Description

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Meal Kits – US market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

While meal kits have seen ups and downs since the first services started to appear around 2012, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the industry with a boost, as consumers have focused on home cooking and looked to limit grocery shopping trips. This increase in consumer demand has given meal kit services a unique opportunity to reinvent themselves around the experiences, convenience, and value they provide.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Owen, a leading analyst in the Food & Retail sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While meal kits have seen ups and downs since the first services started to appear around 2012, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the industry with a boost as consumers have focused on home cooking and looked to limit grocery shopping trips. The increase in demand has also at least temporarily reduced reliance on the coupons and discounts that consumers have come to expect. The experience that meal kit customers have now and in coming months may determine whether they keep ordering at elevated levels in the long run or fall back to more sporadic pre-pandemic usage patterns.

John Owen
Associate Director Food & Retail

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Top takeaways
                  • Market overview
                    • Ups and downs for an upstart industry
                      • Pandemic provides a short-term boost
                        • Impact of COVID-19 on meal kits
                          • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on meal kits, October 2020
                        • Re-emergence
                          • Pandemic continues to fuel short-term spike
                            • A make-or-break opportunity to drive loyalty
                              • Recovery
                                • Reframe value
                                  • Make kits more social
                                    • Make easy an easier option
                                    • Market Overview

                                      • Ups and downs for an upstart industry
                                        • Pandemic provides a short-term boost…
                                          • …and an opportunity to bolster long-term loyalty
                                            • Financial data from top competitors traces category’s uneven performance
                                              • Figure 2: Select quarterly financial metrics: Blue Apron, Q1 2018-Q2 2020
                                              • Figure 3: Select quarterly financial metrics: HelloFresh US, Q1 2018-Q2 2020
                                            • Impact of COVID-19 on meal kits
                                              • Figure 4: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on meal kits, October 2020
                                            • Re-emergence
                                              • Recovery
                                                • COVID-19: US context
                                                • Market Factors

                                                  • Concern about exposure keeps shoppers online, benefiting meal kits
                                                    • Figure 5: Coronavirus exposure and lifestyle disruption concerns – any worried, March-October 2020
                                                  • Desire to limit time in-store benefits kits, both online and in-store
                                                    • Figure 6: Coronavirus lifestyle changes – Online shopping, April-October 2020
                                                  • Consumers remain hesitant about eating in restaurants
                                                    • Figure 7: Comfort level with restaurant/bar patronage – Very or somewhat comfortable, July-October 2020
                                                  • Growth of online grocery both a threat to and an opportunity for meal kits
                                                    • Figure 8: Total US online sales and forecast of groceries*, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                • Market Opportunities

                                                  • Make meal kits more social
                                                    • Go local
                                                      • Offer more customizability
                                                        • Make easy an easier option
                                                          • Reframe the value of premium meals
                                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                                            • Overriding emphasis on convenience and discounts
                                                              • Figure 9: Select meal kit service online ads, 2020
                                                            • Lower discounts for more differentiated offerings
                                                              • Figure 10: Select meal kit service online ads, 2020
                                                            • ShopRite concept could represent evolution of meal kits in-store
                                                            • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                              • Current usage rates are low
                                                                • Enthusiasm for cooking a key meal kit ingredient
                                                                  • Meal kit experience holds potential for differentiation
                                                                    • Exceeding expectations key to overcoming cost barrier
                                                                      • Category’s best users especially focused on cuisine and meal selection
                                                                        • Enthusiastic cooks don’t want too many shortcuts
                                                                          • Breaking reliance on discounts a key challenge for meal kit marketers
                                                                          • Meal Kit Usage and Interest

                                                                            • Current usage rates are low, but many consumers express interest
                                                                              • Figure 11: Meal kit usage and interest, June 2020
                                                                            • Usage falls sharply among older adults
                                                                              • Figure 12: Meal kit usage and interest – Any current use, by age, June 2020
                                                                            • Enthusiasm for cooking a key meal kit ingredient
                                                                              • Figure 13: Meal kit usage and interest – Any current use, by cooking enthusiasm and cooking skills, June 2020
                                                                          • Reasons for Using Meal Kits

                                                                            • While time-savings is a given, experience holds potential for differentiation
                                                                              • Figure 14: Reasons for using meal kits, June 2020
                                                                            • Experiential factors especially motivating to younger consumers
                                                                              • Figure 15: Reasons for using meal kits, by age, June 2020
                                                                            • Enthusiastic cooks drawn to meal kits for wider array of reasons
                                                                              • Figure 16: Reasons for using meal kits, by cooking enthusiasm, June 2020
                                                                          • Reasons for Not Using Meal Kits

                                                                            • Cost remains a key barrier to use
                                                                              • Figure 17: Reasons for not using meal kits, June 2020
                                                                            • Exceeding expectations key to overcoming cost barrier
                                                                              • Figure 18: Reasons for not using meal kits, by previous usage, June 2020
                                                                          • Meal Kit Selection Criteria

                                                                            • Better selection could help to shift attention away from price
                                                                              • Figure 19: Meal kit selection criteria, June 2020
                                                                            • Category’s best users especially focused on cuisine and meal selection
                                                                              • Figure 20: Meal kit selection criteria, by cooking enthusiasm, June 2020
                                                                          • Desired Improvements and Innovations

                                                                            • Customizable meal kits appeal to both users and non-users
                                                                              • Meal kits for one hold appeal among current kit users
                                                                                • Figure 21: Desired improvements and innovations in meal kits, by current or previous usage, June 2020
                                                                              • Enthusiastic cooks don’t want too many shortcuts
                                                                                • Figure 22: Desired improvements and innovations in meal kits, by cooking enthusiasm, June 2020
                                                                            • Attitudes toward Meal Kits

                                                                              • Breaking reliance on discounts a key challenge for meal kit marketers
                                                                                • Figure 23: Attitudes toward meal kits related to value, by current or previous usage, June 2020
                                                                              • Opportunity to elevate the social aspects of the meal kit experience
                                                                                • Figure 24: Attitudes toward social aspects of meal kits, by current or previous usage, June 2020
                                                                              • Leverage enthusiastic cooks’ deeper engagement in the meal kit process
                                                                                • Figure 25: Attitudes toward meal kits, by cooking enthusiasm, June 2020
                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                • Sales data
                                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Terms

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