Retail Foodservice

Chew on This: Study Provides Morsels on Meal Kits

If it seems like a lot of people are talking about meal kits, it’s because they are. With Technomic predicting that the U.S. meal kit market will grow by a factor of 10 times over the next five years, it’s no wonder that meal kits are a topic of intense interest and scrutiny among those who purvey food and those who consume it.

New data underscores that notion that meal kits remain a hot topic and an area of opportunity. According to research from The Coca-Cola Company, the market for meal kits is projected to grow to $36 billion by 2025, driven by consumers’ quest for easy, time-saving and little-to-no-prep food solutions. “Meal kits aren’t a passing fad,” declares Carrie Williams, brand manager.

While consumers like the idea of meal kits, they also have shown loyalty to retailers. The research shows that 54% of shoppers look for retailers to provide easy-to-make recipes. Additionally, although consumers may order meal kits from a meal kit provider or subscription service, they still visit brick-and-mortar stores, including grocery stores, for meal solutions. Those solutions can include a retailer’s version of meal kits, along with prepared entrees and sides and take-home items from a grocerant.

Williams says it can be a win-win environment, given the fact that meal kit users tend to be open to new products and are often willing to spend for convenience and quality. “Meal kit subscribers are valuable shoppers that make more frequent small basket trips and seek quality items,” Williams says. She cites the finding that meal kit subscribers spend 28% more than the average shopper and are more likely to purchase fresh food items in-store.

“They specifically over-index on purchases like limes, avocados, sparkling water and non-dairy milk alternatives,” Williams adds.

Retailers can take such trends to heart and seek new opportunities, according to the Coca-Cola research. Among other tactics, stores can offer more beverages to complement meal solutions and tout their offering of fresh, healthy ingredients used in their store’s own prepared foods.

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