Almost Half of Americans Have Tried Meal Kits

The ready-to-cook phenomenon is meeting consumers' demand for convenient, healthy offerings
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Almost Half of Americans Have Tried Meal Kits
According to Piplsay’s survey, 45% of American subscribers plan to continue using meal kits.

The meal kit industry last year saw a massive surge in sales as COVID-19 forced people to shop online and cook more often, ramping up demand for time-saving and convenient cooking solutions. And it looks like the pandemic has permanently altered consumers’ shopping and cooking habits, as the latest Piplsay survey has found that the meal kit industry doesn’t show any signs of slowing its upward growth trajectory.

Piplsay, a global consumer research platform based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., surveyed 30,544 Americans age 18  and older nationwide June 24-26 on their opinions and the acceptability of meal kits. The survey found:

  • 48% of Americans have tried a meal kit service at least once this past year.
  • 45% of Americans have tried both cook-and-eat and heat-and-meat meal kits; meals for two were the most popular plans, with 41% of subscribers.
  • 83% of Americans believe that meal kits encourage them to cut down on their restaurant visits.

Piplsay discovered that 42% of Americans subscribed to a meal kit service this past year, with 45% of subscribers planning to continue using a meal kit service going forward.

When asked which meal kit benefit appeals to them the most, most consumers (29%) said that they make healthy eating easier. Other benefits included:

  • Reduces meal planning and cooking effort: 24%.
  • Option to try diverse and interesting cuisines: 21%.
  • Reduces shopping trips and sourcing efforts: 15%.
  • Less wastage of food and leftover ingredients: 11%.

The popularity of meal kit services may rise even further with new benefits. For example, HelloFresh recently said that it will now offer groceries to customers' orders, providing one convenient location for consumers to get everyday essentials along with quick meal solutions.

Based in Berlin, with U.S. offices in New York, HelloFresh SE operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, France and Denmark. In Q1 2021, HelloFresh delivered 239 million meal kits and reached close to 7.3 million active customers. The company is No. 75 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in North America.

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