In America, major national supermarket chains have either acquired a meal kit provider, partnered with one or launched their own line of custom meal kits. South Africa is following suit: while UCOOK was the second to enter the market and has established itself as a leader in just under three years, retailers like Checkers and Woolworths have launched their own versions of meal kits.
Why? According to recent Nielsen statistics, “meal kits are growing three times faster than any other food channel option, including eating at restaurants, buying groceries at a warehouse club, or – more importantly – buying groceries online.”
Offering consumers an on-demand option to cook a variety of restaurant-style dishes in the comfort of their own homes, meal kits offer convenience, ease of use and shopping simplicity with 70% of consumers continuing to buy meal kits after making their first purchase.
meal kits are growing three times faster than any other food channel option, including eating at restaurants, buying groceries at a warehouse club, or – more importantly – buying groceries online.
Making a meal out of it
Popular television series like Masterchef, Top Chef and Come Dine with Me are creating a generation of “foodies”. The rise of social media has redefined what gourmet home cooking means, where inspiration can be found on social media networks, websites, YouTube and easily shared across digital networks.
Facts are facts*: 1 in 5 people think of food as more than just fuel – it’s a passion, with over 4 million adults sharing images of meals, online, every day. Even more interesting, when foodies interact with a brand, it makes them feel like a part of a community.
So while meal kits offer surprise, delight and a way to streamline shopping (in-store or online), the opportunity for direct-to-home marketing for brands cannot be side-lined. Buying an all-in-one box means that included items become smart, in-home activation tools and a way for consumers to explore new brands.
1 in 5 people think of food as more than just fuel – it’s a passion, with over 4 million adults sharing images of meals, online, every day.
Like food-related items in kits, the same can be said for on-demand home services such as SweepSouth, where consumers can have a first-hand experience of different cleaning product brands that can be now be exposed to in their homes.
Meal kits within themselves have become unique tools for social listening, monitoring and influencing key consumer food trends like up-and-coming diets.
Consumers, through experience, will form an emotional connection to the ingredients and items they’ve used to put together a delicious dish. After all, it’s your product which influenced their kitchen experience, meal and new-found healthy way of living or ability to finally balance work vs. home life.
And once made, the likelihood of UCOOK’s dishes like Hot Smoked Trout with Green Beans and an Olive & Tomato Salsa, Lemon-Butter Chicken with Roasted Veggies & Mash, Greek Lamb Kleftiko with Pearl Barley & Olives and Madras Chicken Curry with Whole-wheat Roti being completed and shared across social is tenfold.
Everybody eats. Meal kits are one way to turn modern foodies into loyal customers, hopefully influencing lifelong buying decisions along the way.