Everything about how we approach meals-at-home is changing. Grocery shopping conducted on a smartphone is delivered, and meal kits are opening avenues for upwardly-mobile, career professionals who want to enjoy more exotic flavors than mom’s handed-down recipes and experience the joy of cooking once extolled by the likes of Julia Child. Blue Apron, and companies like them, seem to be on to something. These “dinners-in-a-box” collection of ingredients get delivered right to your doorstep along with directions for how to cook them, such as this week’s Blue Apron selections including Chile Butter Steaks with Parmesan Potatoes and Spinach, or Spicy Poblano Pepper and Cheese Tortas with Summer Squash Salad.
“We’re estimating that the market today is about $2.2 billion,” surmises food industry-analyst Bob Goldin, founder of Pentallect. He’s examining the field he estimates will grow by 25% a year for the next five years as both a professional and a consumer. Goldin likes and recommends meal kits, which cost about $10 a pop, and which he says are attracting a 25-44 year-old target looking for convenience (53%), enjoyment of the experience (34%), and unique items (28%). Restaurants, Goldin says, will feel the pinch. “We think it’s going to have a very significant impact on the full-service restaurant business, more than the grocery business.” The grocery business, he suggests, might even embrace the idea and could partner with companies that make meal-kits, offering a box containing all required ingredients for Fresh Plum and Soy Catfish with Jasmine Rice and Peas and Carrots, available at your grocery store soon.
And you can probably have it delivered.