The global meal kit delivery services market size was worth USD 14.92 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 62.73 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 17.3% over the forecast period. (2022–2030)
A meal kit is a subscription food service in which the company delivers pre-portioned or partially prepared food ingredients and recipes to the customers to prepare food at home. The concept of meal kit delivery services originated in Europe in 2007 and it is now popular in the U.S. and other nations. In meal delivery services, the company delivers pre-cooked meals rather than ingredients. The service is new to the customers; however, the demand for the same is relatively high due to several tailwind factors such as increasing awareness regarding hygiene among consumers, the trend of cooking among millennials, and cooking shows influencing people to try new dishes at home.
The demand for meal kit delivery services is increasing owing to their cost-effectiveness and time-saving. The cost of eating in a restaurant is almost five times higher than cooking from scratch. Also, as the meal-kit delivers ingredients in proper proportions, it saves time for making a meal. The consumer shift towards urbanization, increasing per capita income, and changing lifestyle are also factors driving the meal kit delivery services market.
Consumers are increasingly becoming health-conscious, for which they are focusing on home-made foods rather than processed foods or to dine out. The demand for home-made meals is also increasing, owing to increasing hygiene among consumers. Moreover, it is considered that home-made food is healthier than processed or fast food. As per the study commissioned by Johns Hopkin School of Public Health, "People who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less."
Moreover, the demand for these meal services increases as one can enjoy a restaurant's taste like a dish at home by cooking the pre-portioned meal. The major companies, such as HelloFresh SE and Blue Apron LLC, operating in the meal kit delivery services market, offer restaurants like provolone burgers with marinated kale and brown butter gnocchi at home.
Based on type, the meal kit delivery services are bifurcated into fresh food and processed food. The demand for processed food is increasing as it takes less time to cook. Also, meal kit delivery services are the most popular among young adults and millennials, and they are keen on eating processed foods. The processed food market holds the majority of the share in the meal kit delivery market. The processed food market has around two-third of the market share in 2019.
Based on offering, the market is bifurcated into heat and eats and cook and eat segments. The heat and eat segment is expected to dominate the meal kit delivery market and is accounted for around 60% share in the global market in 2020. The consumers' changing lifestyle, prominently among millennials, is expected to drive the segmental growth over the forecast period. The hectic schedule and busier lifestyle of consumers are some of the significant factors behind the segmental growth. The heat and eat offering has several benefits over other offerings; it is time-saving, energy-efficient, and convenient. The heat and eat meals can be made and eaten at any time of the day by merely heating and is helping consumers with unconventional working hours. Also, heat and eat meals provide a quick solution for families where people like different foods on the same table.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc worldwide and has impacted several industries drastically. The food industry faces disruption of the supply chain due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, meal kit delivery services are expected to witness increased traction in 2020. The crisis has made the meal kit delivery services exceptionally important worldwide, where social distancing has become the key to survival.
The dine-out at hotels, restaurants, and café has been banned from following the social distancing rule across the globe. Further, consumers are avoiding the consumption of junk foods due to the awareness regarding COVID-19. Hence, direct consumer delivery of food ingredients and products has played a crucial role in preventing frequent visits to restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores.
North America is expected to dominate the meal kit delivery services market over the forecast period. The North American market accounted for around one-third of the global market share in 2019. The U.S. is the major contributor to the regional market. This is due to the increasing trend of cooking in the region. For instance, according to HUNTER's survey, in April 2020, more than 54% of consumers reported cooking more, and around 46% reported baking more.
According to Peapod's survey in 2018, 77% of Americans preferred eating home-made meals over dining out. Also, the same study shows that around 59% of the millennials are keen on cooking more. Further, as an increasing number of people are becoming aware of the ailments associated with processed and junk food, the demand for meal kit delivery services is expected high in the near future.
Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market for meal kit delivery services. Countries like China, South Korea, India, and Japan are the major contributor to regional growth. The increasing development in all the economic sectors such as India and China is expected to drive the market. These regions turning into manufacturing hubs are expected to increase employment and lead to a busy lifestyle, propelling the region's market growth.
The changing lifestyles have resulted in a change in the interests of the consumers. People in India are increasingly trying to cook food at home by watching several cookeries shows on tv channels such as Food Food, Living Foodz, among others. The Indian Chefs, including Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna, Ranveer Brar, and Kunal Kapur, are also influencing millions of millennials and youngsters in the region are further expected to drive the market in the forecast period.
Among the above companies, the major shareholding company is Blue Apron LLC. According to Vox Media, LLC., the share of Blue Apron was around 40.3% in the meal kit delivery services market. It has reported by Statista and Vox Media LLC that the market share of Blue Apron is decreasing as the new entrants and the competitors such as Purple Carrot, HelloFresh SE, Green Chef, Sun Basket, Marley Spoon, among others are gaining popularity in the U.S.; however, Blue Apron still dominates the market. It has the largest share of sales among the meal kit companies operating in the U.S.
HelloFresh SE, the second most popular meal kit company in the U.S., accounted for a market share of 28.4% in 2017.
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The pandemic has opened the development process, gained significant profit, and created a vast consumer base for various companies.