There continues to be a lot of buzz about meal kit delivery services — from celebrities launching their own services, ecommerce retailers partnering with food companies to develop meal kits, to major food companies investing in meal kit delivery services— but still adoption by U.S. consumers is relatively small at roughly 5 percent of households, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. One of the barriers to adoption is the expense of meal kit delivery services, according to an NPD Group study, but with the growth of online grocers offering meal kits, the kits will become more readily available, affordable and, as a result, more adoptable.
Although online grocery shopping lags other e-commerce industries in terms of development with just 7 percent shopping for groceries online in the past month, it is expected to grow rapidly because of young adults and men, according to the NPD Group report, The Virtual Grocery Store. It’s second nature for younger generations, particularly Gen Zs and Millennials, to shop online and shopping for groceries online is a natural progression. Young adults are also targets for meal kits since they prefer fresh, less processed foods and like involvement in their food preparation. Men represent more than 40 percent of primary grocery shoppers and generally prefer efficiency and speed when grocery shopping rather than meandering up and down grocery aisles. Sixty percent of online grocery shoppers are men and most of those are Millennials or Gen X.
With an already large audience of young adults and men, meal kits and online grocers are a part of the continuum working to meet the consumer demand for more convenience. The partnership between meals kits and online grocers is as logical as brick and mortar grocery stores offering prepared meals. Amazon Fresh had this in mind when they announced a deal with Martha Stewart’s meal kits, which they will make available in select markets. Amazon already has a large share of online grocery shoppers. With some 31 million households with an Amazon Prime membership or access to one, it makes sense that 52 percent of online grocery shoppers are Amazon Prime members.
“It makes perfect sense that as online grocery shopping grows it will drive the adoption of meal kits,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Online grocery shoppers can save time by not having to search through multiple websites, and they both work hand-in-hand in meeting the consumer’s need for convenience with the delivery of a fresh meal they can prepare at home.”