If there’s one thing Canadians have in common, it’s the daily dilemma of figuring out what’s for dinner. Now, more than ever, time-starved Canadians are left scrambling to serve up a nutritious, delicious meal at the end of the day.
The meal-kit industry aims to solve this problem by providing a subscription service that sends customers pre-portioned (and sometimes partially prepared) food ingredients and recipes to prepare home-cooked meals that are convenient, healthy and — most importantly — delicious.
The meal-kit industry in Canada has roughly doubled since 2014 and is expected to exceed $400 million in the next year as the segment continues to experience dramatic growth. Services such as Chefs Plate, Goodfood and Hello Fresh offer hectic households another option for solving the nightly dinner dilemma. Furthermore, the awareness of meal kits and the adoption rate of usage continue to grow as Canadians seek more convenient meal solutions.
According to a recent report by The NPD Group, 13 per cent of Canadians have used meal kits at some point and 11 per cent have used meal kits in the past year. Among non-users, interest in meal kits is growing, with 42 per cent of Canadians claiming they have an interest in trying a meal kit.
Not surprisingly, convenience is the key purchase motivator when it comes to meal-kit users — 67 per cent of current users feel their lives are hectic and rushed compared to 42 per cent of non-users. Meal-kit users are also twice as likely to cite convenience as an important purchase factor.
Households with children have also been early adopters of meal kits, with 20 per cent having tried them at least once. In addition, the industry seems to be capitalizing on spontaneity, as 58 per cent of users decide to purchase a meal kits same day.
Interestingly, three-out-of-five current meal-kit users (62 per cent) are male, while 38 per cent are female. Furthermore, male users also expressed intention to use a meal-kit service more frequently in the next six months compared to female users (48 per cent compared to 39 per cent). Males are also a more consistent user, with 68 per cent of those using a meal kit in the past year still currently using a service, compared to only 48 per cent of women.
Regardless of who is buying, current users seem to be highly satisfied with meal-kit services, with more than 91 per cent indicating they were very or extremely satisfied with their meal kit. When it comes to lapsed users, the highest reason users were no longer using the meal-kit service was due to the perception of the kits being too expensive, with 52 per cent expressing this as a key reason for no longer using meal-kit services.
Written by Robert Carter