Culinology - March 2018 - 12

Meal kits
Delivering on conve
Culinologists face a growing appetite for ready-to-make meal
options that fulfill many consumer needs

by Karen Weisberg
editor@sosland.com

12 |

here is Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated,
Chef'd and Sun Basket out front with
more than 200 others following behind, all
seeking share of the meal kit delivery market,
a market reportedly valued at approximately
$1.5 billion in the US. The attraction to
become a player is tantalizing even when
potential movers and shakers know that
front runner Blue Apron saw sales zoom
from approximately $80 million in 2014
to $800 million in 2016 - only to have its
initial public offering hopes dashed when its
stock plummeted from $10 at open to $4
just five months later. Meanwhile, increased
competition abounds from retail grocers
selling branded meal kits as well as their own
in-house meal iterations.
E-commerce within the food and beverage
industry is seen to be in its early stages but is
growing quickly, according to LEK research,
a London-based global management
consulting firm with US headquarters in
Boston. "E-commerce was 2% of sales in
2017 and estimated between 9% to 20% in
2025, so it's the start of a seismic shift of
consumers ordering food and beverage with
meal kits a part of it," said Rob Wilson, the
company's managing director.
Profitability is seen as the main meal kit
problem. However, Mr. Wilson is optimistic the
concept will survive because it's unarguably
"a great offering for busy consumers who
want to learn to cook."

T

Culinology | MARCH 2018

Retailers on the move
Supermarket chains see an opportunity to
sell their own kits on-site or online, or sell and
deliver another company's kits online.
Kroger Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, launched its
own meal kit service, Prep+Pared in select
stores in January. Offering fresh, measured
and prepped ingredients for meals that may
be ready in 20 minutes or less, the kits do not
require subscriptions and are available in the
deli department. Plated (ranked No. 3 in meal
kit sales, behind HelloFresh and Blue Apron,
which jointly account for 85% of the market)
was purchased by Boise-based Albertsons in
September. It is expected to offer Plated kits
in stores as well as online. Amazon has gotten into the business via AmazonFresh and
its collaboration with Tyson Foods on Tyson
Tastemakers meal kits.
The meal kit consumer, who typically must
order three in one delivery, will find a lower
ticket cost in the grocery channel. However,
one major advantage the meal kit company
has is the sales, Mr. Wilson said. "It's a pull
system - 'pull' means from fulfillment, so
there's little spoilage vs. the spoilage component is great in grocery." As he sees it,
grocers have to figure out the costs of the
contents of the whole kit - the center-ofthe-plate plus sides - and if one item spoils
Chef'd offers 1,600 recipes, like LemonPeppered Turkey Scaloppine, at any time.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology - March 2018

Culinology - March 2018
TABLE of contents
PRESIDENT’S letter - A great start for 2018
EMERGING trends - 3-D printing Imagining the possibilities
EMERGING trends - Five dairy alternative beverages to watch
INGREDIENT trends - Meal kits Delivering on convenience and fl avor
EDITORIAL - Consumer technology, behaviors dramatically reshaping food service
INGREDIENT trends - Navigating Natural
Simplicity on the table
MEMBER profile - Arby’s adventurous side
Going to the next level
EXPERT voices - What’s next in sous vide?
INDUSTRY NEWS - RCA announces new leaders
INDUSTRY NEWS - Become an RCA partner with year-round sponsorship opportunities
INDUSTRY NEWS - Ambitious culinary arts and food sciences students to compete at RCA Conference
INDUSTRY NEWS - Access RCA Conference recordings
INDUSTRY NEWS - RCA Regional Events
INDUSTRY NEWS - upcoming events
INDUSTRY NEWS - Save the date for 2019
PETITS fours - Big companies thinking small about innovation
PETITS fours - Sourcing the globe for ethnic spice blends
PETITS fours - PANERA PUSHES FOR FEDERAL EGG DEFINITION
PETITS fours - McDonald’s switching to sustainable packaging
NEWS bites
Culinology - March 2018 - Culinology - March 2018
Culinology - March 2018 - Culinology - March 2018
Culinology - March 2018 - 2
Culinology - March 2018 - TABLE of contents
Culinology - March 2018 - PRESIDENT’S letter - A great start for 2018
Culinology - March 2018 - 5
Culinology - March 2018 - EMERGING trends - 3-D printing Imagining the possibilities
Culinology - March 2018 - 7
Culinology - March 2018 - EMERGING trends - Five dairy alternative beverages to watch
Culinology - March 2018 - 9
Culinology - March 2018 - 10
Culinology - March 2018 - 11
Culinology - March 2018 - INGREDIENT trends - Meal kits Delivering on convenience and fl avor
Culinology - March 2018 - 13
Culinology - March 2018 - 14
Culinology - March 2018 - 15
Culinology - March 2018 - 16
Culinology - March 2018 - 17
Culinology - March 2018 - 18
Culinology - March 2018 - 19
Culinology - March 2018 - EDITORIAL - Consumer technology, behaviors dramatically reshaping food service
Culinology - March 2018 - 21
Culinology - March 2018 - INGREDIENT trends - Navigating Natural
Culinology - March 2018 - 23
Culinology - March 2018 - 24
Culinology - March 2018 - 25
Culinology - March 2018 - 26
Culinology - March 2018 - 27
Culinology - March 2018 - Simplicity on the table
Culinology - March 2018 - 29
Culinology - March 2018 - 30
Culinology - March 2018 - 31
Culinology - March 2018 - 32
Culinology - March 2018 - MEMBER profile - Arby’s adventurous side
Culinology - March 2018 - Going to the next level
Culinology - March 2018 - 35
Culinology - March 2018 - 36
Culinology - March 2018 - 37
Culinology - March 2018 - 38
Culinology - March 2018 - EXPERT voices - What’s next in sous vide?
Culinology - March 2018 - 40
Culinology - March 2018 - 41
Culinology - March 2018 - 42
Culinology - March 2018 - 43
Culinology - March 2018 - 44
Culinology - March 2018 - INDUSTRY NEWS - Become an RCA partner with year-round sponsorship opportunities
Culinology - March 2018 - INDUSTRY NEWS - Access RCA Conference recordings
Culinology - March 2018 - INDUSTRY NEWS - RCA Regional Events
Culinology - March 2018 - INDUSTRY NEWS - Save the date for 2019
Culinology - March 2018 - 49
Culinology - March 2018 - PETITS fours - Big companies thinking small about innovation
Culinology - March 2018 - 51
Culinology - March 2018 - PETITS fours - Sourcing the globe for ethnic spice blends
Culinology - March 2018 - PETITS fours - PANERA PUSHES FOR FEDERAL EGG DEFINITION
Culinology - March 2018 - PETITS fours - McDonald’s switching to sustainable packaging
Culinology - March 2018 - 55
Culinology - March 2018 - NEWS bites
Culinology - March 2018 - 57
Culinology - March 2018 - 58
Culinology - March 2018 - 59
Culinology - March 2018 - 60
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