Sunbasket, best known for its meal-kit subscription service, announced today it is broadening its product line and evolving to become “a full-service food delivery company.” The newly revamped service will offer a range of different food items to consumers, from full meals to snacks and pantry staples.
Reaching more potential customers, including those who need something more convenient than a full-on meal kit, seems to be at the heart of this transition. “The onset of COVID-19 forced consumers to quickly adopt new habits when it came to food, and Sunbasket was inspired to reflect on our company’s values to better serve our customers,” said Don Barnett, CEO, Sunbasket, said in a statement. Barnett added that he believes the company’s “refreshed emphasis on convenience will be appealing to even more people.”
To that end, the Sunbasket site now carries a mix of meal kits, heat-and-serve meals, meats (plant-based and traditional), dairy products, pantry staples, and snacks.
What is not completely clear from Sunbasket’s revamped website is whether a user still has to sign up for a subscription in order to get the pantry staples. From the looks of it, you would still need to sign up for a meal plan (either a meal kit or the heat-and-serve option), at which point you could add other staples onto your existing order. As has always been the case with Sunbasket, the commitment is month to month.
Today may be the official announcement for Sunbasket’s expanded roster of foods, but the company has dropped hints of such a transition for some time. In 2019, it expanded its dinner-only lineup to include breakfast and lunch meals, as well as add ons like granola butter and single-serving snacks.
And while the traditional meal kit is seeing some resurgence because of the pandemic (everyone’s eating at home), the sector’s ongoing struggles are well-documented. Most meal kit companies, including Kroger-owned HomeChef, Purple Carrot, and Blue Apron, have added a wider variety of food items as well as some customization features.
Sunbasket’s move to offer grocery items is a first in the meal kit sector, but it’s one of many examples of previously narrowly focused food companies expanding to incorporate online grocery into their wares. Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods, both companies that originally focused on rescuing cosmetically “ugly” fruits and veggies, have since expanded their services to include online marketplaces where all manner of pantry goods and food supplies can be bought. As a meal kit company, Sunbasket’s core business differs from these two companies, but it’s newly announced expansion appears to be similar.
With online grocery shopping expected to hit $250 billion and account for 21.5 percent of all grocery sales by 2025, it wouldn’t be surprising if other meal kit companies soon follow Sunbasket’s lead.