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Older Consumers Become the Ideal Target Market for Meal Kits

 

Last updated 8/11/2019 at 3:42pm | View PDF

Meal kits, such as this one from Blue Apron, are popular among seniors.

Think meal kits are a Millennial or Gen Z trend best suited to the novice cooking skills of adults under age 40? Packaged Facts encourages you to reconsider. The market research firm reveals in the report Meal Kits: Trends and Opportunities in the U.S., 3rd Edition, that older adults provide a wealth of growth opportunities.

Many older consumers are experienced cooks who enjoy a homemade meal. However, as people age, their ability to use their hands and their ability to leave their home to shop for groceries may be diminished.

Older consumers are more likely to have developed conditions such as arthritis and tremors that make it difficult to engage in food preparation tasks, especially chopping and peeling vegetables. Meal kit delivery services can appeal to these customers by providing them with prepared ingredients so that they don't have to worry about working a lot with their hands but still get to cook a fresh meal.

Additionally, older people are more likely to have limited mobility and difficulty getting out to shop, preventing them from regular grocery shopping. Delivering meal kits to the consumer's home helps those with mobility issues meet the need to get to a grocery store for fresh food.

"Sales of meal kits to older consumers compete with premade delivery or carryout meals from restaurants," says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. "Many older customers already order a lot of food from restaurants, particularly if they are no longer comfortable doing food preparation tasks. However, many of these customers may miss being able to cook or could benefit from a simplified cooking process. Additionally, the restaurant and home delivery options available for them might not be as healthy or as fresh as they desire."

Online grocery shopping or other types of grocery delivery are also competitive with meal kit delivery services. Many seniors may get grocery deliveries from a grocery store or family members. Customers who need help leaving the house may order meals for delivery through a local meal service that specializes in serving seniors (e.g., Meals on Wheels). However, these services may not be available to everyone and tend to have waiting lists.

A meal kit can be an attractive alternative, particularly by delivering only the amount of food that is needed for a limited number of meals. This reduces the waste from buying food in amounts intended to feed a family and can appeal to a senior with a reduced appetite who is still interested in eating healthy and fresh food.

 

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