Sun Basket has caught on to the meal prep trend and announced a new line of meal kits. The company is appealing to the health aspect of the trend by selling health-focused meals – going the extra step to personalize the meals to their customers. Kits also come in options such as diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, paleo, vegan and vegetarian.
Consumers can make most of these meals in one pan or on the grill instead of the stove top. A top selling point of meal kits is the convenience factor. Competitors like Home Chef created eight-dollar, five-minute lunches with no coking required. Another meal kit company, HelloFresh, launched 20-minute meals with pre-cut ingredients. Sun Basket has attempted to also fit their meal kits into a small-time frame with a cook time of 20 minutes or less. Consumers have new meal options including, ‘one-pan’ seared salmon with chimichurri and summer vegetables, miso tempeh burgers with garden salad, and Dijon vinaigrette and bagna cauda anchovy sauce, broccoli and radishes.
Currently, Sun Basket delivers to 98 percent of the continental US. The company has a chance to attract more consumers with these new time-pressed kits – a major selling point because consumers want to spend less time in the kitchen. According to Neilson, consumers have a limited amount of time between their jobs and their dinner time, making meal kits more appealing. It was also revealed that one in four adults that have purchased a meal kit are 70 percent more likely to purchase meal kits again.
Sun Basket already has an advantage in this market as a leading curator of healthy meals. A $42.8 Series D investment from August Capital helped the company raise $57.8 million in funding just earlier this year. Additionally, last year, Unilever invested $9.2 million. The investments are helping the company grow but that can’t always be enough to keep a company afloat. Chef’d is a prime example of this. According to the Wall Street Journal, the meal kit company shut down operations Tuesday after burning through its cash and not securing any additional investment. Prior to this, the company had secured $35 million from Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola and Smithfield Foods.
Still, the meal kit industry is promising. Grocery stores and retailers who originally saw meal-kit companies as competitors are now also looking to incorporate these products onto their shelves. Costco recently announced they will be offering Blue Apron meal kits in their stores. Walmart and Kroger went the extra step and started offering their own brand of meal kits. Weight Watchers also hopped onto the bandwagon and rolled out a brand of their own “weight watching” meal kits.
Sun Basket’s approach to their kits gives them a unique edge over the other brands. Meeting the dietary needs of various consumer groups makes them more appealing. The company could see even more success if it can secure a partnership with a grocer – this might even help them catch up to competitors who have already done so.