- Martha Stewart is collaborating with meal-kit delivery service Marley Spoon to offer a Thanksgiving meal kit again this year. Consumers can either order their entire Thanksgiving dinner, including a whole, free-range turkey, or just the sides and dessert, Marley Spoon said in a statement.
- Stewart’s Thanksgiving kit retails for $159.95, which is $20 cheaper than last year, according to CNBC. A kit with just the sides and dessert sells for $99.99.
- The kit serves eight to 10 people, and can be cooked at the last minute on Thanksgiving day, according to the company. Marley Spoon also has simplified its holiday recipes after receiving feedback that last year’s dishes were too difficult to make.
The food and home decorating guru is back, helping home cooks across America make Thanksgiving dinner. At least she hopes so.
In addition to complaints about the hefty cost of last year's meal kit, consumers found the recipes too difficult to follow — two issues that have long plagued the broader meal kit segment. This updated Thanksgiving kit still involves plenty of slicing and dicing, but the recipes for brown sugar glazed turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, herbed stuffing, roasted vegetables and apple crisp are reportedly streamlined to avoid "drama in the kitchen."
But could pre-assembled Thanksgiving meal kits also take some of the fun out of holiday cooking? It depends on whom you ask. In November of 2016, Technomic surveyed 1,500 customers on meal kits and found that only 16% of non-kit users would consider ordering their Thanksgiving dinner from a company such as Marley Spoon. However, that number jumped to 51% among existing meal-kit service users. An additional 43% of home cooks who subscribe to a meal-kit company believe a Thanksgiving dinner from one of these services would boost the quality of their big meal.
The focus of the Martha & Marley Spoon meal kit on gourmet quality is an interesting point of differentiation from other meal kit offerings. Most meal kit solutions are advertised as a quick and easy way to learn new recipes and make wholesome meals at home, emphasizing the amount of time consumers can save by having pre-portioned ingredients delivered to their door, rather than having to shop for them in the store.
And while Marley Spoon's website does state that the meal kit will help consumers "spend less time in the kitchen and more time with [their] family," it seems there is greater emphasis on the kit's ability to deliver a fail-safe turkey dinner that will wow guests.
Stewart’s kit appears to be unique, as competitors Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are not currently selling Thanksgiving meal kits. Chef’d appears to have offered a meal kit, but it is no longer available for sale. Most grocers offer pre-cooked Thanksgiving meals that shoppers can pick up and re-heat, but these offerings may not be considered as premium as a meal kit, giving Stewart an advatage in this area.
It will be interesting to see if other meal kit providers debut Thanksgiving offerings of their own next year. Given Technomic's findings, it may not be worth the investment, especially since many meal-kit companies are already struggling to turn a profit. Even if a brand like HelloFresh or Blue Apron entered the Thanksgiving space, it would be hard to compete with the Martha Stewart brand, which is practically synonymous with gourmet quality.