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2020’s Top Food Trend: How meal kits came out on top
Looking back at 2020, there are a lot of things that come to mind when coming up with a name that best describes it. The year of the pandemic? The year of dressing up only from the waist up? Or how about the year of the weird baking craze? All of these make sense, but there’s one you probably didn’t think of:
The Year of the Meal Kit
A thing that was once called “doomed” back in 2019 is now experiencing a resurgence unlike any other. With a current market value of $5 billion, the meal kit industry is growing at a huge, 13% rate and is predicted to grow to $11.6 billion by 2022, according to Statista. So, how did the flavor of the week turn into something people can’t get enough of?
Lockdown Home Cooking
As COVID-19 took over people’s daily lives, consumers needed a way to feed their families, while staying safe and away from crowds at the grocery. That’s where meal kits came in. With a wide variety of meal choices all completely online, people were able to order delicious meals right to their doorstep, with minimal risk to themselves or their loved ones.
Another reason meal kits continued to show up in households had more to do with changing lifestyles. As families juggled working from home, virtual classrooms and balancing out home life and meal prep, meal kits became the most prominent solution to creating custom plates that fit their dietary needs, tastes and, most importantly, busy schedules. So who’s buying them?
It’s Not Just Millennials
While millennials make up a large portion of users, Gen X’ers are also buying into meal kit subscriptions. With most subscribers coming from high-income backgrounds and located in urban settings, meal kits have become particularly popular with busy working parents who demand quality without spending a ton of time making it.
But there’s more opportunity. According to Nielsen, approximately 30 million households reported considering trying a meal kit in the next six months, and 10.5 million purchased one already, leaving 19.5 million out there still waiting to try one for the first time. However, there’s a catch. According to a 2018 Power of Foodservice report, 86% of consumers reported being aware of meal kit services, but only 22% reported actually using one. That means meal kit services are still trying to figure out how to convert more users, while optimizing the cost to convert them.
What’s Next for Meal Kits?
As demand grows, along with market value, more businesses will begin to dive in (if they haven’t already), which means new and existing companies will need more capital to keep up with consumers. Bigger companies will utilize their abilities to produce a wider variety of products, giving consumers even more choices to fully customize to their liking. And as meal kits begin to expand beyond dinner and into lunch, breakfast and snacking, meal kit services will look to companies, such as Kraft Heinz Ingredients, to partner up and collaborate on ways to deliver higher-quality ingredients with wider variety to ever-evolving consumers who continue to demand more for their money.