Expect Big Shifts In The Way Consumers Source Meals

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2017 — The U.S. consumer has more choices when it comes to ordering meals due to the emergence of two food sourcing platforms—meal kits and 3rd party delivery. These channels have quickly grown to multi-billion dollar sectors over the last several years and are expected to reshape how consumers think about food sourcing.

In the meal kit space, Technomic’s recent survey research of 1,000 U.S. consumers has found that those under age 35 are more than twice as likely than older consumers to have used a meal kit service within the last three months. This does not, according to Technomic, mean that the market lacks age diversity.

“One of the critical dynamics of this market is that the customer base will become increasingly diverse as the market expands,” says Erik Thoresen, principal with Technomic and leader of the firm’s technology advisory practice. “While more affluent and younger consumers have been drivers of growth to date as early adopters, we expect more meal kit platforms begin targeting more consumers across age and income groups.”

In addition to consumer research, Technomic has conducted a survey of more than 300 independent and small chain restaurant operators to explore how the emergence of 3rd party delivery has impacted their business—both positively and negatively. These services range from Caviar to Postmates. Highlights from Technomic’s recent operator survey on third party delivery services include:

  • Nearly one quarter (23%) of the independent and small chain restaurant operators indicate that they use at least one 3rd party delivery service.
  • Usage of 3rd party delivery services is highest among quick service and casual dining restaurant operators.
  • In addition to 3rd party delivery, restaurant operators indicate other top areas that are shifting consumer behavior include foodservice offerings from both brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers, as well as prepared meal delivery/subscription services from non-restaurant operators.

“The emergence of 3rd party delivery platforms shows us that consumers are open to new ideas about how they source meals,” comments Thoresen. “Platforms in the consumer direct channel provide a huge range of new options to the everyday consumer—from customized meal kits to online ordering platforms providing thousands of choices for delivery. As it grows, the consumer direct channel will certainly impact the food choices that consumers make both at home and away from home.”

Technomic will is currently completing a larger study on meal kits, 3rd party delivery and other platforms in consumer direct channel in advance of the Consumer Direct Conference which will be held at Google Chicago on March 16, 2017. Confirmed speakers include Ed Boyes (Hello Fresh), Karen Sauder (Google), Kevin Willer (Chicago Ventures), Nicholas Fereday (Rabobank) and Scott Zuckerman (Meez Meals), among others.

To learn more about this invitation only event, please visit: https://consumerdirectconference.com/

Image Source: http://www.foodnavigator.com/


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