Users like meal kits, but outlook uncertain: Study

Users like meal kits, but outlook uncertain: Study

While there is a lot of buzz around meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, trial of such services is relatively low, according to a report from NPD Group released Wednesday.

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Around 3% of U.S. adults have tried a meal kit service over the last year, NPD noted, but most of those who try them like them, with two out of three users reporting they were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with the service. While meal kits are priced closer to restaurants than to meals at home, they steal more sales from retail stores than restaurants, the report added.

According to the survey, 66% of meal-kit users says they prepare food at home as an alternative to using a meal kit, while just 22% said they would go to a restaurant.

Saving time is the top reason given for using meal kits, which provide all of the ingredients necessary to prepare a meal, NPD said. Consumers also cite the fact that it makes dinner easier to prepare and that they provide variety in their meals, the study found. The freshness of ingredients and experience is particularly appealing to young adults using the kits.

Price may be a barrier to gaining additional users, NPD noted, saying the average cost per in-home dinner meal is $4 and the average cost per person for a meal kit delivered to the home is $10.

“The outlook for meal kits is uncertain since they’re still in their infancy stages and gaining trial among consumers. One of the main concerns about these services is the cost,” Darren Seifer, NPD Group’s food and beverage industry analyst said in a statement. “That said, there are opportunities for continued growth. For meal kit providers to market around the reasons their customers are satisfied, for manufacturers to get in the kit box, and for foodservice operators to leverage their ability to provide on demand delivery and meal variety.”

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