Will consumers decide meal kits just aren’t worth buying?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer magazine.
It was during the Coolidge administration, I believe, that supermarkets began marketing “meal solutions.” So with that head start, why have meal kit delivery services “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”?
That’s according to Packaged Facts. And my pals at Nielsen also say the trend is booming, with one in four Americans having tried them. Seriously?
Consumer Reports says most meal kits cost about twice what you’d pay for the same thing in a supermarket. Purple Carrot’s Chinese Broccoli and Tofu costs $11.33 and you can buy the same stuff in the supermarket for $3.46. Blue Apron’s $9.99 Spring Chicken Fettuccini kit? It’s $4.88 in a supermarket.
I get it. Their high prices are accounted for in the labor, packaging and delivery. But does convenience cover the price?
My oldest son and his wife subscribe to one of these services. They open a big box, open little individual packages of meat, produce and pasta, and still more miniscule packets of spices and sauces. By the time they’re done, I could have cooked three meals from supermarket ingredients.
The kids think a lot of the food is “yucky”. And a humungous amount of packaging is left over.
Actually, I don’t get it. But millennial men, families with kids and households with incomes of more than $70,000 are the heaviest users of meal kits. These are attractive demographics. So grocers need to go to school on these meal kit muggers, studying their websites to find weaknesses and opportunities. We already have all the ingredients of these kits, but they’re spread all over the store. We need to do a better job of fixing that.
Why not compare prices on a particular meal, versus the very same recipe from the meal kit company? Heck, have it on sale that night, with signage comparing the price Blue Apron is offering. Let’s not give away what’s rightfully ours. Come on.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How can grocers best use their expertise in meal solutions to capture their fair share of the meal kit trend? Should grocers more aggressively counter the trend with comparison pricing?