HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Green Chef, Plated, Sun Basket … the list of subscription meal kits seems to be endless. The concept originated in Sweden in the late 2000s, and was first introduced in the U.S. in 2012 with hopes of serving as an e-commerce solution by delivering ultimate convenience to shoppers and eliminating trips to the grocery store.
Growth was fast and furious after entry into the market (150 new entrants have launched within the past few years); and strong introductory and trial offers have allowed consumers to test out different services for a relatively low cost with no commitment. The low barriers to entry into each brand have driven high switching as shoppers jump from subscription to subscription and brands continue to fight to maintain loyalty.
After about five years in the market, the idea of meal kits seemed to be working, but the subscription and delivery aspects were not. In true “evolve or die” fashion, subscription meal kits have had to look to their onetime competitors – traditional brick-and-mortar grocery retailers – to evolve their offerings and meet the needs of consumers.
While this new model allows for spontaneity, will shoppers continue to lean on curated offerings from their grocery store to make midweek meals easy, or will they leverage them simply for inspiration?
Contributed by: Kelly Dubin, Integer Dallas
Image Source: Stock Snap