Meal kit delivery services are here, and are answering the age old question— "What's for dinner?"

According to “Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S.,” a new report from leading market research publisher Packaged Facts, New York, meal kit delivery services have exploded over the past few years by bridging the space between home-cooked meals and takeout. The services offer consumers a convenient way to cook at home without having to do the meal planning and grocery shopping. Online portals let consumers order meals ahead from picture menus showing beautiful photos of the finished dish, and the services deliver the pre-measured fresh ingredients along with recipes to their doorstep.

Based on the number of meal kit delivery services around the country, the current numbers of meal shipments and growth rates claimed by marketers, and the almost certain entry of such services from retailers and food marketers, Packaged Facts conjectures that the U.S. meal kit delivery services market will generate approximately $1.5 billion in sales in 2016, and will grow to a multi-billion market over the next five years.

Despite the positives, the growing presence of meal kit delivery services comes with a caveat for various other segments of the food and beverage industry. For example, meal kit delivery services have the potential to disrupt both the restaurant and the grocery industry because they allow people to cook restaurant-quality meals at home without stepping foot in a restaurant or grocery store.

"These days, consumers have access to almost everything without leaving their home—and through the power of smartphones—without even speaking to another human being. Rather than worrying whether meal kit delivery services will cut into their business, some grocers and food marketers are taking the bull by the horns and starting their own such services," says David Sprinkle, research director.