Meal Kits Make the Grade


One in four adults bought a meal kit in 2016, and 70 percent of meal kit purchasers are still actively buying them, according to a new Harris Poll. The top reasons given by the poll respondents for their enthusiastic embrace of these products had to do with saving time – something Americans never seem to have enough of.

Interestingly enough, however, a majority of active meal kit purchasers believed that meal kit dinners are healthier than supermarket prepared foods. The pollsters posited that seafood-based meals could be one of the new recipes that meal kits are getting consumers to try, since two-thirds of active meal kit purchasers reported that they eat seafood more often when buying meal kits.

Indeed, the seafood industry has begun showing interest in meal kits, with innovative concepts from Fishpeople, one of whose meal kit offerings won the Seafood Excellence Award for Best Retail Product, and Cooking Made Easy proving to be particular standouts at last month’s Seafood Expo North America in Boston. Since seafood has long worn a healthy halo, such products, which provide pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions to alleviate any consumer concerns regarding preparation, are poised to be big successes.

What’s more, rather than cede territory to internet retailers, grocers should not only carry meal kits from inventive suppliers, as Whole Foods Market did last year with Purple Carrot, but also follow the lead of Coborn's, Giant Carlisle and Giant Landover and create their own offerings highlighting seafood and other better-for-you fare, especially since more than one-third of respondents to the recent Harris Poll said they’d be influenced to buy meal kits if they could find them at their neighborhood supermarket.

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