Millennials Show an Appetite for Meal Delivery Kits - eMarketer

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Millennials Show an Appetite for Meal Delivery Kits

60% of people ages 18 to 35 have tried them

December 22, 2016

The US meal kit delivery market has grown in recent years, as an increasing number of brands have entered the space. Typically, research has shown that meal kit delivery services were only used by a niche consumer base. But a survey of US grocery buyers from May 2016, Acosta Sales & Marketing found that while only about one in three total respondents of all ages said they have ordered a meal delivery kit online, millennials were much more interested.

US Grocery Buyers Who Have Ordered a Meal Delivery Kit* Digitally, by Generation, May 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Some 60% of respondents ages 18 to 35 have tried a meal delivery kit, according to Acosta. This makes sense. Like many other digital services, meal delivery kits were adopted first by millennials. And, as this group approaches their peak earning years and starts families, their desire for convenience and customization grows.

Gen Xers and baby boomers were less likely than millennials to order a meal delivery kit online. Still, Acosta's data shows that a fairly substantial share of these older consumers have tried such a service, which may appeal to time-starved families and empty nesters.

“Time is valuable now," said Morgan McAlenney, executive vice president digitail, at the Integer Group. “In the past it was about how much money you have, but now it’s about how much time you don’t have. Meal prep services like Blue Apron are helping to compress our time. That’s a huge value.”

While Blue Apron dominates the meal delivery kit market, generating more than three times the sales than its closest competitor, according to 1010data, 2016 has seen a handful of big-name food brands roll out their own services, including Tyson Foods Inc., Campbell Soup Co., Hershey Co. and PepsiCo’s Quaker. Food and beverage market research company, Packaged Facts expects the meal kit delivery market to double in the next few years from its current value of $1.5 billion.

—Alison McCarthy

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