The Sudden Rise of Meal Kits Offered by Grocers

Meal kits are still all the rage. Why? They make life easier—meal kits are ideal for those who want to cook healthy dishes, but simply don’t have time. These kits also allow people to experiment with ingredients they never used before and concoct meals they’d never prepare otherwise.

You’re probably already familiar with online meal kit subscriptions such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh—these types of companies created meal kits to provide consumers with ready-to-make meals. In turn, their customers wouldn’t have to step foot into grocery stores. However, the truth is that people still shop at supermarkets, so retail distribution proved necessary. Over the past few years, meal kits quickly made their appearances in stores all over the country.

Advantages of In-Store Grocery Meal Kits

While people are still purchasing online meal kit subscriptions, there’s no denying that meal kits offered by grocers have a competitive edge. To start, online meal kit companies will jack up prices to cover convenience and packaging. On the other hand, supermarkets can sell meal kits at lower prices, as they don’t have to worry about these components. Additionally, customers don’t have to lock themselves into a predetermined menu each week; people can shop as needed without committing to a subscription. They also won’t have to worry about wasting food, since they don’t have to necessarily buy a week’s worth of food all at once. Plus, unlike meal kit companies that cater to a small population, grocery stores can tap into a very specific demographic—the people who still want the in-store shopping experience but will end up buying meal kits to save time and expand their culinary horizons.

Challenges Meal Kit Companies Face

Due to the clear benefits we listed above, most online meal kit companies resorted to partnering with grocers in efforts to maintain their brands’ significance. However, they encountered challenges by doing so. To ensure certain meal kits would stay fresh on store shelves, companies needed to adjust them, and perfecting the recipes isn’t a quick process. Companies also realized that they couldn’t rotate their recipes as often if they wanted to appeal to the masses.

Who Offers Meal Kits, and Where Can I Find Them?

Numerous grocery store companies, such as Albertsons and Kroger, and superstores, such as Costco and Walmart, currently sell meal kits. Some of the meal kits offered by grocers include options from Home Chef and Plated. Customers can find meal kits in their favorite grocery store’s deli section.

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