Just as competition heats up in the meal kit industry between major players such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, fast food chain Chick-fil-A is throwing their hats into the ring with their own line of meal kit products. The American restaurant chain, known for their antibiotic-free chicken, will be testing out their new meal kit concept in 150 restaurants across Atlanta between August 27 and November 17.
On Monday, the fast-food giant announced their launch of “Mealtime Kits,” which come with pre-measured ingredients that customers can easily pick up in the drive-thru, at the front counter or through the Chick-fil-A One app. The kits come in five different varieties: Pan Roasted Chicken, Chicken Flatbread, Crispy Dijon Chicken, Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Enchiladas. The company will be rotating these five meal options to offer two recipes at a given time. Each kit can serve two people and costs $15.89. In addition, Mealtime Kits can be refrigerated and they all have an expiration date. This move makes Chick-fil-A the first quick service restaurant in the US to offer full meal kit products.
However, this launch is just a test that the company is running in order to gauge how popular their meal kits could be in the consumer market. Consumers can express their interest in the products by filling out an online form. If this product test is successful, the company will likely introduce these meal kits in other Chick-fil-A restaurants.
“We know our guests are busier than ever and need a variety of convenient dinner options. We’re excited to offer Mealtime Kits as a new way for us to serve our guests by providing fresh ingredients to enjoy a delicious meal at home.” said Michael Patrick, an innovation program lead at Chick-fil-A who is leading the Mealtime Kits effort. “We designed our offering so our guests don’t have to order ahead, subscribe to a service, or make an extra stop at the grocery store. They simply pick up a Mealtime Kit at one of our restaurants at their convenience – for example, when they’re already at a Chick-fil-A restaurant grabbing breakfast or lunch, or in the drive-thru on their way home.”
This new meal kit delivery concept might have an upper hand over traditional meal kit delivery services that require subscriptions and ordering ahead. The no-commitment aspect of it allows consumers to purchase a meal kit immediately without having to organize meals beforehand. Additionally, this new service will likely increase foot traffic in Chick-fil-A restaurants as customers might be interested in purchasing a Chick-fil-A fast food meal along with their meal kits.
However, the restaurant might have some trouble selling their meal kits to the growing health-focused consumer demographic. Although consumers have been found to enjoy the convenience aspect of meal kits, Nielson finds that consumers continue to buy meal kits because they offer new and healthy recipes. Chick-fil-A’s meal kits mostly incorporate carbs and fats over vegetables and proteins. The healthiest dish in their selection of meal kits is the Pan Roasted Chicken option, whereas every other meal kit incorporates heavy carbs, fried chicken, cheese and thick sauces.
Nevertheless, Chick-fil-A has been experiencing a lot of success in the food industry according to the nine billion dollar revenue the company reported having in 2017. The restaurant has also received several awards for customer satisfaction such as the 2018 Temkin Experience Rating survey which awarded Chick-fil-A with the “Best Franchise Brand” award. So, the company’s reputation might help it develop its new meal kit business.
It’s no surprise that the famous fried chicken restaurant would want to join the five billion dollar meal kit industry. However, the company is entering an over-saturated market with over 150 meal kit companies competing with each other nationally, regionally and locally. This why major meal kit companies have been expanding their products into grocery stores to increase their reach. If Chick-fil-A’s meal kits are successful though, the company has the advantage of having over 2200 restaurants to promote and sell their new products.