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Online Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Online meal kit delivery services are comprised of new innovative means of delivering food while, at the same time, affording the customer more convenient ways of preparing meals at home. Online meal delivery services are designed to eliminate the hassles of meal planning and grocery shopping. The fast-growing niche market of online meal kit delivery services has continued to expand ever since its introduction in 2012. Meal kit revenue is expected to grow to over 7.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2024, an expected threefold increase from around 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. As people try to avoid shopping in-store as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, online meal kit delivery services have a chance to increase their market penetration, as food shopping started to steadily move into the digital domain. However, as of March 2020, most Americans did not plan on altering their spending on online meal kit services due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Top competitors within the online meal kit delivery industry include: HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Plated, Home Chef and Munchery. Hello Fresh was the most popular service provider in the United States, with around 30 percent of the market share, and over 1 billion euros in U.S. revenues in 2019. In that year, Blue Apron generated sales worth around 455 million U.S. dollars. The average price per meal kit for Blue Apron was 9.99 U.S. dollars and 8.99 U.S. dollars for HelloFresh in 2019.

While Blue Apron operates exclusively in the United States, HelloFresh's global reach has definitely contributed to its market position and large customer base. From about 170,000 subscribers in 2014, HelloFresh now boasts nearly 3 million subscribers around the globe, with worldwide revenues exceeding 1.8 billion euros. The company delivered over 10 million orders worldwide for the first time in the final quarter of 2019, and its impressive growth over the years may be due to its soaring marketing expenses. Marketing spending has increased from about 157 million euros in 2016 to more than 400 million euros in 2019.

Apart from fostering the habit of cooking at home as an alternative to fast-food meals on the run, most service providers also offer family-friendly and specialty diet options with plans for organic, vegetarian and vegan meals. However, a major drawback of online meal kits is the high cost of its products. According to a survey conducted in May 2020, around 13 percent of high-earners in the United States planned to increase spending on meal kit delivery services as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. However, people earning less than 100,000 U.S. dollars in yearly income were much less likely to do so, evidence that meal kit delivery services still have many hurdles to overcome in order to gain mainstream popularity.

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Online meal kit delivery services in the U.S.

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