According to a new report from The NPD Group, a large group of U.S. consumers, 93 million, has never tried a meal kit but is interested in trying them, indicating a market opportunity.
In a short time, meal kits have gone from being offered almost exclusively online and via subscription-based home-delivery services to being available on demand in stores or online. Shoppers are exploring the various ways of purchasing meal kits, with more than a quarter of recent users buying kits both in-store and online, NPD found in its “What’s Next for Meal Kits” report.
“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,” noted Darren Seifer, food industry analyst at Post Washington, N.Y.-based NPD. “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.”
The report suggested connecting to those interested in trying meal kits by understanding who typically uses them. Meal-kit users are more likely to be Millennials, to live in households with children and to have higher incomes. Online and in-store meal kits appeal to similar demographic groups, although in-store kits are more popular in higher-income households with children younger than 13 years old.
“Meal kits are here for the long term because they’re meeting the needs of consumers by providing a level of convenience and shortcuts to meal prep while also providing fresh foods,” added Seifer. “Meal-kit marketers looking to capitalize on providing meal solutions should follow consumers to all their points of purchase.”