Growing Consumer Interest in Meal Kits Represents Untapped Opportunity

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Growing Consumer Interest in Meal Kits Represents Untapped Opportunity

Meal kits

CHICAGO — The meal kit market, which was previously nearly exclusively online and subscription-based, is quickly evolving to include on-demand availability, both in-store and online, according to The NPD Group.

Consumers are testing different ways they can purchase meal kits, and more than 25 percent of recent users report purchasing kits both online and in-store, including from restaurants.

At the same time, 93 million consumers have never tried a meal kit but are interested in doing so. This represents a major market opportunity, according to NPD's "What's Next for Meal Kits" report.

"There is an untapped market for meal kits and it's up to meal kit providers and retailers to find out what it will take to get a potential meal kit user to become one," said Darren Seifer, NPD food industry analyst. "The subscription model is likely to remain relevant, but it's important to remember consumers are looking for meal solutions both online and in stores."

To reach those interested in trying meal kits, NPD recommends studying who typically uses them. Meal kit users are more likely to be millennials, have children in the household, and have higher incomes.

Online and in-store meal kits appeal to similar demographic groups, but in-store kits skew to households with children under 13 years old and higher income levels.

"Meal kits are here for the long-term because they're meeting the needs of consumers by providing a level of convenience and shortcuts to meal prep while also providing fresh foods," Seifer said. "Meal kit marketers looking to capitalize on providing meal solutions should follow consumers to all their points of purchase."