what role is there for food kits in our busy lives?
Consumers are notoriously busy. Modern life is hectic, convenience is king and home cooking is on the decline. Convenience foods have long targeted time-poor consumers but a microwave meal hasn’t the appeal of a freshly prepared meal. Companies offering meal kits are offering busy consumers a happy middle ground; fresh ingredients with a step-by-step cooking guide delivered directly to your door. The ingredients are portioned and packed ready for use, with the emphasis on the cooking experience without the hassle.
The US home delivery meal kit sector is expected to be worth $10 billion by 2020 (Statistica 2018).
One of the major players is Hello Fresh which boasts over 900,000 subscribers. Hello Fresh offers hundreds of recipes delivered to your door in temperature controlled packaging. This packaging allows deliveries to be left on the doorstep if consumers are out, addressing a common problem with home delivery. Hello Fresh has also teamed up with Sainsbury’s in the UK to sell meal kits in-store, recognising shoppers’ desire to recreate the cooking from scratch experience with high quality ingredients but without the time-consuming preparation.
image courtesy of hello fresh
There certainly seems to be a legitimate role for meal kits; demand for convenience is balanced with the satisfaction and joy of cooking. There is also something attractive about offering consumers only the food they need for each meal (less food waste?), however meal kits also create additional packaging waste which should be addressed by the manufacturers, e.g. Hello Fresh dedicates a section of their website to recycling with online tutorials. Whilst showing steady growth, the meal kit sector has failed to explode as once predicted; perhaps it’s as bothersome to manage an online subscription as it is to visit the supermarkets...