Alexandria, Va.—“Meal kits have been in demand at supermarket delis since the early days of the pandemic, but now recent data from Statista indicates that the U.S. market will exceed more than $10 billion by 2024, compared to just $6.9 billion in 2021,” reports Supermarket News. The site adds that those ages 18-34 consider meal kits to be part of their weekly grocery routine, “so the numbers aren’t expected to decrease anytime soon.”
“The pandemic kickstarted meal kit popularity when shoppers’ ability to dine out was restricted. And now a huge portion of the population recognizes the value the kits offer,” Nihal Advani, CEO of QualSights, a consumer insights platform, told the site.
“Meal kit creators are exploring different pairings and seasonal-themed dishes that were not previously offered,” he said. “A major element that’s shifted is affordability. Before the pandemic, many consumers viewed the meal kit option as a luxury with a premium price tag. Now, meal kits are for everyone. They are cheaper per serving than you would pay at many fast-food establishments.”
Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh helped popularize the concept but have struggled to maintain a lead, with meal kits now widely available at grocers and through other delivery options. Blue Apron, in fact, now offers its meal kits through Amazon and Walmart.com.
“One new development is that many supermarkets now design and offer meal kits as part of their home delivery services,” said Christine Andrews, director of retail North America at NSF International. “Offering this service via home delivery provides the convenience of a meal kit without the associated subscription, which can be seen as more palatable to the consumer.”
In 2021 NACS Magazine explored the promise meal kits hold for c-stores in “Kitchen Rescue.”