Interest in Meal Kits High; Keys to Retail Success

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Chicago, IL–What’s Next for Meal Kits, a new report from The NPD Group, suggests that 93 million Americans who have never tried meal kits are interested in trying them. The marketing research and consumer trends group also reports that Americans who once exclusively purchased meal kits through subscriptions are now seeking meal kits in-store and online.

Typical buyers of meal kits are Millennials, households with children, and those with high incomes. According to the report, these demographic groups primarily seek out meal kits for convenience.

“There is an untapped market for meal kits and it’s up to meal kit providers and retailers to find out what it will take to get a potential meal kit user to become one,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food industry analyst, in a press release. “The subscription model is likely to remain relevant but it’s important to remember consumers are looking for meal solutions both online and in stores.”

How can natural products retailers make the most of the meal kit trend? As WholeFoods previously reported, consumers aren’t always happy with what the big players are offering. “The meal kit market is highly dynamic and prone to fluctuations, with the top meal kit providers falling in and out of favor since their introduction in the past few years,” David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, has said. Further complicating things, he added, is the expectation that market expansion will be much more reliant on alternative purchase venues—such as one-time orders and in-store sales or online-ordering—than on the traditional subscription delivery model.

This can be good news for retailers who may be concerned about direct-to-consumer subscription meal kits potentially drawing business away from them. Retailers can offer one-time in-store sales or online-ordering—all of which are suited to smaller businesses that can more quickly adapt to their consumers’ interests and needs. What’s more, purchasing at a local store means kits are less expensive and don’t require a subscription, which is appealing to consumers who may feel less pressured when they are able to buy one meal kit at a time to test out their preferences.

For more on how retailers can succeed with meal kits, read “Healthy Home Cooking Made Easy!”

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