When we think about the many innovations that the world has seen over the years, meal kits always seem to stand out.

So, what is a meal kit?

Well, simply put, a meal kit is a food-based subscription service that makes cooking and eating home-made meals much easier. A meal kit service sends its customers pre-portioned food ingredients, and sometimes they are even partially prepared. The idea is that you have just enough ingredients to assemble and cook the meal that you desire. 

Note that this is not the same as a convenient delivery service, which specializes in the prepared meal delivery. Those services cook the meal and send their customers a complete meal, which is ready to be eaten. Today, we’re looking at the main benefits of using this subscription service, as well as some of the current meal kit trends.

Benefits of Meal Kits

Since you can just go out and buy the ingredients needed to make a homecooked meal, you may be wondering why it makes sense to indulge in the use of a meal kit service. Below are some of the reasons why we believe that meal kits are beneficial:

  • You get divers, interesting and delicious dinners
  • There’s a lower chance of wasted leftover ingredients
  • There’s greater accessibility to rare ingredients
  • They promote healthy eating that is also convenient
  • You get to save on time and travel costs
  • Options are available for different meals, such as those you can have in breakfast or lunch meal kits.

Meal Kit Trends

One of the things we enjoy the most is the extent to which meal kits are a personalized and customizable experience. It’s always a customer-centric approach as the decision of what you get lies with you and your imagination. Certain meal kit service industry trends have made the experience even more individualized. This is the reason that the industry has caught on enough to raise over $600 million in venture capital and why it is a billion-dollar industry today.

meal kits trends
Credit: www.hexaresearch.com

Niche Targeting

Niche targeting is one such factor that is responsible for the success of meal kit services. We mentioned the ability to cater to special diets, but meal kits also prepare meals based on other factors. Some examples of these include:

  • Nutrition needs – There are a plethora of reasons why someone may have specific nutritional requirements. Sometimes it’s a choice to go on a specific diet, and in other cases, it’s involuntary such as when the body cannot digest gluten and needs a gluten-free diet. Situations such as the latter force people into a box where food options are concerned. Meal kits help to break that mold by providing exciting and convenient meal options. All sorts of dietary requirements are catered for. Various special diets like paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, diabetics, Mediterranean, Whole30, pescatarians, gluten-free, and more are catered for.
  • Age range – While we’re aware that most food items are not age-specific, the body’s nutritional requirements change with age. For example, children require diets that are high in nutrients such as protein and various minerals. This is because their bodies are in a phase of rapid growth and cell development. other meal kits can focus on heart-health issues that are more likely to be needed by seniors. 
  • Organic Foods – Remember how we mentioned that meal kits allow accessibility to rare and specific ingredients? If you’re only interested in organic food, meal kits have you covered. Of course, organic farming standards vary based on geographical location. However, organic ingredients usually have a few things in common such as considerations for water supplies, biodiversity, and ecosystem preservation. Whatever the standard may be, there’s no need to be concerned with the potential difficulty associated with getting these foods.
  • Lifestyle – Many nutritional choices are born out of lifestyle choices. Take the vegan lifestyle, for example. Many people who become vegan these days adopt the diet aspect, but being vegan is a way to live, as opposed to just what you choose to eat. The idea is to avoid anything that is animal-based. Of course, this translates to diet though it’s not the single focus. Eating the vegan way requires special attention to both meals, and what ingredients are used in their preparation. Meal kits provide a way to stay within the parameters of your lifestyle by allowing you true freedom of choice. Lifestyles like easy and fast cooking or more affordable meals are examples of choices that aren’t diet based. Such needs are also catered to as you can always just get the optimal ingredients for the preparation of quick meals.

Extended Food Delivery

Extended food delivery is another driving factor. This is a convenience-based factor, and we believe it’s the ease associated with the process that attracts subscribers. The fewer consumers must do on their own the better, and these customized services provide a high level of convenience. Here are some of the ways in which extended delivery is beneficial:

  • Multiple delivery times – This is the reason that you could exclusively live on meal kits if you so desired. You need to eat multiple meals, which means that you stand to benefit from total food service, including options for breakfast, lunch, desserts, and snacks. While the focus of this article is on meal kits, you can also use many of these services to have prepared meals delivered to you if so desire. After all, who’s always in the mood to cook?
  • Multiple sources – A delivery service exists to conveniently get the items you need to your home. Think of the items that you may get from your favorite supermarket chains. There’s no need for you to move a muscle as meal kit provisions span the offerings of many sources of purchase.

Bottom Line

Based on recent research done by Nielsen, about 9% of United States households have purchased a meal kit in the last 6 months. As a huge meal kit fans, that review and deeply-look at this industry, we honestly believe this number will further grow in the next few years. We also expect the industry to keep on evolving in the direction of more specialization in new dietary and lifestyle trends, and we anticipate that more companies broaden their service to offer a holistic solution to easy and healthy cooking and eating at home.