Meal kits have been dubbed the future of cooking for their ability to save home cooks time on shopping and meal planning. They also appeal to millennials and Gen Z who want to cook at home with assistance.
Studies show that the younger generation craves adventurous cuisine. Meal kits enable home cooks to learn new techniques and explore unique ingredients and flavor pairings with little effort.
They also appeal to the demand for online grocery delivery, which has spiked in popularity due to Coronavirus concerns. But as some meal kit brands face hardship maintaining monthly subscriptions, grocery stores are finding ways to implement the service in-store.
Grocery stores can offer something that online subscription meal kit programs cannot: valuable shelf space and exposure to a loyal customer base.
Displaying meal kits in-store creates an opportunity for shoppers to impulse buy or find a 30-minute meal fast. In-store kits are also appealing to customers who want to integrate a meal kit into their weekly meal plan without having to commit to a recurring subscription.
3 Options for Adding Meal Kits
Meal kits are an exciting opportunity for grocery stores to create new revenue streams. Here are three ways to add meal kits to your store:
1. Partner with an existing brand
There are numerous meal kit companies, including HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Purple Carrot, Home Chef, Everyplate, Hungryroot and more. Many meal kit boxes are finding a home in retail stores to grow their direct-to-consumer products.
Blue Apron sells meal kits in Costco at a 30 percent discount from what subscribers pay. Kroger purchased Home Chef. HelloFresh announced a partnership with Giant Food, Stop & Shop stores and Walgreens.
Partnering with a known brand exposes your store to an existing customer base. It also expands your service offerings by leveraging the meal kit’s competitive differentiator, such as Purple Carrot’s plant-based menu or Sun Basket’s all organic ingredient list.
2. Partner with a local restaurant
Like many businesses, restaurants are struggling to recover lost revenue from the pandemic shutdowns. Many are selling pantry items and groceries to engage their customers, while others are selling make-at-home meal kits of their signature menu items.
Selling a restaurant’s meal kit in your grocery store appeals to customers who prefer to shop local. Many customers would relish the opportunity to support a local business while getting their groceries. This route also provides a unique way for shoppers to engage with their favorite restaurants’ cuisine at home.
3. Create your own
Are you proud of your supermarket’s kitchen? Experiment with creating your own meal kit. You know your region and your shoppers’ seasonal favorites. What better way to engage your local and loyal audience with food from your own chef’s menu?
Creating your own meal kit keeps you in control of common challenges. You get to decide where the meal kit is sold in your store, whether near the front for quick pick-up or with the other prepared food. You also have control over the meal kit’s shelf life and the ingredients used based on your supply.
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