The meal-kit industry is one of the most innovative and fast-growing industries in recent years. For those who don’t know, a meal kit is a package that contains all the ingredients needed to cook a certain meal. Consumers are supposed to use these ingredients and the instructions provided to cook.7 It offers a convenient option that makes home-made cooking meals enjoyable. With customizable kits, one can have several personalization options of their own. It also makes following a diet easier. However, just like any other industry, the meal kit industry faces challenges and setbacks that affect its productivity and slow down its growth. Here are some of the problems faced.
1. The Industry is Yet to Appeal a Large Population
Even with its convenience, the meal kit industry has only managed to appeal to a small population. Statistics show that only 4% of the general U.S consumer market have tried them. This is because most meal kit companies have not managed to penetrate through the market and establish themselves in different areas. They are also struggling to retain their already earned customers, some of the firms losing up to 70% of the customers. Customer acquisition is high, so the firms end up relying on the remaining 30% of customers. Professionals have projected that if they fail to acquire new customers cost-effectively, the businesses will adversely decline.
2. High Prices for Meals
Yes, having a meal kit delivered to your doorstep is ideal, but are they cost saving? They do vary in price. However, most of the meal kit customers have termed them as too expensive. When you compare the price of getting your ingredients from the grocery store with having them delivered at home, you will see that getting them from the store yourself is way cheaper.
When you order a meal kit, you do not just pay for the ingredients. It is a package with much more precision; you are certain that everything you need for your meal is available and in the right quantity. You are also paying an extra cost for having everything delivered to you. If you had chosen to go the shopping way, you might find that you had acquired much more than you need (waste) or assume that you already have some things at home. So, even though the meal kits are expensive, they are more efficient.
3. COVID 19 Pandemic
Even though the long term impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic are yet to be known, the short term ones have already been determined. Some of the impacts have been positive. For example, the industry has had more customers ever since the pandemic, since people started relying on them due to the COVID19 restrictions. However, the pandemic also posed some challenges to the industry. However, due to lockdowns and restrictions, the industry also had to adjust accordingly to ensure that the business kept running smoothly while still abiding by the restrictions. The free movement of goods was also affected, as mobility became limited.
4. Shifting Customer Preferences
The main aim of this industry is delivering the highest quality possible at the least possible price. Due to the high competition in the market, some firms have elevated their delivery services such that some customers get spoilt for choice. This promotes an unstable customer base, which has an effect on brand loyalty. Some customers might expect some favors offered by their previous delivery service providers, some of which their new provider doesn’t offer. The only way to correct this is if the industry deployed marketing tactics and strategies that increase fair customer engagements.
5. Adherence to Food Quality Standards
Customers want a delivery service where every one of the parties involved in the supply chain is responsible, from pick-up to the delivery person. When the firms fail to do so, customer satisfaction will be the whole process will collapse, no matter how big the market is.
The greatest secret in any industry is meeting customer expectations. Therefore, for a firm to survive in this competitive industry, it has to fill the rift that is present between the delivery guys and their packaging partner.
Recent times have seen consumers gradually shift away from dining outs and have started trending towards meal kit deliveries. Statistics project an 8.8% growth by 2024. The firms that survive these crises are in for a bounty reap.