Supermarket News profiled recently how Kroger’s meal kit brand, Home Chef, recently reached revenues of $1 billion in 2020, with sales jumping 118% from the previous year.
Home Chef aims to make cooking at home easier, with its line of over 500 products, including meal kits and heat-and-eat meals available via subscription, in store, and for pick-up/delivery.
As noted in the article, “Kroger began rolling out Home Chef meal kits to its family of supermarkets in October 2018 and then in May 2019 launched a pilot of Home Chef oven-ready, heat-and-eat and lunch kit meals at selected stores. Kroger also has tested Home Chef Express meals in its grocery departments at Walgreens stores under its partnership with the drug chain.”
Hartman Group Insights:
The Hartman Group has seen meal kits and other products that promise to make home cooking easier and more convenient trend upward in the past few years, more recently further fueled by the pandemic. Cooking fatigue led many consumers to look for ways to lessen the burden and the boredom of eating the same recipes in rotation.
However, it’s still unclear what’s next for meal kit services as consumers return to pre-pandemic patterns. Our Food Sourcing in America report found that in 2020, 62% of Gen Z, 55% of Millennials, and 24% of Gen X said they had used an online meal kit service, but while meal kits skew younger, in-store meal kits from a trusted brand like Kroger could expand this convenient meal solution to a wider variety of consumers.
Meal kit options that bridge the gap between convenience, enjoyment, and health via flavor exploration and/or functional benefits may also be well positioned to retain relevance, even as meal sourcing moves back outside the home.
Interested in where cooking behavior and meal preparation are headed next? The Hartman Group’s syndicated study currently fielding, At the Dining Table: American Meals and Cooking 2021, explores the full spectrum of meal approaches consumers are using today, from scratch cooking (and the skills and tools involved) to lighter preparation touches to outsourcing from grocery or food service as well as mixed-mode approaches.
Further information: