Green Lights for Meal Kits

December 21, 2016

Lift marquee name, wellness and sustainability images. 

Supermarket and c-store grocerants that run their own branded meal kit programs—like Mariano’s in Chicago—can uniquely extend their marquee names into customers’ homes.  

Meal kit programs can also boost retailers’ sustainability image because cooking with meal kits may waste 62% less food than cooking with supermarket ingredients. This figure comes from a Blue Apron study.

Stores can also fortify their health and wellness image by having chefs collaborate with dietitians on meal kits. Hy-Vee does this, Jeremy Gosch, Executive VP-Strategy and Chief Merchandiser Officer at the chain, told this newsletter in a recent interview.

A November Technomic study of 1,500 consumers further supports green lights for meal kits. Consumers under age 35 are more than twice as likely as older consumers to have used a meal kit service within the last three months, the research and consulting firm found.

It seems everyone is seeking a bite of the U.S. meal kit market delivery market, pegged at $1.5 billion in 2016 sales and on the way to multi-billions within five years, projects Packaged Facts.

Competition goes beyond innovators such as HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Chef’d and Purple Carrot.  Major food companies such as Tyson, Campbell and Hershey want in too, and are working with online couriers to develop services, reports The Wall Street Journal.   

This newsletter believes grocerants can establish and retain a built-in advantage if they play up their hometown chefs, local food sources and healthful options. It’s also a plus that consumers who feel like dining out can check out what’s cooking at the retail grocerant any day of the week, and perhaps have a chance to give input on what they’d like to see in upcoming meal kits.

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