What are they? Why are they so popular?
Grocery shopping is considered to be a hassle for many adults who work all day. Students who go to school full time often consider making a meal to be either a luxury or a chore. Ask an adult with children at home and they will lament having to grocery shop and then cook every night. College students with a full load of school, and often work, say cooking is a luxury that gets in the way of balancing studying and socializing.
Meal kit delivery services have been on the rise for awhile now. Many services began their journeys in 2011 and 2012, with Blue Apron and HelloFresh being two powerhouses representing the industry. In 2019, the market for meal kit services has now doubled, and more and more people are giving meal services a try.
The popularity of these meal kits has sprouted a variety of meal kit services that also range in preferences. Green Chef is a company that serves vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other diets with certified organic ingredients. While it still offers omnivorous and carnivorous options, its main plans are plant-based with recipes such as vegan crab cakes.
The appeal of these products is simple. A quick online sign-up and users can pick out recipes based on dietary preferences, family plans or a two- to four-person servings plan. Many users incorporate the prices of the services into their budgets or split the cost among roommates. There is an ease to having pre-portioned ingredients and detailed recipe instructions, as well as the option of choosing and having groceries sent directly to a person’s home. The idea of grocery shopping after having meals delivered is something that grocery stores can’t contest.
There are also meal kits marketed toward children. Raddish Kids is a meal kit service delivered monthly and includes a themed box. These fun additions are intended to teach children not only culinary lessons, but also science, math, history, culture and creativity lessons. Most other kid-centered meal kits such as Yumble Kids and Nurture Life are delivered on a monthly basis, but also emphasize learning, responsibility and healthy eating for children.
In a time when convenience is emphasized, meal kit delivery services that started with a niche target audience have expanded to a degree that no one expected. A much wider audience now feels that the pressures of unbalanced work and social lives don’t need to keep them from winding down and making a delicious meal.