HelloFresh might just be branching out into ready-made meals. The company’s co-founder, Thomas Griesel, recently dropped this hint to a German news outlet. Though the company already has ready-made meals available in Berlin, they plan to expand from those vending machine options to other parts of Germany.
HelloFresh is a company that is very familiar with meal kits, so ready-made meals are right up their ally. The company is already targeting consumers who don’t have enough time to cook a full meal. Meal kits and ready-made meals are already in trend due to the fast-paced lives of consumers. In fact, this particular market is estimated to be worth $143 billion by 2023.
However, Griesel said these products would be available online rather than in supermarkets. This might be an advantage to manufacturers and the brand itself because more consumers seem to be buying their groceries online. In a report published by the research company Valassis, seven percent of consumers were found to order their groceries online every week. This trend of online food shopping seems to be more common amongst millennials.
“There could be a scenario where by 2030 most meals currently cooked at home are instead ordered online,” said market research company UBS in a report.
Aside from the online convenience, HelloFresh is finding a way to make their product stand out. Most grocery stores produce their own ready-made meals. By distributing to online markets, HelloFresh is standing out as an independent brand. The company is taking advantage of the response they have already gotten from consumers; last year HelloFresh’s global sales grew by more than 50 percent. The company reacted to this response by introducing its brick-and-mortar meals that were launched for Stop & Shop and Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Food. The company’s in store sales also grew by 27 percent last year but meal-kit subscriptions are still driving most of their sales.
Offering ready-made meals would just add onto the rising trend that seems to be bringing the company success. Their new products will have a preparation time of 30 to 40 minutes, playing on the time-pressed lives of consumers. However, HelloFresh isn’t the only company that recognizes the importance of releasing convenient meals in the market.
Walmart and Kroger are two major companies who are offering their self-branded meal kits. Even Weight Watchers has offered their own healthy selection of meal kits. In May of this year, Costco announced they would be releasing their Blue Apron meal kits in stores with 30 percent off. HelloFresh is already doing better than Blue Apron. The company may be putting their expertise to use and attempting to dominate this market. Other manufacturers might want to pay attention to how successful these ready-made meals might be.