The potential market for meal kits isn’t tapped out, as new research from NPD finds that 93 million adults in the U.S. still haven’t tried meal kits, but want to.
NPD said that the move from mail order to retail is attracting new customers, and the research firm lists three reasons why meal kits present a big opportunity:
- Users are highly satisfied with their meal kit purchases both online and in-store.
- Users are still experimenting with brands and formats, so their habits aren’t set yet.
- Meal kits can be more than just dinner, providing an opportunity for new categories and brands.
NPD also outlined who is buying meal kits:
Meal kit users are more likely to be Millennials, have households with kids, and higher incomes. Online and in-store meal kits appeal to similar demographic groups although in-store kits skew to households with children less than 13 years old and higher income levels.
NPD’s numbers mirror and reinforce a recent Nielsen survey that found that retail outlets have been the main source of growth for the meal kit industry, and that 23 percent of US households would consider purchasing a meal kit in the next six months. Nielsen also found that meal kits were being purchased by more affluent households.
All of this is to say that meal kits are–to paraphrase Monty Python–not dead yet, and in fact have the potential to be very much alive and thrive. The move into retail has been a shot in the arm for the meal kit sector and the shift is just getting underway. Kroger, which owns Home Chef, and Albertsons, which owns Plated, just started the nationwide rollout of meal kits in earnest last year.
With this much headroom to grow, we can expect to see more of a marketing push to parlay shoppers’ store loyalty into meal kit loyalty.