- A recent Harris Poll revealed that 25% of adults purchased a meal kit in 2016 and 70% of meal kit purchasers have continued to buy them, according to Own Brands Now.
- The top reasons for purchasing meal kits, according to the study, were saving time on meal planning (46%) and shortening preparation and cooking times (45%).
- Other reasons in the top five included saving time on grocery shopping (37%), trying out new recipes (36%), and having access to healthy recipes (34%). Own Brands Now suggested that grocery stores could capitalize on this trend by making their own kits for shoppers to pick up in-store.
The Harris Poll was very similar to other meal kit studies conducted over the last year, including a recent Nielsen report that showed one in four U.S. adults has purchased a meal kit either in-store or for delivery during the last year, with 70% going back after making their first purchase.
Grocery retailers can do well in this space by offering new items each week and highlighting recipes on their social media sites and in-store. Today’s consumers want convenience more than ever, and picking up a retailer-branded meal kit at the end of a shopping trip is an easy way for them to quickly get dinner on the table. These meal kits are often healthier than take-out options, and both in-store and delivery service kits offer the premium, unusual flavor profiles that consumers demand.
Grocers can designate a store department for meal kit creation, including consolidating ingredients and preparing kits before putting them on display. Larger retailers may hire companies to assemble the kits for them, but that can increase their bottom line and prices to consumers. Several food companies are entering this space as well, and many manufacturers are starting to partner with grocers on meal kits.
Some analysts believe that the high prices of meal kits will discourage consumers once the fad dies down, but others see the segment as a lucrative business opportunity that will only broaden in the years ahead.