Despite all of the buzz about meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, just 3% of U.S. adults have tried such a service in the past year, according to a new NPD Group study.
The outlook for meal kits is still uncertain in this early stage, says NPD food and beverage analyst Darren Seifer.
Those using meal kits are generally satisfied. In fact, two out of three are “extremely” or “very satisfied.”
But price may be a barrier for continued use and adoption by more consumers. Meal kits are typically used to replace an in-home dinner, but the cost of a kit is closer to a restaurant meal than an in-home dinner.
The average cost per person for a home-delivered meal kit is $10, versus just $4 for the average in-home dinner meal, NPD reports.
However, meal kit purveyors have opportunities for growth if their marketing capitalizes on consumers’ main reasons for using and being satisfied with the services, Seifer says.
Saving time is the top reason given for using meal kits, and the freshness of ingredients and experience are particularly appealing to young-adult users. Meal variety is another frequently cited benefit.
NPD also sees opportunities for manufacturers to get their products into meal kits, and for foodservice operators to “leverage their ability to provide on-demand delivery and meal variety.”