For on-the-go consumers with limited time between the end of the workday and dinner time, meal kits offer an alternative to take-out options and researching possible meal recipes. Delivered directly to households or picked up from grocery stores in pre-packed portions, meal kits include portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, allowing consumers to skip extensive meal prep and dive right in.
In fact, one in four adults in the United States purchased a meal kit for delivery or in-store, in the last year, and 70% continue to buy them after making their first purchase, according to research released by Nielsen, New York.
The study, “The Mindset of the Meal Kit Consumer,” states that many consumers continue buying meal kits because they offer new and healthy recipes, and that the inclusion of fresh foods and easy-to-follow recipes make meal kits a simple option for those looking to manage their health and diets.
Men are 40% more likely to purchase kits than their female counterparts across all generations, while Millennials and Generation X consumers are 321% more likely to purchase them than older generations. Busy families with children are also enjoying the convenience and healthy options meal kits have to offer, purchasing them 326% more than households without children.
Meanwhile, 81% of consumers feel that meal subscription services are healthier than the prepared options at grocery stores. And, while many consumers prefer to choose their own produce, 92% are satisfied with the quality of produce included in their meal kits, and 91% say they’re satisfied with the quality of the meat packaging.
While consumers who purchase meal kits are generally satisfied with the options available, retailers have an opportunity to improve their offerings to better meet consumer needs. Almost half (46%) of U.S. consumers say they would be more likely to purchase a meal kit if it were less expensive, 86% would like the ability to add dessert to their meal kit and 36% would like to be able to buy kits in their local grocery store.
The insights in this report were derived from Nielsen’s The Mindset of the Meal Kit Consumer study, March 2017.