Study: Americans love meal kits

Technomic today released research showing that the U.S. is the largest market for the global meal kit industry, which has grown to a multi-billion dollar sector in just the last few years. Meal kits usually come as a box or bag filled with pre-measured and processed food items, along with instructions for at-home preparation. Blue Apron and HelloFresh are a couple of the industry's most popular companies.

"Many players in the meal kit business are testing holiday packages as a way to expand the ways in which they serve customers," Erik Thoresen, principal, Technomic's technology advisory practice, said in a news release. "Thanksgiving represents an important opportunity to build awareness among non-users, particularly as large groups of family and friends gather together."

Though Technomic's research indicates that meal kits still comprise "a very small number" when compared to the number of meals prepared from grocery store-purchased ingredients, some meal kit providers are going head to head with grocers, particularly for big foodie holidays, including Thanksgiving. 

The firm's latest poll on the subject found:

  • Millennials are twice as likely as their older counterparts to have used a meal kit service within the last three months.
  • 51 percent of existing meal kit users would order Thanksgiving dinner that way.
  • 16 percent of those who say they currently don't use meal kits said they'd consider doing so for Thanksgiving. 
  • 43 percent of those who now use meal kits think a Thanksgiving meal kit would improve their holiday meal.
  • 17 percent of those who don't use meal kits now think their Thanksgiving meal would be improved by meal kits.

"Thanksgiving and other holidays represent a useful opportunity for meal kit companies to build awareness and gain exposure among consumers as they gather together to celebrate," Thoresen said.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Catering

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