offerings. New players who are yet to emerge on the market may find ripe opportunities for niches in which to test their mettle. And consolidation of smaller marketers as some go out of business, while others are absorbed by mergers and acquisitions, is likely. Others still fear that meal kit delivery services will prove highly disruptive to food retailing and foodservice. Packaged Facts predicts that a major retailer or food producer may decide to scoop up a meal kit delivery service in order to gain their own quick entry into this maturing market.

Scope and Methodology

Packaged Facts’ first-edition report, Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S., opens with an overview chapter presenting a thorough introduction to the new and exciting business of meal kit delivery services, exploring its history, the changing eating trends that are making it viable, how exactly meal kit delivery services are made to succeed in a feasible business model, and attractions and criticisms levied against the burgeoning meal kit services market. The next chapter, "The Consumer", concentrates primarily on analyzing data from a proprietary Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey conducted in February 2015 that delves into the scope and demographics of users of meal kit delivery services. The report's next chapter, “The Marketers”, profiles more than two dozen meal kit services market competitors and their strategies, including: Ahold USA, Blue Apron, Chef’d, Cooking Simplified, Din, Foodstirs, FreshDirect, Gobble, Green Blender, Green Chef, Handpick, HelloFresh, Home Chef, Hungryroot, Just Add Cooking, Markey Spoon, Munchery, Pantry, PeachDish, Plated, The Purple Carrot, Saffron Fix, Sun Basket, Terra’s Kitchen, and Tyson Foods. The report's closing chapter, "Trends & Opportunities", springboards off the past and current state of the meal kit delivery services industry to explore the future of this market.

In addition to the Packaged Facts consumer survey, primary research for Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S. includes telephone and email interviews with executives at meal kit delivery services, with secondary research encompassing more than 300 articles in consumer and industry publications, websites, and blogs, as well as other reports by Packaged Facts, along with websites and literature from individual meal kit marketers.
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