The rise and rise of meal kit popularity

By FoodProcessing Staff
Tuesday, 18 April, 2017

Offering preportioned ingredients and recipe instructions for a meal to be cooked at home, meal kits are growing rapidly in popularity, with a recent Harris Poll showing 25% of US adults having purchased a meal kit in 2016. Of these meal kit purchasers, 70% are continuing to purchase meal kits.

The top reasons for buying the kits were:

  • saving time on meal planning (46%)
  • short prep and cook time (45%)
  • saving time on grocery shopping (37%)
  • trying new recipes (36%)
  • healthy recipes (34%)

Convenience and time savings are such critical factors that 44% of those who are no longer actively purchase meal kits say they would consider doing so again due to the time saved on meal planning.

A majority of active meal kit purchasers agreed that meal kit dinners are healthier than prepared foods from the local grocery store. Seafood-based meals may be one of the new recipes that meal kits encourage buyers to try, as two-thirds of active purchasers say they eat seafood more often when purchasing meal kits (66%).

When it comes to the contents of the meal kits, a vast majority of active purchasers appear to be very satisfied. Over nine in 10 say they are satisfied with the quality of the produce in their meal kits (92%) and with how the fresh meat is packaged (91%). While healthiness is clearly important, when it comes to meats, 89% of purchasers say they would be satisfied even if the meat wasn’t organic.

While the list of benefits is lengthy, there are also areas for improvement. A majority of active purchasers are looking to feed their sweet tooth as well, with 86% saying they would add dessert to their meal kit if the option was available. Among those who have purchased previously but are no longer doing so today, nearly half say that a low cost would influence them to purchase. Over one-third would also be influenced to purchase meal kits if they were available in their local grocery store.

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