Clearly after reading all of the ISYS6621 blog posts and from the popularity surrounding snack time, our class loves food. One common trend that I’ve noticed is increasing in popularity is the meal kit delivery services such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. I remember first hearing about these and thinking how genius it was—it gives you the ingredients, perfectly proportioned, for a specific recipe. It takes the time out of not only choosing what to have for dinner, but also out of wandering around the grocery store looking for one obscure item that you question if the recipe really needs.
Personally, my roommates and I love our weekly Wegman’s trip… partially because one of them is our in room chef and makes us dinner every night. But after interning in the “real world” all summer (without my chef roommate around) I realize how convenient these meal delivery kits would be. Having all the ingredients ready for you and the recipe laid out in front of you would mean a lot less takeout for someone like myself who usually resorts to that.
The value of these meal kits are the main point of question—the subscriptions generally end up with meals costing around $9.99 per serving—more expensive than going to the grocery store. 29% of millenials say that they have tried a meal kit delivery service and 26% of Gen-Xers. The market is saturated with many different options—some geared toward organic eaters, some for the more cost conscious, and some that require more prep. Tom Brady has even entered the market with his TB12 meals (because who wouldn’t want to be like Tom Brady??)
With these services offering a website and many also having an app, it’s easy to choose your meals, pause your subscription, and manage on the go. With people becoming more reliant on their phones it’s no wonder that plans like these have began to take off. While not a direct competitor to Instacart and other grocery delivery services, they do provide the same advantage of convenience.
While I have never tried these kits (on a college student budget here), I did see a kid picking up his Blue Apron box from the mail room the other day. I would be curious to try a couple different ones to see if I preferred one to another or if they were all pretty similar. For anyone interested in a comparison a blogger did one here and Time did one here.
It’s crazy to think that grocery shopping—such a staple in people’s everyday lives—is being disrupted by not only grocery delivery services (Instacart has a separate checkout section at the Chestnut Hill Wegmans), but also by meal kit delivery services. It’s clear that Albertsons feels this pressure as they have now hopped on board with the trend by acquiring Plated. Amazon is also reportedly going to make a move to enter the market as they have expanded their presence in the grocery industry after their acquisition of Whole Foods. It will be interesting to see how other grocery stores react to this change in the market.