In-store meal kits, expensive home delivery food, traditional food companies dropping plan-ahead meal kit style packaging…are we the only ones noticing this trend?! Apparently not, according to our recent research. In our latest consumer grocery shopping study, we learned that in the days of rising food costs, people just want affordable convenience. But do they know all that brands have to offer?
After acknowledging the trend of traditional brands moving into meal kits, we were able to divide the public sentiment into three clear viewpoints:
1. The Positive
Meal kits are great for elder-skewing age ranges! They cut down on travel times and shopping times, and are generally pre-portioned for easy nutrition tracking.
Many meal kits, especially ones made in-store, can be less expensive than buying full-sized ingredients.
For a while, meal kits were limited to home-delivery services. Today, almost all grocery stores and brands are embracing convenience with their pre-portioned options.
Meal kits that involve cooking are educational! They provide opportunities for those who don’t know how to cook to create their own meals.
An overall reduction in decision fatigue. Making the same chicken with vegetables over and over can be boring. Trying the supermarket’s new recipes for mango chutney with fish spices things up a little.
2. The Negative
Not all meal kits are created equal. The business of meal kits has a lot of options for subscription services, which often lock people into recurring payments that are difficult or confusing to cancel.
Many times, meal kits with pre-portioned ingredients produce an unnecessary amount of packaging waste.
These kits also lead to a loss of control in ingredient selection and take away our availability to make substitutes for food intolerances or preferences. This also extends to quality control, for example, foods that use sustainably-sourced ingredients.
The portions are just not always right. It is a hard balance to provide food that may be too much or too little for the consumer.
3. The Neutral Convenience
Some more indifferent voices were just about the price, telling Vidlet that if the price point is lower than sourcing ingredients, then meal kits are worth it.
Brand loyalty also plays a huge factor in decision-making. We heard a lot of people with the mentality of “If a brand I trust comes out with a meal kit I’ll purchase it”.
Others really only cared about taste. If the flavors are right, that trumps all else. Consumers will buy the meal kit over sourcing ingredients and potentially making a less flavorful version.