Think meal kits are a Millennial or Gen Z trend? A study released by Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md., encourages the industry to reconsider. This study, “Meal Kits: Trends and Opportunities in the U.S., 3rd Edition,” reveals that older adults provide a wealth of growth opportunities for meal kit delivery services.

Many older consumers are experienced cooks who enjoy a homemade meal. However, as people age, their ability to use their hands and leave their home to shop for groceries may be diminished. Meal kit delivery services provide prepared ingredients, so that older consumers don't have to worry about working a lot with their hands, but can still get a fresh meal.

Additionally, older people are more likely to have limited mobility and difficulty getting out to shop, preventing them from regular grocery shopping. When meal kits are delivered to the consumer's home, they help those with mobility issues so that the need to get to a grocery store for fresh food may be limited.

"Sales of meal kits to older consumers compete with pre-made delivery or carryout meals from restaurants. Many older customers already order a lot of food from restaurants, particularly if they are no longer comfortable doing food preparation tasks," says David Sprinkle, research director. "However, many of these customers may miss being able to cook or could benefit from a simplified cooking process. Additionally, the restaurant and home delivery options available for them might not be as healthy or as fresh as they desire."

Online grocery shopping or other types of grocery delivery are also competitive with meal kit delivery services. Many seniors may get grocery deliveries from a grocery store or family members. Customers who need help leaving the house may order meals for delivery through a local meal service that specializes in serving seniors. However, these services may not be available to everyone and tend to have waiting lists.